Deputy mayor Chris Doohan asks council staff to prepare funding options to path link between Anna Bay and Emerald Tiki Village

FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

Safety concerns for pedestrians on Gan Gan Road has prompted a call to fund a one kilometre Anna Bay pathway as a matter of urgency.

Councillors directed Port Stephens Council staff on Tuesday night to prepare funding models to link Bay Village Retreat and Emerald Tiki ViIllage to the Anna Bay shops.

Cr Doohan told the council on Tuesday night he was concerned with the volume of elderly people walking on the road’s edge.

“This one really hits home for me when seeing the elderly along here,” Cr Doohan said.

“I personally think this is the most dangerous stretch of road in Port Stephens without a footpath. I urge you to find the money to complete this foothpath.”

The proposed 2.4 metre wide pathway between James Paterson Drive and Gordon Close is one kilometre long. The project is not funded on the council’s 10 year capital works program and has an estimated cost of $400,000.

Rather than blindly going along with the project Cr John Nell moved an amendment to Cr Doohan’s motion.

“I would like to defer this so that council staff can come up with some funding options,” Cr Nell said.

“It isn’t easy to come up with $400,000.”

In reply, Cr Nell said Cr Doohan’s notice of motion was “little more than a feel good report”.

“Other things will have to be kicked down the list if we’re going to do this,” he said.

Cr Ken Jordan said this kind of second guessing council staff was a slippery slope.

“It’s treading a very fine line in meeting number two with motions from the floor, putting your favourite project at the top,” he said.

“All this is, really, is putting up projects that you made [election] promises on.

“If I support this now, I hope you’re going to support me at the next meeting when I ask for $1.5 million to build the Brandy Hill pathway because [residents] will argue their’s is more important.”

Cr Sarah Smith said she often travelled Gan Gan Road several times in a day and she too had safety concerns.

She said there was often a man walking on a cane and generally a lot of pedestrians in the area.

“I would like to support what Cr Doohan has said. I think the 80 km/h speed zone needs to be reconsidered,” she said.