First Clarence Roundtable a Success, Says Mayor

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The first Clarence Roundtable discussion on how to make the most of Pacific Highway and second Grafton bridge developments has come up with a number of points that will guide discussions in future meetings.

Those include the impact the developments will have on the availability and cost of accommodation, how businesses can capitalise on the opportunities the development will bring, the probable need to adjust business operating hours to meet the changing demands of the construction workforce, how local contractors can get involved, the possibility of some social dislocation through the construction period and a host of other topics.

The Roundtable was established by the Clarence Valley Council to provide a conduit to discuss the multitude of issues likely to arise from the massive investment in infrastructure.

The first meeting was Tuesday night and Mayor, Richie Williamson, said he could not have been happier with how it went.

“Everyone came with a can-do attitude,” he said.

“We had more than 30 people attend and it appeared everyone recognised the opportunities these developments will provide and wanted to make sure those opportunities aren’t wasted.

“There was also recognition that with those opportunities there will be challenges.

“What was impressive was that people didn’t want to deflect those challenges onto someone else.

“They recognised the challenges and opportunities were there for the whole community to deal with and there was a cooperative mindset.

“It was very heartening.”

Cr Williamson said the meeting was largely informal and hoped future meetings would be similar.

“We don’t want to be stifling the cooperation that was evident by imposing too much structure,” he said.

The next meeting will be held in June.

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