Mayor Peter Flannery and Deputy Jodie Shipway have joined the chorus of criticism over State Government plans to resume new houses in Griffin for highway upgrades.
Speaking on ABC Radio today, the Mayor described it as “a blueprint of what not to do” when bringing in major infrastructure.
Cr Shipway, whose division includes Griffin, said on social media: “I won’t sit back and be accused of not being truthful with my community.”
Residents in Venture Dr, Griffin, received emails this week saying their houses and land would be needed under proposals to make the Bruce Highway four lanes in each direction.
Some householders had just moved into the Aspire development. Others are reported to have collected keys to their new homes just hours before the email arrived.
Mayor Peter Flannery said council had heard of the plans but: “We haven’t seen any plans for this proposed widening of the Bruce Highway," he said.
“Money was allocated in 2019 by the Federal Government in collaboration with the State Government, but as far as seeing any detailed plans about the road widening, it’s news to us.
“If council knew about this we wouldn’t be approving properties which were going to be resumed on the day people are going to receive keys. It’s unbelievable.
“There should have been communication, there should have been engagement, there should have been door knocking. Not an email sent late on Monday.”
Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway (Div 4) earlier made her feelings clear on Facebook.
“Council approved these housing lots in Griffin in 2020 and when those plans were referred to the State Government for assessment, they didn’t say there was potential for property resumptions in this area,” she said.
“While upgrades to the Bruce Highway are needed, the short notice was shocking for local residents.
“I’ve heard it all over the last few days, including accusations I’ve known about this development/road and should have notified residents.
“While I have attempted to answer the questions of residents I won’t sit back and be accused of not being truthful with my community.”
Cr Shipway called on the State “to inform residents this corridor wasn’t part of gazetted corridors supplied to council prior to these homes being built or land developed”.
And added: “It would be appreciated if maps and further details were published and the community wasn’t left worried about what’s next!”
Mayor Flannery and Cr Shipway plan to meet the State Government next week for a briefing on the highway plans.
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