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By Allira Preece
AFTER plans for the Pacific Highway bypass were approved in 2005, the Johns River community strongly feared the death of their small rural town.
Last September villagers took action to re-form the Johns River Community Progress Association Inc. (JRCPA).
The JRCPA held a series of open community forums at the Johns River Hall to ensure that everyone had the chance to share their views on the town’s future.
A Village Wish List was created so the Post Bypass Committee, the RTA/Alliance and the Greater Taree Council, clearly understood community objectives.
Villagers outlined a variety of concerns, ranging from playground placement to bridge names and the use of native species in landscaping.
JRCPA Vice President David Shepard said all issues discussed were about making “Johns River a liveable and vibrant village with a cohesive and functioning heart well into the future.
“Our main motivation was making certain Johns River could become the village it used to be, serving the local community with a real village centre,” he said.
After numerous consultations with planners and engineers from the Greater Taree City Council and RTA, the JRCPA’s meetings paid off when the first draft of the town plan was drawn up by design group AndrewsNeil UDG.
Progress association members said the plan focused on making Johns River a destination village, “drawing on it’s proximity to four national parks, and it’s unique location as gateway to the Manning and Hastings districts.”
JRCPA President Glenn Ferrero said he was proud of what the community had achieved so far.
“There is still a lot of work to do and I have faith in the community to make the right decisions on how it wishes to progress.”
The next community forum will be held in late August when draft plans are released for public display and comment. To find out more information you can visit www.johnsriver苏州美甲美睫培训.au
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