Council is in the midst of extensive community discussions about future planning for this area, commencing several months ago and extending into next year.
If your family is interested to contribute to future thinking, please consider visiting council's website for the many ways you can be involved in this extensive consultation.
Right now, comments are sought on a Local Strategic Planning Statement of local values to guide council's focus on future directions.
Comments on the LSPS close on September 22, 2020.
One critical issue arising from several consultation events to date has been the question of local population growth and whether we as a community have the power, or even the right, to limit the ultimate local population.
Right now, we are classed as a growth area by the NSW government, and the emphasis is on how much we can grow in the next 20 years or so.
But there is also emerging concern, among current residents, that population growth is already threatening the values people treasure, especially social and environmental amenity.
From my perspective it is not so much the numbers of people - although that is of course vitally important.
Unlimited growth is a misnomer.
Of more concern is the nature of housing - whether as single households or high-rise developments. And how we transport ourselves - whether in cars or public transport. How we deal with infrastructure, resource re-use and protection of natural areas is vitally important, as is the basis of our economy and jobs.
I realise that daily life can be fully occupying in and of itself.
But these are the sorts of dinner table conversations we need to be engaging in throughout Port Macquarie-Hastings, our hinterland and Camden Haven, and the LSPS document can be a good starter.
I urge you to carve out some time for future community thinking, especially with your children, and let council know your views - even briefly - so we can all contribute to shaping the future of our beautiful region.
Cr Intemann's opinions are not necessarily council's.