AN Orange councillor has criticised the central west transport forum for closing down discussion about an important local road.
Cr Fiona Rossiter was silenced when she attempted to discuss the Huntley Road access to Orange Health Service during the workshop sessions at Thursday’s forum.
She said she was told by a Transport NSW facilitator the campaign to reopen the road wasn’t a regional transport issue.
“I mentioned that this is a regional base hospital with limited access ... I was not able to be heard,” she said.
“It’s been over a year we’ve been waiting for an answer.”
Cr Rossiter was later given the opportunity to ask Roads Minister Duncan Gay about the status of the road.
He said reopening the road rested with Health Infrastructure and Orange City Council.
“It’s certainly our intention to help,” Mr Gay said.
“We’ve committed to being part of it even though we don’t have to be.”
The closure of the road last February, in line with NSW Planning approval conditions for the new hospital, sparked a petition with hundreds of signatures.
“The amount of local people who spoke out was incredible but it falls on deaf ears,” she said.
Mayor John Davis said reopening Huntley Road was being discussed in political circles.
“I haven’t got an answer or details on it but I think there will be a result in the near future,” he said.
Cr Rossiter said she was disappointed a traffic management plan for the health service had been delayed.
“It [Huntley Road] was previously opened and there were no fatalities recorded at that road intersection,” she said.
“The public took it into their own hands and removed the bollards.”
Cr Rossiter said she also raised the issue of a 24-hour helicopter retrieval service at the forum and the unknown effects of the carbon tax on public transport prices, especially to access health services.