Singleton Council has received an approval in principle from the Department of Industry to close Wallaby Scrub Road.
From the intersection of Putty Road, 5.99 kilometres of Wallaby Scrub Road will close excluding a portion of Crown road adjoining the corridor.
The closure isn't short of complex, it's conditional that the land is sold to adjoining landholders Warkworth Mining Limited and Miller Pohang Coal Company Pty Limited. The portion of Crown land will be subject to an application to Crown Lands by the mine to acquire.
The decision to close the road came at an extraordinary meeting of Council last August where it was agreed on that an application to close the road would be sent off to Minister for Lands and Forestry.
A number of speakers addressed that meeting during public access and a report was presented including a synopsis of 1,639 submissions from the public exhibition period.
The decision still comes after a lot of community organisations were against the move.
“This is a matter that attracted significant community interest and Council appreciates the input from everyone who made a submission during the public exhibition period last year,” said Singleton Council General Manager Jason Linnane.
“Council’s role was to consider the merits of the road closure based on its role as a roads authority and did not include consideration of matters relating to mining approvals."
“As a result of the approval in principle, Council will now act to continue the formalisation of the road closure, with future reports to be prepared for Councils consideration regarding the sale of the Wallaby Scrub Road corridor.”
Jason Linnane said Council would negotiate with the adjoining landholders in relation to the sale of the land.
“Formalising the closure of the road will allow Council to sell the road corridor, which would involve a valuation and negotiation process,” he said.
“Proceeds from the sale of the land will be re-invested in the local road network in accordance with the Roads Act, 1993.”
From here, Council will arrange for the Wallaby Scrub Road Closure plan to be put in place which includes Variable Message Signs to be placed at key locations several weeks before the road is closed to inform drivers.
Image credit: Rod Thompson