Community & Business

11 October, 2023

Locals still ‘pleading’ to save walking track

FIVE months on and the Yungaburra community is still pleading with Tablelands Regional Council to save Peterson Creek Walking Track, prompting a petition after the recent meeting.

By Ellie Fink

Photo: Google
Photo: Google

With standing room only at the 28 September ordinary meeting, three delegations spoke to council including Yungaburra Association’s Rolf Straatemeier.

“On behalf of our community, we are pleading with you, pleading with you, to take action today to save this track. Not in five months’ time, but now, because we believe that you, as our representatives, are fast running out of time to act,” Mr Straatemeier said.

A minor amendment was proposed for the development on part of Peterson Creek track, prompting a deputation by Yungaburra Association’s Rolf Straatemeier and Yungaburra Landcare’s David Blair at the last TRC meeting.

Mr Straatemeier said the amendment was “the final nail in the coffin” for saving the track, stressing once again to councillors just how important the track was for locals and tourists alike.

The entrance to the track at Allumbah Pocket goes through private land and is subject to a development application for a new subdivision.

“Despite our deputation being five months ago, we have not formally heard from council what opportunities our Councillors have been advised on,” Mr Straatemeier said.

“We are now to a stage where Council Officers are requesting a further minor amendment. 

“We do not object to the proposed changes to the location of the easement, however, this minor amendment to us sounds like a final nail in the coffin for the saving of the Peterson Creek walk.”

There were fears that the developers, Malcolm Macleod and Matt Andrejic of Freshwater Planning, would close off the track where their property is located and cut off the northern end of the track.

However, Mr Macleod and Mr Andrejic said they agreed the track was “iconic” and important to the Yungaburra community.

Delivering his deputation, Mr Macleod urged councillors to consider purchasing the portion of land the track was on to maintain the landmark. 

 “I concur with Rolf … every word… after purchasing the Penda Street property, I decided to subdivide it, and for me, to put the fences up would be a better way to go personally,” he said.

“After living in Yungaburra, I have come to release what this walking track means. It means that much to the people of Yungaburra – and we aren’t just talking about tourists.

“What I am suggesting is that council follow through with somehow purchasing that small piece of land to retain the walking track for the community of Yungaburra and the tourists that come from far and wide. 

“It is the community that will really miss out, as this is part of the heart and soul of Yungaburra.”

While Deputy Mayor Kevin Cardew acknowledged the significance of the track, he stated it was constructed without “any proper process” on private land. 

He said asking ratepayers to pay for either compulsory acquisition or buy back “didn’t sit comfortably” with him. 

Cr David Clifton gave notice of his motion coming up later in the meeting and asked that standing orders be changed to discuss it earlier while interested parties were present.

He expressed his appreciation for the community and landowner commitments to the Peterson Creek track and its surroundings and stressed the council's role in aligning various interests to achieve a common outcome for the precinct.

“My motion had several clauses in the beginning of it which we’re going to address or confirm TRC’s commitment to the Peterson Creek precinct … I’ve taken them out … as they were stating what is already obvious,” he said.

“What we want to achieve is it to be done now in a timely manner … leaving it open to our legal, planning and engineering experts.

“I want to be advised by 26 October, and I want it in a final form. I don’t want an interim report. I want a final form to be presented to this table on 26 October.

“I’m putting this motion forward so it’s clear to the CEO … amongst all the other priorities that he has … is that it becomes the most important priority in front of him, and it’s got to be dealt with by 26 October.

“There is no point in living in the past … this is supposed to be a process of inclusion … if my council colleagues agree with that, then by the 26th … we will have an absolutely clear picture.”

A petition to “Save The Track” has been published on the Yungaburra Association’s website, with Mr Straatemeier saying the ball is now in the council’s court and their next steps will be crucial to saving the track. 

To sign the petition, visit


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