Cessnock council will write to the state government over concerns about the Cessnock Correctional Centre’s impact on local roads.
The government has been upgrading the gaol to provide additional minimum-and-maximum-security capacity.
In a bid to reduce traffic on residential streets to the south, Corrective Services NSW is considering a new access road.
At its latest meeting, Cessnock council reaffirmed its position that all access to, and from, the facility should be via the state road network.
It stated community members agreed the current road access – via Lindsay and Mavis streets – was not acceptable and the preferred option was a direct route from the centre, through land owned by Correctional Services NSW and Hunter New England Health, to Wine Country Drive.
“Our residents should not be footing the bill for the ongoing road maintenance costs of a NSW government facility,” Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said.
“For such a large development, the community deserves better.
“This debate has been going on for far too long and our residents deserve to be listened to.”
Cr Pynsent said the council would write to government representatives, including Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
He asked the government and opposition to join the council in supporting ratepayers within Cessnock LGA and secure a long-term solution.
The centre’s upgrade is expected to be completed in 2020.