Message from the Mayor December 2020

1 December 2020

Message from the Mayor

It is all hands on deck as we move towards the close of 2020. Business “as usual” sees us busy but adapting to a different way of delivering what we need to.

Our harvest is in full swing and a hive of activity with machinery, trucks and people working long hours to get the crops off. From all reports it is producing some outstanding returns. Labour challenges have been an issue. A common problem across all areas of agricultural harvest - making sure we all stay safe and looking out for each other is a priority.

The end of school presentation nights and celebrations are being delivered in a different way this year. While it is pared back, the most important aspect is that parents and caregivers can be included and, at the end of the day, that is what really counts.

Our Year 12 students have completed their exams and now eagerly await their results. The completion of this truly testing year is commendable and I congratulate you all in getting to the finish line.

On the education front, I would also like to warmly congratulate Darlington Point resident Tamileigh Chirgwin who was named TAFE NSW Student of the Year and TAFE NSW Agribusiness Student of the Year. To be named the State’s top student is a tremendous achievement and I have no doubt that Tamileigh has been putting her learning to good use in her role at Waddi Housing.

Our three communities acknowledged Remembrance Day with due respect on 11 November. It was a privilege to be able to participate in this Service. Each community brings their unique approach to this day, and we acknowledge and thank the local RSL Sub Branches for facilitating and leading our services. The annual Sir John Monash Bursary was awarded to Simon Toscan from Darlington Point. We congratulate Simon and wish him well with his tertiary studies in 2021.

The proposed change to our electoral boundary has initiated lots of discussion. Yet again, scant regard has been given to the voice of the community that will be impacted. The proposed change - another imposed change to satisfy a number’s game - will have an insignificant impact in creating balance for the bureaucrats, but most certainly creates a further feeling of being insignificant in the political argy-bargy that surrounds us.

The re-opening of the Victorian border on 23 November was a monumental moment. However, the COVID-19 cluster in South Australia certainly reinforced the stark reality that continued vigilance is the only way to keep our communities safe. As the holiday season approaches and the traffic stream and people movement increases we must all play our part in adhering to the Public Health Order.

A collaborative tourism initiative involving Murrumbidgee Council and Lockhart, Narrandera and Leeton Shires was launched on 18 November. This publication, featuring local businesses and attractions in our region, identifies and promotes the many experiences we have on offer. I am sure it will be a valuable resource to the visitor economy. Our thanks go to Kellie Dissegna and her associates at our three neighbouring Councils for bringing this initiative to fruition.

We have also worked with fellow Councils to apply for funding to gain high speed internet and better mobile phone coverage by submitting a $1.25 million funding application through the Australian Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.

The application was made under the umbrella of the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation (RAMJO), in partnership with the Field Services group, who will also contribute financially to the project. Murrumbidgee Council will provide $100,000 towards the project, with a further in-kind annual contribution of $60,000, which includes towers the Council already owns, the microwave network and buildings to house equipment. We are extremely hopeful that this application will be successful.

Raw water restrictions will be permanently implemented in Jerilderie. Minor changes to our water practices can result in a significant reduction in water use and I urge you all to help conserve our precious resource. You can see our website for water saving tips.

Our bulky waste and green waste collections have been held in Darlington Point. The Jerilderie township is being collected this week and Coleambally’s will be next week. Thank you all for your efforts in cleaning up and making sure our community is ‘fire ready’ for summer.

Visible evidence of our three town revitalisation projects is emerging. It is generating lots of comment and people are enjoying seeing the roll out - I am confident that this is the beginning of many good things to come.

Some of our major projects are completed or nearing completion - what great confirmation that our Council footprint has certainly been the beneficiary of some very welcome funding opportunities.

The $1.96 million Jerilderie Pool redevelopment is complete. The Pool complex opened to the community on Saturday 21 November 2020. This a truly amazing generational investment in the Jerilderie community’s health and recreational wellbeing.

The boat ramp and pontoon project in Darlington Point is nearing completion. This asset is sure to attract many visitors to this beautiful part of the Murrumbidgee River and enhance the development of the central hub and Caravan Park.

Finally, it is our hope that the Coleambally Sports Precinct will mobilise and power ahead now the border is open. This important redevelopment will have an enormous impact, not only for the local community, but for those visiting for sporting pursuits.

Ruth McRae
Mayor

 


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Message from the Mayor - June 2021

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Message from the Mayor August 2021

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Just when we thought all avenues of natural, or unnatural, misadventure had challenged us, we have an earth tremor/quake! I would calmly like to assure whomever is testing our resilience that “we get it”. “Enough is enough!”


Message from the Mayor - March 2022

As this is my first column since the Local Government elections, I would like to begin by congratulating all elected representatives. A very warm welcome to Crs Troy Mauger, Judy Saxvik and Tim Strachan. Welcome back to our returning Councillors – Crs Robert Black (Deputy Mayor), Faith Bryce, Christine Chirgwin, Robert Curphey and Gavin Gilbert.


Message from the Mayor April 2022

Easter is almost here and it’s refreshing to have a major celebration ahead of us without also facing restrictions!


Message from the Mayor May 2022

Autumn has been spectacular in our area, with welcome timely rain followed by perfect fine days. April was busy. Harvests are all but finished and the ground is being worked up and prepped for the next rotation.


Message from the Mayor June 2022

As we say goodbye to perfect autumn weather, winter is certainly making its presence felt. Thankfully, the countryside looks amazing and the crops have had an ideal opportunity to be out of the ground. Not only are we experiencing a resurgence of COVID across the community, but the flu season is well and truly here.  I urge you all to be mindful of the public health messaging that applies to both COVID and the flu.


Message from the Mayor July 2022

We’re now in the second month of winter, and the cooler, damper and foggier conditions are certainly a reminder of this time of year. Our roads are busy with the great exodus north to warmer places and, coupled with school holiday traffic, it is a timely reminder to be vigilant on our roads and stay safe.


Message from the Mayor August 2022

As we move through the winter months, we once again find ourselves challenged by another COVID 19 variant. Coupled with a particularly virulent strain of the flu and an accompanying gastro bug, we are all are certainly feeling the strain. Public messaging for all these illnesses is consistent – if someone is unwell, they should stay at home - it really is the only way to get on top of the revolving spread.


Message from the Mayor September 2022

Our Council area, like most others, is receiving varying amounts of rain. Some parts are very wet, resulting in delays in planting and moving produce. Others are getting just enough to keep their hopes alive for another bumper season. The wet weather is taking a toll on our road network and I urge you all to be mindful on the roads, especially around school buses. Our roads are our biggest asset and the damage caused when wet weather is upon us is difficult and very costly to remediate.


Message from the Mayor October 2022

It’s amazing to believe that we are already into October! The plentiful rains continue to fall and our agricultural season is so full of promise and, in turn, our region looks set to deliver in spades.


Message from the Mayor November 2022

Our region is certainly experiencing its share of rain, with the Murrumbidgee River, creeks and waterways carrying large amounts of water. Our thoughts are with anyone who has been impacted by the water. At these times, the SES public messaging is so very important, and we encourage all of the community to listen carefully and follow the relevant advice. The safety of our communities is paramount. Never drive, ride or walk through flood water. If it’s flooded, forget it!


Message from the Mayor December 2022

The past month was challenging, to say the least, with the weather continuing to test us unreasonably, with impacts on our whole Council area - from the Murrumbidgee River in the north to the Billabong and Wangamong Creeks in the south, and everywhere in between. The rivers and creeks are full and the vast agricultural landscape is sodden, with parts still immersed in water.