Message from the Mayor October 2022It’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.
Our nation was saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A leader of the Commonwealth for 70 years, Her Majesty lead with a quiet but considered resolve, dignity and, above all else, integrity. This loss will be felt deeply and Her Majesty’s legacy will be enduring.
Socially, we have had a busy time, with many of our sporting teams featuring in finals. Congratulations to all teams that made the finals. For a small, but important, part of the world, we punch well above our weight and we recognise the important part teams and their clubs play in our communities.
Last week, we had the pleasure of bringing the gymnastics Spring Holiday Break program to young people in our area. By all reports, everyone had a terrific time, with some people going to both clinics! A big thank you to Flipstars Deni and to the Regional Youth Spring Holiday Break Program, with the funding allowing us to host this free community event.
The Jerilderie Gold Cup, set down for 24 September was unfortunately called off, and replaced with a day of community entertainment. A big thank you and congratulations to the hardworking committee and to everyone who attended.
Councillors Rob Black and Christine Chirgwin attended the RFS - MIA District Medal Presentations in Griffith on behalf of Council on 23 September 2022. Many of our volunteers were recognised. We thank you all and recognise the value of your contribution.
On the health front, it’s extremely pleasing that public patients accessing radiotherapy services from Griffith Base Hospital will face nil out-of-pocket expenses. This is a huge win for our area, allowing access and equity to our vulnerable who are walking this difficult journey.
Our community was represented at the recent Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC), forum in Finley. Lots of discussion was focused on developing action plans on how LHACs can play a stronger part in advocating for our communities.
Congratulations to the Jerilderie Early Learning Centre who has received Service Approval, meaning they can move into the building for the start of Term 4. This is a tremendous achievement and a culmination of many hours of work. They're Open House is on this Saturday and I encourage yout to go along and view this amazing facility.
People looking at undertaking tertiary study next year may like to apply for the annual Monash Education Bursary, valued at $2,000. Entries close on Friday 28 October 2022. The Coleambally-Darlington Point Country Education Foundation also has a range of scholarships on offer.
Thank you to all businesses who have responded to our Business Survey. Information gathered in the survey will be invaluable in helping us to understand business sentiment, trends, gaps in training and other issues, which will in turn inform our Investment Attraction Strategy. The survey is open until Friday 14 October and I encourage all local businesses to complete it.
Coming up over the next few weeks, we have our annual Bulky Waste and Green Waste Collections. The dates are:
Coleambally: Monday 10 October 2022
Jerilderie: Monday 17 October 2022
Darlington Point: Monday 24 October 2022
- Jerilderie Early Learning Centre Open House, 9 October 2022.
- Service NSW Visits: Jerilderie (11 October) and Coleambally (12 October).
- Jerilderie Pop up Nursery and Community Markets, 22 October 2022.
- Kids Go Fishing Day in Jerilderie, 23 October 2022.
- Jerilderie Uniting Church Flower Show, 28 October 2022.
- Taste Coleambally Food & Farm Festival, 28-30 October 2022.
- 2023 Portsea Camp, 16-20 January 2023 - nominations now open.
Congratulations to all of the 2020 Australia Day Citizenship and Community Awards.
Read all the messages from our Mayor here.
Winter is upon us and the year is passing way too quickly! Much anticipated follow up rainfall is trickling in, and we live in hope that it does in fact arrive.
Water and better management of the Murray Darling Basin has been on the agenda this week with the release of a key position paper on water. The paper recommends major changes to the way water is managed.
I would like to begin by thanking everyone who has provided feedback on the Town Revitalisation Project. Throughout the last two weeks we have received a tremendous amount of input and ideas about ways to revitalise our townships.
Another week at the coal face. While acknowledging the very real challenge and urgency of trying to contain this insidious virus, we must continue to do all in our power to support those trying to conduct business, those delivering our aged care and health services and those educating and caring for our children. Our community’s sustainability depends on it.
It’s Local Government Week 2020, and at Murrumbidgee Council we are using the event to highlight the broad range of services we offer to our community, including some surprising and little-known services.
We have certainly had an icy blast in the last week, which thankfully brought with it some good follow up rains. It is exciting to see the lights up and working at Jerilderie’s Monash Park. This project was funded by Council through a $158,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. The junior teams and key personnel are using the lights, which is great.
We’re already in September and are certainly getting on with things. Needless to say, we’re still very much in a state of uncertainty. The everyday need to conduct business is challenging and frustrating. Our geographical location quite clearly demonstrates strong pathways and linkages both to the east and south. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, a considered rationale will enable our region to move again. At Council, we, like other businesses, are continuing to deliver our essential services. We’re also continuing to advocate for movement with every other aspect.
Spring is with us, and as we slowly emerge from our very unnatural year, our countryside certainly speaks to renewal, optimism and opportunity.
Spring has certainly brought some challenging conditions. We wait, with optimism, at what promises to be a great harvest – let’s hope the weather Gods play nicely and allow the area to fulfil its potential!
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.
On behalf of Murrumbidgee Council, we offer our best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year to all in our Council and greater region. It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of 2020. It’s been a roller coaster and the ride is one we don’t wish to revisit any time soon.
The start of 2021 has been busy and we are already into autumn! Our region has received significant rain, and the country and our waterways have been replenished. A bountiful harvest was a very welcome reward in a year that had been seriously challenging. Our small businesses continue to press on with resilience and optimism, and it is my hope that we are supporting them as best we can and that the new normal will provide us with a sustainable way forward.
The seasons are progressing quickly and 2021 is disappearing at a rate of knots. After a very warm Easter break - perfect for camping and family gatherings - we have moved onto shorter days and cooler evenings and mornings.
This month we have been blessed with some very welcome and timely rain - almost too good to be true. We are, however, mindful of the havoc that was caused by the torrential rains, particularly for our coastal counterparts. It is our hope that the damage and chaos can be managed as best it can.
May has been hectic, to say the least, with a lot of time spent on the road engaging with our representative bodies. This has included appearing before the Parliamentary Inquiry into Health Outcomes and Access to Health and Hospital Services in Rural, Regional and Remote New South Wales. In our brief appearance, and the follow up that we have witnessed, it is glaringly apparent that the way our health care is delivered, by whom it is delivered and our equity in this space, all require serious remodelling.
As I sit and ponder the state of the nation, our state and Murrumbidgee Council, it is difficult to fathom the challenges that keep presenting themselves. The latest COVID-19 outbreaks most certainly have created havoc with business, education, Local Government and, most significantly, our health related service delivery.
We certainly live in an unpredictable environment at the moment. The Public Health message tells us how highly transmissible the Delta strain of COVID-19 is. We have seen how it impacts regional areas, with Shepparton and Temora very close examples. We should all be aware of the considerable risk for our Council footprint given our geographical location and our exposure to three very busy major traffic corridors - the Kidman Way and the Sturt and Newell Highways. The message is clear - Stay home and stay safe!
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!”
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.
Easter is almost here and it’s refreshing to have a major celebration ahead of us without also facing restrictions!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.