Message from the Mayor - June 2020

Welcome to my Mayoral Message for June.

We are now over two months into the formal timeframe of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s very pleasing to see the effect the easing of restrictions is having on our community.

A sense of normality, evidenced by the return for our school children to their school lives, the gradual re-emergence of our cafes, eateries, hotels and many small businesses, albeit with very tight operational capacities, gives us all hope and encouragement.

At Council, we are delighted to have reopened our Council offices from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm on weekdays. In accordance with the COVID-19 recommendations, some staff are still working from home and will only be available for pre-arranged meetings.

Our Library at Jerilderie is also open throughout the week, except on Tuesdays. The opening hours are 10.00 am – 4.30 pm. If anyone is unable to get to the library, Rhonda and Catie will happily deliver the books to your home.

In easing these restrictions, we are always mindful of minimising the risk to our Council staff and community as a whole. We have implemented physical distancing protocols and ask you to be patient and considerate when using our facilities.

With the easing of restrictions, it is imperative that we continue to embed in our psyche vigilance testing if you have any symptoms. You can organise to have a test by calling COVID hotline on 1800 831 099, visiting the mobile testing van or visiting a GP clinic that can perform the testing (see our website for more details).

One great positive at the moment is that there is much activity in our agricultural sector with sowing in full swing. Predicted rains will hopefully eventuate and a productive season will follow.

It’s also reassuring to see that our major projects continue to progress. We have a number of projects right across our Council footprint, including the upgrade to amenities and display block at Darlington Point Lions Park, Jerilderie Pool the hall at Yamma and the sports precinct at Coleambally. We will soon receive advice on the successful projects in the Drought Communities Programme, which will see more projects undertaken in our community.

Our community groups are also doing great things. It is a pleasure to announce this year’s recipients of the Community Grants program are: Coleambally/Darlington Point Junior Rugby League – training and safety equipment $1,941; Coleambally Pre School Association - outdoor kitchen $900; Cypress View Lodge, Coleambally – internet server $2,000; Country Education Foundation of Coleambally-Darlington Point – Education grants $1,859; Darlington Point Landcare - replanting of trees $2,000; Darlington Point Public School P&C Association – Breakfast Club $2,000; Jerilderie APEX Club - Racecourse solar lighting $2,000; Jerilderie Race Club - Racecourse solar lighting $2,000; Jerilderie Pre-School Kindergarten - Smart board $2,000; Riverina Classic Catch & Release Fishing Competition – Fingerlings $2,000; and St Joseph’s Primary School Jerilderie Social & Fundraising Committee – Compost area/oiling cubbies $1,300.

I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and I thank our volunteers who play such an important part in making our area a wonderful place to live.

Council is currently in the process of formulating the operational budget for 2020-2024. This is difficult process for Council as we have many competing priorities and relatively limited funds. The draft budget will go on public exhibition this month and I urge you to give us your thoughts on this important document.

I sincerely hope that my July Mayoral Message will bring more good news about the easing of restrictions - our good health and compliance with physical distancing and hygiene practices will dictate the speed at which this happens.

Kind regards

Ruth McRae