Message from the Mayor September 2020
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.
Last week, we received a delegation from Transgrid giving us a status briefing on the EnergyConnect project.
This project will see a new transmission line constructed between Robertstown in South Australia through to Wagga Wagga, with a connection to Red Cliffs, Victoria. A path of about 85 km will run through our Local Government Area.
At the meeting, the Transgrid representatives spoke clearly on the ongoing communication and engagement process. They also addressed the preferred route and the conversations and impediments that informed this.
They also raised the very real opportunities around jobs and training, with the project creating around 1,000 jobs. There will also be opportunities for contractors and local businesses.
Discussion also centred around the resources invested ensuring care and consideration for the riparian corridor, the significant native species, endangered habitats and country in general.
Council was thrilled this week with the announcement of a $460,000 grant from NSW Government’s Shared Spaces funding program.
Titled the ‘Wiradjuri Walk’, the intention is to identify and bring to life the significant cultural heritage in Darlington Point. This will be achieved using public art, story boards and enhancing pedestrian traffic linking the north and south of Darlington Point, as well as incorporating the river.
Council has recently undertaken a Waste Audit and is now in the process of addressing and planning for a compliant waste delivery service into the future. We are looking to develop an innovative approach to recycling, as well as addressing our landfills and what is deposited there, and the collection and appropriate disposal of our organic waste. It will also include a review of our collectable bin service.
On the 13th and 14th of August, Council was engaged in a two day Ministerial Forum that was facilitated by RAMJO. At the forum we had the opportunity to engage with an extensive range of key ministerial figures, including Melinda Pavey, Minister for Water, Property and Housing; Shelley Hancock, Minister for Local Government; John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW; Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Roads; James McTavish, NSW Cross Border Commissioner; Paul Toole, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads; Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health and Regional Communications and Health; Fiona Simpson, National Farmers Federation and Hilton Taylor, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office. This was a really valuable session that demonstrates clearly the value of a highly engaged and functioning joint organisation.
In closing, I would like to mention the SDLAM Stakeholder Advisory Group, which I am a member of. We are working hard, with albeit small steps, to ensure all stakeholders are engaged. The project team are collaboratively working towards collecting and collating the current and relevant data that will inform the decision making process into sustainable diversion limit initiatives.
Congratulations to all of the 2020 Australia Day Citizenship and Community Awards.
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.
Spring is with us, and as we slowly emerge from our very unnatural year, our countryside certainly speaks to renewal, optimism and opportunity.