The big news of the week was the advice from the Minister for Local Government the Hon Paul Toole MP that Councils ‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF) proposal was assessed against the financial sustainability criteria and associated bench marks and we were found to be ‘fit’ which is great news.
As residents are aware Councils ‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF) proposal was resubmitted to the Office of Local Government by the due date of Friday, 29 July 2016. Council has implemented a number of strategies to ensure we would be financially sustainable such as the implementation of a Special Rate Variation (SRV), revaluation and review of our road assets and in particular their useful lives which effectively resulted in a reduction in our depreciation expense as well as implementing other strategies to increase income and reduce expenditure. Council was also instrumental in the Mid Lachlan Alliance receiving $400k under the Innovation Fund to enable us to become fiscally responsible and undertake two service reviews.
The result is a tremendous achievement and is a credit to Council, staff and in particular Mr Stephen Sykes who has provided advice, expertise and direction to Council during this very challenging and difficult time.
While we have avoided amalgamation and are now deemed ‘Fit for the Future’ we are under no illusions that we are immune from the reform process as the process is ongoing. We will have to embrace change to remain financially sustainable in the future and remain as an independent Council.
In other good news the Hon Duncan Gay MLC together with the Member for Cootamundra the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP have advised flood ravaged communities across the State will be provided further funding relief of $11.5 million from the NSW Government to Councils to fix local roads devastated by floodwater.
This is in addition to the $13 million in funding relief announced on 6 October 2016 with Council to receive $1 million. The funding which will be administered by Roads and Maritime Services on behalf of Transport for NSW will certainly assist in restoring our roads system to it previous condition.
The NSW government seeks to work with Councils to restore these important community connections as quickly as possible which is absolutely tremendous.
Council has also received advice from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) that they are proposing to replace the timber bridge at Lignum Creek, 5km east of Marsden on the Mid Western Highway with a new concrete plank structure.
Council has been requested to carry out repair works to the bypass track fencing and hardstand pad repairs under RMS work orders in March 2017.
The bridge is planned to be constructed in the second half of 2017 which is also great news.
Council recently received a letter from Mr George Cochrane thanking Council staff for the work completed on Peaks Creek Road.
Particular thanks were given to the Engineering and outdoor staff who carried out the work and Mr Cochrane advised the road surface has not been in such good condition in the twenty years he has lived there.
Council staff are continuing to do an excellent job in very difficult circumstances within the confines of Councils budget and it is always pleasing to hear positive feedback from ratepayers.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service have advised that of the 1st of December visitors to the National Parks and Nature Reserves within the Central West Area will not be able to light fires with these reserves including Weddin Mountains National Park.
A park fire ban is in place in these parks and remains in effect unless otherwise extended or removed. During park fire ban periods, all campfire and solid fuel (wood, heat beads, charcoal, briquettes, hexamite) barbecues and stoves are prohibited. Gas and electric barbecues and cookers are permitted as long as:
• They're under direct control of an adult;
• The ground within 2m of the barbecue is cleared of all flammable materials; and
• There's an adequate supply of water (minimum of a bucket).
In addition a number of trails remain closed to vehicles as a result of the wet weather over Winter / Spring resulting in boggy road conditions. These closed trails are monitored and will be reopened once they are trafficable again. For further information visit:
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Weddin-Mountains-National-Park/Local-alerts (access for 2WD may be restricted into Ben Halls Camping Area).
All national park alerts are posted online: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/Alerts-list.
If you require any further information please contact either the Bathurst NPWS office Ph 6332 7640 or Forbes Ph 6851 4429.
The Office of Sport have recently advised Council that possible funding is being made available to assist junior athletes in NSW.
Colonial First State Super Sports Boost is a grassroots sponsorship initiative from Colonial First State that aims to support junior elite Australian athletes aged 10-18 as they strive to fulfil their sporting potential. Over the last four years Colonial First State has given away over $135k in Sports Boosts. The Colonial First State Sports Boost initiative showcases the talents of elite Australian junior athletes and teams throughout the year, and culminates in a final round of public voting, around June-July, to determine the overall $20,000 Sports Boost winner.
Previously, Sports Boost was open to selected athletes via their National Sporting Organisations. This year, Sports Boost has evolved and it’s now open to all junior elite athletes and teams (aged 10-18 years).
Participation in this promotion is open to Australian residents between the ages of 10-18.
For more information visit: http://www3.colonialfirststate.com.au/personal/campaigns/sports-boost.html
A reminder that the Grenfell Christmas Display Competition is currently running in which Grenfell residents can decorate their homes to win great prizes.
Residents can nominate their address by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph 6343 2855 before close of business tomorrow, Thursday 15 December, 2016. Winners will be announced this Friday 16 December, 2016 at the Combined Service’s Christmas Club Carnival in Vaughn Park. The competition will be judged by an independent out of town judge.
Prizes will be Grenfell Go Cards valued at $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third with prizes proudly donated by Weddin Shire Council.
The Art Gallery’s current exhibition is the Grenfell Community Arts & Craft Group which will be on display until 8 January 2017.
The Art Gallery Committee is very proud to showcase the recent works of our highly regarded local arts group. For many years they have been meeting at their Rose Street Rooms and enjoying friendship and art tuition with this collection showcasing their more recent works. These include still life, landscapes of local scenes in pastels, watercolours, acrylics and oils. Depending on the work in progress, there may also be some fine sketches and possibly charcoal works.
The Gallery’s opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm & Sunday 10am to 2pm.
The next film to be screened at the Grenfell Cinema will be “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 2.00 pm today, Wednesday 14 December 2016. Please see the adjacent advertisement for further details.
As this is the last column for 2016 I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Councillors and staff to wish all our residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
15 December 2016 – Council Meeting
16 December 2016 – Recycling Collection (Grenfell East)
19 December 2016 – Recycling Collection (Grenfell West)
16/17 - Grenfell Tennis Centre
Residents are hereby advised that the next film at the Grenfell Cinema will be shown as below:
“Florence Foster Jenkins” – 2.00 pm on Wednesday 14 December 2016
Tickets are available from Louisa’s Locker with prices detailed below:-
$20 Family $8 Single
$5 Pensioners $5 Children (12 yrs.)
As there are limited tickets available residents are encouraged to book early.