Member for Cootamundra the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP has called on local councils, businesses and community groups to help fulfil their infrastructure wish lists following the launch of a landmark new grants scheme.
The “once-in-a-generation” Stronger Country Communities Fund will support projects valued between $100,000 and $1 million, or even higher with financial co-contribution. Applications are now open for the first stage of the fund with Weddin Shire included in this round.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund marks an historic opportunity for locals to share in millions of dollars and make local towns and villages more vibrant places to live and work. The Stronger Country Communities Fund will build new parks, playgrounds and pathways and refurbish local schools, health facilities, community centres, libraries and local parks for rural and regional communities. Advice has been received that $768k is available in grant funding for the Weddin Shire.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund with the following further programmes to open as detailed below:
There was a community forum hosted by the Deputy Premier the Hon John Barilaro in conjunction with the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP in Cootamundra last night with the Mayor and I attended representing Council.
Councils will be required to submit the grant funding application and community groups are currently being encouraged to identify proposals that meet local aspirations and ensure Councils are aware of their interest in accessing this funding. Projects submitted to date from Councillors and Senior Staff are detailed below:
Community groups have been requested to submit their projects by Thursday 20 July, 2017 (including a description and cost of their projects) whereby they will also be assessed against the guidelines/criteria to assess their eligibility prior to being prioritised by Council. Once Council determines the priority of the projects to the value of $768k the grant funding application will be submitted to the State Government for determination.
To assist Council in its determination of priorities it is proposed to conduct a workshop with Mr Stephen Sykes who has been engaged to submit the grant funding application on Councils behalf at 4.00pm Thursday 20 July 2017 prior to the Council meeting.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is a once-in-a-generation investment in the facilities and services that makes our towns and regional cities the best places in NSW to live and work.
Superfast broadband has now arrived in Grenfell as the National Broadband Network (NBN) makes fixed line services available to more than 1100 homes and businesses.
This is great news for residents and small business operators in Grenfell, who can now take full advantage of the opportunities available in Australia’s new high-speed broadband era and start to place orders for NBN services with retail service providers. The Coalition Government’s NBN will boost productivity and provide a platform for innovation to ensure the economic and social benefits of the internet are available to everyone regardless of whether they live in the city or the bush.
The development of digital technologies has reduced business costs, changed how our children learn and study and made sure we can connect and engage socially in more ways than we ever imagined.
Grenfell will be connected to the NBN using fibre to the node (FTTN) technology. FTTN offers average wholesale broadband speeds of around 70 megabits per second (Mbps), with many premises able to access speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The NBN will ensure that at least 90 per cent of the fixed-line footprint will have access to wholesale download speeds of 50 Mbps.
It is fantastic Grenfell now has access to the NBN and even more significant is that the national build of the network has reached the halfway point. As at today, more than 5 million homes and businesses across Australia can connect to the NBN, and there are more than 2.2 million active users.
It typically takes a couple of weeks to connect to the NBN after placing an order and new in-home equipment will be required that is compatible with the faster NBN service.
More information on how to connect to the NBN is available at www.nbnco.com.au or by calling Ph 1800 687 626.
In August 2014 the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014 was passed. This Act required Councils to develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan to help remove barriers and enable people with a disability to participate fully in their communities. This covers not only access but also include services and employment.
Council at its June 2017 Council Meeting adopted its Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) and the plan is now available on Councils website: http://www.weddin.nsw.gov.au/council/information-policies-and-reports/integrated-planning
Council continues to progress the investigation stage of the development of the Grenfell Sewer Treatment Plant Renewal with a Multiple Criterion Assessment (MCA) meeting held on 7th June 2017.
In attendance were two representatives from DPI – Water, one from EPA, four from Mott McDonald, Councils Project manager and Council’s Director Environmental Services. The meeting and workshop reviewed the options for the facility in relation to actual process in regards to treatment and reuse as well as confirming regulatory requirements.
The final report will be provided shortly. The next phase of the process will be the production of the Concept design and Review of Environmental Factors.
Local farmers, first home buyers and small business owners will be among the big winners from a massive $1.6 billion tax slash in the recently announced state Budget.
Stamp duty for first home buyers, lenders’ mortgage insurance duties and duties on crop and livestock insurance are included in the historic cuts. These tax reductions are expected to save farmers and small businesses in the Cootamundra electorate millions of dollars collectively. Small business is the lifeblood of the local economy and these tax cuts will ease the pressures business-owners feel. From January 1 next year, duties on crop and livestock insurance will be abolished, saving the state’s farmers $12 million over the next four years.
To help people looking to buy their first home, the housing affordability package includes stamp duty exemptions for houses up to $650,000 and discounts for purchases up to $800,000 for both existing and new homes.
The NSW Government is also abolishing the duty charged on lenders’ mortgage insurance, which is often required by banks to lend to first homebuyers with limited deposits. From 1 January, the government will abolish insurance duties for small businesses on commercial vehicle insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and product and public liability insurance.
The changes will apply to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million and will certainly assist farmers, first home buyers and small business owners in the Weddin Shire.
It was also announced in the State Budget that parents of kids who play sport will receive a cash benefit in an effort to encourage participation in sport to address the region’s burgeoning childhood obesity epidemic.
As part of the recently released Budget, the NSW Government unveiled plans for an annual $100 Active Kids Rebate, paid to parents for each school-aged child engaged in sport or swimming lessons which is great news.
Any incentive to get locals active from a young age is an “exercise in common sense”.
Sport is a staple of regional towns, providing important health and recreational functions and helping bring communities together.
This $100 annual rebate will help bridge that gap and make our communities healthier and more connected by encouraging our kids to get involved in sport at an early age which can only have positive effects on their health, well into the future.
For more information on the Active Kids Rebate, visit https://sport.nsw.gov.au/sectordevelopment/activekids
Residents are advised the Weddin Local Heritage assistance grants for 2017/2018 are now open. The aim of the fund is to provide financial assistance to owners of historic properties or within conservation areas to undertake conservation works on their properties. The overall aim being, to encourage conservation of the heritage values of the area and to stimulate restoration.
The program applies to rural, village and town places, including private, public and commercial properties. Weddin Shire's heritage values include occupied buildings, outbuildings, industrial structures, ruins, cultural landscapes and significant trees, mining sites, fences, streetscapes and views.
Successful applicants will be reimbursed up to 50% of the cost of conservation. This amount is payable only on completion of the works.
For more information, to download an application form or to download the guidelines visit Council’s website: http://www.weddin.nsw.gov.au/planning-and-building/heritage/local-heritage-assistance-grants
The Grenfell Kart Club held the Bob Hinde Memorial race meeting on the 15-16 July 2017 at the Bogolong Kart Track and it was an outstanding success. The event is held annually in honour of the late Bob Hinde and is one of a number of events to be held at the Bogolong track this year. Congratulations to Craig Sargent, Cathy Logan and the Grenfell Kart Club Committee and volunteers who all did a fantastic job in making the 2017 Bob Hinde Memorial race meeting a great success.
The Art Gallery’s current exhibition is “Reflections” which will be on display until the 30 July, 2017. Reflections is an exhibition showcasing Aboriginal artists from Central Western New South Wales. Comprising of installations, paintings, weaving and sculpture the artists have created works which reflect on the past and present and contemplate what the future holds from their perspectives as regional Aboriginal artists. The Gallery’s opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm & Sunday 10am - 2pm.
The movies held during the school holidays were very well attended. Planning is currently underway to screen movies in the near future and further details will be available in due course. If you have a particular request for a movie please let Lisa at Council’s administration office know. Ph 6343 1212.
Thursday 20 July 2017 – Ordinary Council Meeting
Friday 28 July 2017 – Recycling Collection (Grenfell East)
Monday 31 July 2017 – Recycling Collection (Grenfell West)
Fri 21/Sat 22 July 2017- Grenfell Men’s Shed