The big news of the week was the announcement by the NSW Government that they will defer the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) to ensure small to medium businesses do not face an unreasonable burden in their contribution to the State's fire and emergency services.
Premier of NSW Ms Gladys Berejiklian advised that in the majority of cases across NSW, fully insured people would be better off under the new system, however it had become clear that some fully insured businesses were facing unintended consequences.
The NSW Government will work with Local Government, fire and emergency services, the insurance industry and other stakeholders to find a better and fairer path forward.
The Fire and Emergency Services Levy will continue to be collected via insurance policies until the NSW Government has completed its review of the policy. The FESL is revenue neutral, raising no more than the amount required to fund the State's fire and emergency services.
The Insurance Monitor will oversee the continuation of the existing system and ensure insurance companies collect only the amounts necessary to meet fire and emergency services funding requirements.
For further information visit www.fesl.nsw.gov.au
The 60th annual Henry Lawson Festival of the Arts will be held this weekend the 8 - 12 June, 2017.
The festival is always the highlight of the year for Grenfell and this years event is shaping up to be one of the best! From the various school events to the opening of the Art and Porcelain Exhibition on Thursday evening, through to the Dramatic Society's Play "Crazy Ladies" sees a huge variety of exhibitions, events and entertainment for all ages. The theme for this years festival is "Happy Birthday", this being the festival's 60th year and also the 150th year of Henry Lawson's birth. The official opening of the Festival will be performed by our special guest for 2017 Tara Moss who is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner.
The regular events for the festival will also be on show including the children's rides, street procession, street entertainers and the car show on Sunday. The Henry Lawson Statue will no doubt again be very popular with locals and the many visitors that will be in Grenfell for the weekend.
Everyone is encouraged to come along and get involved in the weekend and enjoy the numerous events and activities that the festival weekend has to offer. After the recent beautiful rain hopefully the weather will be fine and sunny which will assist in ensuring another huge crowd.
A major component of Council's "Fit for the Future" (FFTF) proposal is the Improvement Action Plan (IAP) which will need to be implemented to ensure we remain FFTF. The updated status of Council's IAP is detailed below:
Improvement Action Plan
1. Implementation approved SRV - to achieve a more robust revenue base.
Commenced 1 July 2015. To be progressively implemented over 4 years as approved.
2. Undertake collaborative Mid Lachlan Alliance 'Fitness Campaign' - Using a project agent the collaborative project will embed the fiscal responsibility principles into the organisation and undertake service reviews. These actions will facilitate increased strategic capacity to positively impact the organisations long term sustainability and ensure our structure is 'fit for purpose'.
Common Thread Consulting Pty Ltd engaged to undertake a Fiscal Responsibility Action Plan (FRAP) and Service Review Action Plan (SRAP).
3. Review of Asset Management Plans and Asset Classes - Revalue infrastructure including assessment of useful lives after conducting condition assessments and then use this information to inform a review of Asset Management Plans (AMPs) and be articulated into the IP&R as part of an asset preservation strategy. The 'Fitness Campaign' will help link service level to depreciation policy and impact AMPs.
To be conducted annually in accordance with OLG guidelines. Note - Roads and Drainage impacts included in 2015-16 financials. Buildings assets class will be completed in the 2016-17 financial year.
4. Make strategic use of debt and comply with SRV approval - Utilise debt funding to facilitate building Grenfell Health (Medical Centre) and Grenfell Pool renewal.
Loan funding approved in relation to the Grenfell Pool upgrade with loan funds drawn down in the 2016/2017 financial year.
5. Achieve cost saving and efficiency gains - Innovation fund project and also ongoing Implementation of FFTF strategies - for example progressively implement findings of procurement road-mapping program to increase the organisations procurement capability.
Innovation fund financial sustainability fitness project to be implemented as per approved innovation fund project and other FFTF strategies implemented on an ongoing basis.
The Improvement Action Plan continues to be implemented with other strategies to increase efficiencies and income as well as reducing expenditure. Review of asset management and financial systems and processes, work force planning, fees and charges and procurement processes are also currently being considered.
The actions in the action plan and other strategies are being incorporated into Councils Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) process for the required funding and resources to be provided to allow Council to "work on the business" to ensure Weddin Shire Council remains 'Fit for the Future' i.e. systems review, organisational review. There is strong Community support for Council to retain its independence and remain a standalone entity into the future. Given this desire for Council to secure its future and remain standalone it is vital for Council to work on improving its systems and capabilities in order to meet its regulatory and reporting requirements as well as implementing the actions and strategies detailed above.
Other strategies included in Councils proposal was the reduction of Councillor numbers and the reduction in the number of Council meetings to assist in reducing expenditure and allowing Councils human resources to be reallocated to achieve Councils strategic objectives.
The proposed reduction in Councillor numbers and Council Meetings will be a one off opportunity for Councils to seek approval under the Local Government Act 1993. Councils will be further advised when these amendments are legislated and will be given sufficient notice to allow the amendments to be implemented if Council so desires.
The Mid Lachlan Alliance Councils of Parkes, Forbes, Lachlan and Weddin recently accepted the tender from Common Thread Consulting Pty Ltd to undertake two projects under the Innovation Fund (see Action Plan No.2 in the IAP) as follows:
A gap analysis will be required to be undertaken to determine what needs to be done at each Council to enable us all to become fiscally responsible.
To facilitate the commencement of the projects a meeting was held in Grenfell on Monday 8 May 2017 with representatives from the successful tenderer Common Thread Consulting Pty Ltd, Project Agents Mr Stephen Sykes and Mr Alan McCormack and staff representatives from the Mid-Lachlan Alliance Councils.
The meeting was an introductory meeting whereby representations from Common Thread Consulting Pty Ltd outlined their approach to the project as well as indicating the process will commence in the near future.
With the Auditor General to conduct financial and performance audits on Councils the appointment of Common Thread Consulting Pty Ltd is very timely particularly as the first performance audit will be in regards to Councils reporting to the community on service delivery.
Residents are advised the Member for Cootamundra, the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP, is encouraging local communities to nominate rural women volunteers for the 2017 NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.
Nominating a rural woman for the 2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll is a great way to celebrate women and to promote the valuable role of volunteering to local communities.
To nominate a Hidden Treasure volunteer, simply complete your nomination online or download a nomination form at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/rural-support/rural-womens-network/hidden-treasures. Nominations close on Friday 28 July 2017.
For more information, please contact the Rural Women's Network Ph. 02 6391 3612 or email:
Going digital can be a fantastic way to grow a small business but it is often something that NSW small business owners can be reluctant to explore. The Office of the NSW Small Business wants to encourage more businesses to go online, and while there are risks to be aware of, there are also some great opportunities and significant economic benefits from engaging with customers online.
The NSW Government has already invested more than $2 million over four years in digital strategy specialists that can provide business advice to small businesses, as part of the Business Connect program. For more information Ph. 1300 134 359.
Residents are advised that applications for the NSW Family Energy rebate are now open. NSW Families with dependent children who may be eligible are encouraged to apply for the 2016-2017 Family Energy Rebate of up to $150. The Family Energy Rebate is one of a number of NSW Government energy assistance programs to help eligible households reduce the impact of energy costs. For more information visit www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/info.familyenergyrebate or to fill out an application form online go to www.applications.fer.trade.nsw.gov.au. Applications close 15 June 2017.
The Art Gallery's next exhibition is The Henry Lawson Festival of Arts exhibition which will be on display from the 8th - 18th June, 2017.
The Gallery's opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm & Sunday 10am - 2pm.
It is planned to reactivate the 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.
Dates to Note
Friday 16 June 2017 - Recycling Collection (Grenfell East)
Monday 19 June 2017 - Recycling Collection (Grenfell West)
Thursday 8 June - Monday 12 June 2017 - 60th Henry Lawson Festival of the Arts
WEDDIN SHIRE COUNCIL
Applications are currently being invited for the position of Librarian on a Permanent/Fulltime basis.
The primary purpose of the position is to manage the efficient circulation of library stock, the quality of the library collection, provide effective reader and reference service assistance and promote the service to potential users.
Grenfell Library is a stand-alone library and this position provides a great opportunity for a branch library manager or departmental manager in a larger library to take the next step in their professional development.
Appointment to the position will be in accordance with the NSW Local Government (State) Award and Council's salary structure.
An information package can be obtained by contacting Katherine or Kristie during business hours on Ph 63431212, email or Council's website www.weddin.nsw.gov.au
Applications for the position should address all Essential Skills and Knowledge criteria listed in the position description and should be forwarded to the undersigned at the address below, or emailed to
Applications close at 4.00pm Friday, 9 June 2017.
WEDDIN SHIRE COUNCIL
TEMPORARY STREET CLOSURES - HENRY LAWSON FESTIVAL
Notice is hereby given of street closures between:
Note: the Mid Western Highway will be closed between Weddin Street and Brundah Street (detour will be available).
Dedicated car parking for the Festival on Saturday 10 June 2017 will be available in Camp Street from Weddin Street to Wood Street. Access will be via Weddin Street and Forbes Street. Camp Street will be closed at Wood Street.
The existing taxi rank in Main Street will be temporarily relocated into Forbes Street (east side) just south of Main Street on Saturday 10 June 2017.
Disabled car parking will be available in Forbes Street between Camp Street and Main Street.
This notice is authorised under the provisions of Section 22 of the Roads Act 1993.
WEDDIN SHIRE COUNCIL
STREET SWEEPING GRENFELL
Residents are advised that Weddin Shire Council will be sweeping Grenfell Streets on Monday 5th June, until and Thursday 8th June. Council apologises for any inconvenience.
WEDDIN SHIRE COUNCIL
COLLECTION OF RECYCLING AND COMMERCIAL GARBAGE WASTE
JUNE LONG WEEKEND
Grenfell residents and business houses are advised of the following arrangements for the collection of garbage and trade waste over the long weekend period.
Thursday 8 June 2017 - Normal Garbage Collection (Grenfell East)
Monday 12 June 2017 - No garbage collection (Public Holiday)
Tuesday 13 June 2017 - Commercial garbage collection
- Normal garbage collection (Grenfell West)
WEDDIN SHIRE COUNCIL
Council proposes to create centre parking in Short Street, including two (2) disabled spaces, and parallel parking as per the following plan, for future parking for the Medical Centre.
Comments will be received up to 10am on 16 June, 2017 in relation to the proposal at the address below.
PO Box 125
GRENFELL NSW 2810