In view of the current severe drought currently afflicting the region, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has developed a Drought Relief Strategy designed to assist its community through the crisis and the recovery period that will follow. This Strategy has been developed following consultation with local community leaders. It provides a framework for Council’s response to the current drought.
“Council recognises that this drought is inarguably the largest and most significant drought that the Liverpool Plains Region has ever seen. Ramifications across the entire community are likely to be felt for years to come. In periods of drought, the impacts are broad reaching and infiltrate each and every aspect of our community and the local environment,” said LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk.
“This Strategy recognises that community and government agency responses during extreme drought conditions are broad ranging and varied. Council is just one stakeholder in the overall response and recovery process. A collaborative and coordinated response is considered imperative to ensure that our community is able to prevail during these unprecedented conditions.
“Council’s primary role in the overall drought response and recovery process is to act as an information conduit to lead response Agencies including the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Department of Premier and Cabinet, to provide support to the local community within Council’s identified areas of responsibility under the Local Government Act 1993 and to advocate on behalf of the Liverpool Plains community to ensure that the community has
the best access possible to drought support services including those provided by the State
and Federal Government,” he said.
“Under the strategy, LPSC will lobby for the streamlining of drought relief grants processes and a reduction in red tape, advocate for the provision of additional local ‘on the ground’ support to
the local community such as Rural Financial Counsellors and Mental Health Professionals, prepare a local stakeholder and Local Issues/Needs Register for distribution to Government Agencies and support services as required and seek feedback from the local community to inform this register.
“Council will also provide a centrally-located office premises free of charge for use by the community and service organisations, promote the availability of support services offered by the NSW Drought Hub and advocate for installation of a local Atmospheric Weather Station to improve access to local meteorological data.
“We’ll also be lobbying for the broadening of access to drought relief subsidies and further relaxation of the assets test and assistance for all small businesses and industries within the rural sector,” he continued.
“LPSC is seeking quotations for the installation of a compliant water tank with a minimum capacity of 12,000 litres for use on Council’s fleet and liaising with Blacktown City Council regarding support for this project under Council’s Sister Cities Program. This will allow us to coordinate the distribution of potable drinking water to Shire landholders, identified as being in need, on a free delivery and kilolitre charge basis. Additionally, we’ll investigate additional bore licensing and installation for strategic purposes and to improve future drought resilience.
“Further steps will include submitting grant applications for road infrastructure upgrades, under the current NSW Government Drought Assistance Package, for our priority road networks, continue to advocate for the extension of Road Train and B Triple access to the Liverpool Plains to improve freight linkages and fodder distribution and monitor, assess and manage local biosecurity risks, including weeds, that may occur through feed and livestock transport movements,” he said.
“Council is synchronising assistance with local organisations. We have met with Quirindi CWA Secretary, Colleen Wills, whose organisation is coordinating much of the local aid package. Colleen highlighted the importance of the local community buying local and supporting local businesses that are also doing it tough. She said that help is available, that people must be prepared to be in it for the long haul and not to burn out especially keeping in mind that Christmas will be here before we know it and that will add further stress,” he continued.
“Accept graciously, be patient and contact CWA (6746 1326) or local service organisations, including the Food Pantry and Tamworth Family Support Services (02) 6763 2333 or Freecall 1800 073 388 at any time,” Mrs Wills said.
“Council has taken onboard her comments that there is too much bureaucracy and red tape in current assistance arrangements with some people that have off farm income not eligible for assistance at all which is creating hardship and that there needs to be more assistance with cutting through the red tape. Our strategy includes action to raise this issue with the State and Federal Governments,” Mr Van Katwyk said.
“Council will continue to promote diversity in the local economy to improve overall community resilience to extreme climatic events in line with the recommendations of our Economic Development Strategy and we encourage an equitable and strategic approach to drought relief activities.
During the drought period, Council is committed to maintaining open and transparent lines of communication with the community and key stakeholders including Government Agencies, the
Namoi Joint Organisation (JO) and non-government agencies,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Winners of the 2018 Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Plains Postcards Photo Comp are:
- Overall Winner – Kelly Leonard from Windy Station
- Senior Section Winner – Marg Muirson from Quirindi
- Junior Section – Tobi McGrath from Quirindi
LPSC’s Community Events Officer Andrew Ballard holding the photo taken by Marg Muirson that won Best Senior section (Marg was absent on the day), Overall Winner Kelly Leonard and Best Junior winner Tobi McGrath
Good progress is being made on the $481,400 upgrade to Werris Creek Swimming Pool and according to Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Director Engineering Services, Warren Faulkner things are on track for completion ahead of the pool’s 50th anniversary celebrations which will be held in October.
Tenders for the upgrade of the filtration system at Werris Creek Memorial Pool closed in May and was awarded on June 1. Work commenced on site on 19 June 19,” Mr Faulkner said
“The project involves the replacement of existing gravity filters with pressure filters, new pipework, pumps and motors, and the separation of the Kiddies Pool water treatment from the main pool in compliance with best practice for pool water quality. The older filter units have been demolished, all filter cells and redundant pipework removed and the slab for the kid’s pool’s separate filtration unit has been completed. The new plant room floor has been concreted.
“The new pumps are more powerful than the old ones and will provide an improved water turnover time cycle,” he said.
“Additionally, the upgrade also includes the installation of three water play features in the Kiddies Pool. Installation of the new pipework for the features is complete with the excavation and installation of the balance tank completed,” he continued.
Mr Faulkner said that at this stage, work has been carried out during normal business hours. He said that in the event that unusual hours are required for some aspects of the work, neighbouring residents will be consulted as part of the requirements of the project contract.
“Funding for the project is from the NSW Stronger Country Communities Fund and LPSC funds,” he said.
“I know that the Werris Creek community is looking forward to the completion of this upgrade project and excited about the 50th anniversary celebrations. It has been announced that swimming legend Dawn Fraser AC. MBE. will be attending the event which is sure to be a big one on the Werris Creek calendar,” Mr Faulkner concluded.
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has expressed thanks to members of the community who attended Local Government Week events around the Shire. He said it was a great opportunity for residents to learn more about Council’s operations and importantly it provided Councillor’s with additional opportunities to listen to people’s suggestions and ideas and to discuss any concerns at the grass-roots.
“It re-enforced my beliefs in the importance of consultation, that our communities can always achieve more through collaboration and seeking additional funding opportunities, the vital role volunteers play providing the diversity and quality of the lifestyle we enjoy, and the ability of power of community to achieve better outcomes,” he said.
Councillor Hope said he was heartened by the number of people who’d spoken to him and his fellow Councillors about their concerns at continued cuts to State government funding for public libraries.
“This is an extremely important issue for rural communities. Providing high quality library services is a job LPSC take very seriously. We proudly support the state wide, Renew Our Libraries campaign which was launched last week,” he said.
“Every year NSW Councils contribute over $314 million to support over 360 libraries. The NSW Government provide just $23.5 million in recurrent funding. At around 7.8% of total funding, the NSW contribution to libraries is the lowest in Australia, far behind Victoria (18%) and Queensland (12%).
“This is simply not good enough. Our public libraries are the heart of our communities and valued places where people meet, access knowledge and share ideas. I encourage concerned residents to write to their local member, Michael Johnsen Member for Upper Hunter, 20 Bridge Street Muswellbrook NSW 2333 or Kevin Anderson Member for Tamworth PO Box 1740 Tamworth NSW 2340 or alternatively email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com respectively and leave them in no doubt our community wants to see more funding for public libraries,” he urged.
“While Local Government Week is now over, Council operations continue for the other 358 days of the year. Council welcomes the community’s ideas, offers many opportunities through the consultative process for submissions on important issues and does its forward planning based on community aspirations.
“If you’ve got something to say, we want to hear it. Your elected representatives, the Councillors, can be contacted on any issue you wish to discuss. Their contact details are available on Council’s website or you can call the Customer Service Desk on 6746 1755 for details,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has been successful in obtaining grant funding from the State Government for twelve new HP computers for the Quirindi and Werris Creek libraries.
“These twelve computers, all with the latest Windows 10 operating system, replace ageing eight year old Windows 7 machines at both libraries. Use of computers is free at our libraries,” said Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Both libraries are also on the short list for NBN fibre internet connections, which will bring a much improved internet experience for the general public,” he said.
“Our libraries are a central part of the communities cultural and intellectual heart and soul and are constantly evolving. It is obvious to me, after speaking with many people during Local Government Week, the consensus of community opinion remains firmly that libraries are a valued and vital resource and an important centre for community members to interact. LPSC is mindful of the importance of keeping our libraries relevant, innovative and forward thinking to meet the needs of this fast changing world,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is supporting Garage Sale Trail again in 2018 with the event scheduled for Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October 2018. Participants can choose to host their sale on one of these days or do both. Nationally, Garage Sale Trail is the biggest weekend of reuse and community recycling, with over 15,000 garage sales, 1.6 million items listed for sale and over 380,000 sellers and shoppers taking part.
“Garage Sale Trail is now firmly established as a national event and LPSC is proud to support a program that has positive outcomes for the environment. It is a great way to move on your pre-loved items that are way too good to just throw out.
“Plan now and register your sale from August 10 at www.garagesaletrail.com.au. Registration is free. Get in early and receive a free seller pack. Registered sellers get a dedicated sale listing on the national website as well as access to tips, tricks and promotional materials to ensure your success,” Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope said.
“Council is encouraging households, schools and community groups across the Shire to be part of this event which provides a unique opportunity for residents and organisations to be part of a fun, creative and community-driven program that benefits everyone. It’s a chance to ‘repurpose’ unwanted belongings and to live in a more sustainable fashion by reducing waste.
“As a bonus it allows the community to raise some money for themselves or an organisation and it enables new community connections in a fun and social way,” he continued.
“Garage Sale Trail offers our community the opportunity to think creatively about how we can reuse items that might otherwise be put out for Council collection and possibly end up in landfill. It encourages you to think about those in your community who might benefit from your unwanted items, and likewise what treasures might be out there waiting to be found! As the old saying goes you’ve got to be in it to win it.
“For more information, contact LPSC’s Community Events Officer, Andrew Ballard, on 6746 1755 during business hours,” he said.
“Start thinking how Garage Sale Trail can benefit you or your organisation. It's the perfect opportunity to de-clutter as part of a national, people-powered program that’s about sustainability, creativity and fun,” Councillor Hope concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, Power of Community, the theme of this year’s Local Government Week is exactly what needs to be mobilised to send a clear message to the State Government that the 18% cut to public library funding, in the State budget, is unacceptable, and in fact funding levels need to rise substantially.
“The $23.5 million provided is down from $28.8m in 2017/18, a reduction of $5.3 million. This is despite physical and virtual visitation, library borrowing and participation in library programs continuing to increase year on year.
“The Library Act 1939 is legislation initially introduced to ensure the provision and ongoing sustainability of libraries through State Government and Local Government collaboration and providing up to 50% of the funding required to establish and operate libraries. Now, NSW Councils pay 92.5% of the costs to operate public libraries, up from 77% in 1980. NSW libraries receive the lowest per-capita funding from the NSW State Government compared to all other states in Australia,” Councillor Hope said.
“An alliance of the Local Government Association and affiliated Councils, along with the NSW Public Libraries Association, is calling on the Hon Don Harwin, Minister for the Arts and the Hon Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for the Arts, for bi-partisan support for the provision of a significant increase in state funding for NSW public libraries, supported by a sustainable future funding model.
“Members of the community who care about their libraries are encouraged to write to their local member, Michael Johnsen Member for Upper Hunter, 20 Bridge Street Muswellbrook NSW 2333 email firstname.lastname@example.org or Kevin Anderson Member for Tamworth PO Box 1740 Tamworth NSW 2340 email email@example.com demanding more State Government funding for public libraries,” he continued.
“LPSC has made and is continuing to make considerable investments in its library facilities and it is only with increased and ongoing yearly support from the State we can continue to grow these vital assets into the future.
This is not a party-political issue as every government shares the blame for the current funding situation and cost shifting to ratepayers. The NSW Opposition released its Library Funding Policy in March and has undertaken to increase overall funding to all suburban and regional NSW public libraries by $50 million. Council’s around NSW would like the Government to match or better this pledge and to introduce a fairer, simpler and more transparent method for the distribution of library funding,” he said.
“Our libraries are not simply Twentieth Century book depositories, rather they are Twenty-First Century conduits of culture, learning and social connection. They offer free educational resources to everyone and because they are free they play a key role in building and financially strengthening our local community. They are worth fighting for,” Councillor Hope concluded.
“This award is a tribute to the dedication and enthusiasm of VIC Manager Nikki Robertson, her team Helen Hope, Lorna McGilchrist and Scott Teggins and Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) support staff Andrew Ballard, Emily Saul and Sophia Fitzgerald,” said a thrilled Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The VIC serves our Shire community, supports Council’s RV strategy, work with local businesses, promoting them and channelling business their way plus they contribute to Regional Tourism through co-operation with surrounding local government areas,” he said.
“The VIC has been a finalist or award winner at least 4 times since it opened in 2010 which is an excellent track record and one Council is extremely proud of.
“The hard work has seen visitation numbers to the VIC grow 10% over the past 12 months,” he continued.
“LPSC’s VIC is conveniently situated near the junction of the New England and Kamilaroi Highways. It is a gateway to the Shire, the New England, North-West and Far-West and promotes all of these areas.
If you are travelling through Willow Tree call in, have a look around and check out the Kamilaroi – A Highway and People interpretive display. Willow Tree also has some excellent eateries where you can score a good feed,” he said.
“I congratulate Mudgee and Bathurst VICs that picked up gold and silver respectively.
“Most importantly, I congratulate Nikki and the team whose hard work made this award a reality,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council has endorsed the following Gravel Re-Sheeting works to be undertaken on the Shire’s roads during the 2018/19 financial year. The proposed projects are;
- Wandobah Road, 0 to 10km from the Coonabarabran Road (MR129) which is estimated to require 11,500 tonnes of gravel and to cost $253,650
- Fullers Lane, the entire length - 5,500 tonnes and $120,000
- Weblands Road, 0 to 6km from Bundella Road (SR1) - 5,000 tonnes and $106,000
- Bartons Lane, 0 to 3.2km from Bundella Road (SR1) - 2,300 tonnes and $61,546
“Council has allocated $479,650 in its 2018/19 Operational Plan for Gravel Re-sheeting. $373,650 of this allocation is funded from the Roads to Recovery (RTR) program with the remainder of the allocation, $106,000, being funded from Council revenue. $61,546 remaining from 2017/18’s program will also be utilised,” said LPSC Director Engineering Services, Warren Faulkner.
“The Unsealed Roads Supervisor has identified these sections as being the most in need of the work, within the Shire,” he said.
“Wandobah Road is one of Councils busier unsealed roads that is a freight route and feeder to Gunnedah from the western parts of the Shire. The pavement is a sandstone type material that breaks down easily and unravels quickly as it has near to no clay content to help bind it together. The road is identified as being of economic importance and Council resheeted 7km of the road during 2017/18 year with a shale based material.
“Fullers Lane residents have previously raised concerns about the lack of gravel on the road. Gravel quantities on the road are low and when maintenance grading does occur, the surface of the road is basically natural material which would become slippery and challenging to drive on in times of wet weather.
“Weblands Road is a well formed road, however the pavement wearing course is all but non-existant and the subgrade material that makes up the formation is coming thru. The subgrade comprises rock and some pieces in the order of 100mm have come to the surface. These works will address this issue.
“Bartons Lane runs between Blackville and Bundella Road and half of its 6.2km was resheeted in 2016/17. The remainder of the road is very raw with oversized rock coming out of the pavement and this will be remedied by completion of these works,” he continued.
“The roads identified for gravel re-sheeting are the highest priority for Council based on best practice asset management and from a road safety point of view,” Mr Faulkner concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) provides funding for a range of programs, events and activities each year to enhance the community and economy. At its July meeting, Council approved financial and in-kind support to 12 organisations/community groups under its Community Funding Program (CFP).
The successful applications are:
- Werris Creek RSL Sub-Branch - Repairs/Upgrade of Werris Creek Cenotaph - $2400
- Currabubula Community Gala Spring Ball – In-Kind $1165
- Willow Tree Dog Trials – In-Kind $650
- Quirindi Arts and Craft Centre - Provide Visitor Services - $2000
- Quirindi Show Society - Annual Spring Show - $5000
- Liverpool Plains Business Chamber - Christmas on the Plains – In-Kind $2800
- Quirindi Rugby Union - assist maintenance of grounds during drought - $3000
- Liverpool Plains Relay for Life – In-Kind $450
- RSL Golf Club Liverpool Plains Shire Cup - $2000
- Werris Creek Pool 50th Anniversary – Cash/In-Kind - $5000
- Liverpool Range Harness Club – In-Kind $3140
- Liverpool Plains Chamber of Commerce - Brochure – In-Kind $3000
“Towards the end of 2016, Council introduced a revamped CFP with the view to equitably managing and more effectively governing community donation requests. A campaign encouraging submission of applications by eligible community organisations is coordinated via Council’s Communications Team prior to each round to encourage participation,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
All applications were considered by Council’s Cultural and Events Advisory Group’s nominated Council representatives. Applications were considered in the context of a range of pre-determined criteria including:
- Completeness of the application
- Willingness of the organisation to participate as a collaborative project partner (eg contributing financially or in-kind to the project or initiative)
- Consideration of social, economic and environmental objectives
- Alignment with Council’s Community Strategic Plan or other adopted Plans and Strategies (such as the Economic Development Strategy and RV strategy).
“The CFP encourages a broad range of community activities and initiative to be undertaken for the ultimate betterment of the community,” he said.
“On behalf of Council, I congratulate the successful applicants for their initiatives and endeavours towards building the social, cultural and economic fibre of the Shire,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), BAE Systems Australia (BAESA) and Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) have been investigating the presence of PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) stemming from the historical use of fire-fighting foams at Quirindi Airport. Extensive testing of the Quirindi Airport soil, groundwater and surface water has found no need for additional steps in regard to traces of PFAS at the airport.
PFAS are chemicals which have fire retardant, waterproofing and stain resistant qualities and have been widely used in products from non-stick cookware to clothing to carpet stain protection. The presence of these chemicals at the airport is not unexpected given the use of fire-fighting foam used for training purposes by BAESA in the past.
The EPA has been coordinating a state-wide investigation of sites which previously used PFAS. At Quirindi, the EPA worked with airport users BAE Systems Australia (BAESA) and LPSC to ensure an appropriate, scientific and risk-based approach was used throughout the investigation.
The NSW Government has carefully reviewed the results of the detailed site investigation at Quirindi Airport, and concluded there was no evidence of PFAS migrating off-site. T
The community surrounding Quirindi Airport does not need to take any additional steps to minimise its exposure to PFAS.
As a precaution, BAESA, one of the airport users, will voluntarily conduct six-monthly monitoring for the next two years as part of an ongoing site management plan.
For further information on the investigation please contact the NSW Environment Line on
131 555 or visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is requesting water consumers to check their plumbing/pipes up to their water meters for leaks, and if necessary, engage a plumber if repairs are required after possible frost damage.
Following the recent severe frosts, Council has responded to a large number of frost related water infrastructure damage,” said LPSC Director Engineering Services, Warren Faulkner.
“Of major concern is the fact that several town water supplies around the Shire are showing a large increase in water usage, well above average for this time of year, and it is feared that this may mean the water loss is caused by frost damage to infrastructure that people aren’t aware of,” he said.
“It is important people check their infrastructure, not only to save wasting water, but also because they will be billed for all the water that goes through their meter.
“So please, check around pipes, taps, and other fittings to ensure you’re don’t have water going through your system that you aren’t aware of. Additionally, soft, boggy ground around an area that is otherwise dry can be an indication of problems,” he continued.
Mr Faulkner said any water meter leaks or damage to any Council maintained water infrastructure should be reported by calling 6746 1755 during business hours.
“Water consumers are reminded that all water services should be protected from frost. Many people use old tyres, and it is timely to check that they, or other forms of insulation, are covering the meter securely and will properly serve the purpose they are intended for. LPSC has tyres ready cut that can be used to protect meters and can be supplied to residents upon request to the Customer Service Desk,” he said.
“I’d also ask people to keep in mind that when we have below average temperatures and severe frosts, even protected water services can be susceptible to frost damage,” Mr Faulkner concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has congratulated the Premer community on their 100% success rate in cleaning up the village streets by removing illegally stored vehicles, materials and other unwanted articles from the footpaths and road reserves as part of the Premer Pride Program. This program was instituted following requests from and consultation with the community.
“Premer you’ve done yourself proud. It is an outstanding result that, within two weeks of the program to clean up the eyesores being instituted, you have achieved the first target set in the program. This is an excellent example of power of community and it’s great to hear people saying how much better things look. This is the very essence of what Premer Pride is about,” said LPSC Director Environmental Services and Economic Development, Donna Ausling.
“On Thursday, the Premer pride team were back in town to institute target two which aims to address community concern with noisy pets, particularly uncontrolled barking. Council’s Ranger offered an information session dealing with management of nuisance barking, completing a noise complaint diary, the use of citronella collars and training techniques to manage barking as well as microchipping and pet registration.
“If anyone missed this opportunity, Council’s Ranger is available, during business hours, on 6746 1755 to provide information and advice,” Mrs Ausling said.
“LPSC will be continuing to work with the community strengthening Premer Pride during the coming weeks. As part of our Local Government Week events, on Thursday August 2, we’re inviting the whole community to a Premer Pride Community BBQ at the Premer Community Rooms, next to the Health Centre, commencing at 12 noon. You’ll have the opportunity to meet your local State MP, Michael Johnsen, member for Upper Hunter and LPSC Councillors.
Premer Pride has spawned a strong team imbued with passion and a commitment to success which we will nurture to ensure it is sustained into the future” she continued.
Premer Pride has strengthened community cohesion. It has galvanised local people to realise they have common concerns about local issues on which they can benefit from working together and it has encouraged consultation, planning, evaluation and reflection as a way of improving effectiveness,” Mrs Ausling concluded.
As part of its 2018 Local Government Week program, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is holding a Plains Postcards photography competition looking for that magic shot that personifies People of the Plains.
“Entry with terms and conditions are now available HERE, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries are now open and will close on Wednesday August 1. Winners will be announced on Friday August 3.
LPSC held an inaugural Plains Postcards competition in 2016. 86 entries were received and all of them really showcased the beauty of the Liverpool Plains. In 2018 Council is looking for photos that characterise the Shire’s people.
There are sections for people 18 and under and for those 19+. Entrants must reside within the Shire.
The overall winner will receive a $100 shop local voucher and there will also be $50 vouchers for best adult and best junior photo.
Council is hoping for a diverse range of photos depicting the wide diversity amongst the Shire’s people, of all ages, be they portraits or at work and play.
Liverpool Plains Shire, celebrated NAIDOC Day in style at an event held at Longfield Oval and attended by well over 650 community members.
LPSC Deputy Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins, said NAIDOC Week is a special event celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He acknowledged the significant role Aboriginal people play in the local community and the importance of their culture. He added that LPSC was delighted to partner with a number of organisations in staging the day’s events.
Other activities included a cultural dancing workshop, face painting, the 4 ways bungee jump, free food and drinks, activity stations and stalls manned by service providers. A number of speakers pointed out that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have fought and continue to fight, for justice, equal rights, rights to country, for law and justice, access to education, employment and to maintain and celebrate their culture, language, music and art.
“I congratulate the event organisers for the great day they provided, the businesses and organisations that sponsored it, and the wider community for coming along and celebrating NAIDOC Day with such fine spirit,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
|LPSC Deputy Mayor Councillor Doug Hawkins represented the Mayor and Council.||Fran Nean presented the Welcome to Country and is pictured with Jason Allan from Walhallow Local Aboriginal Land Council.||Jahmeika Nean presented the acknowledgement of Country.|
The Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Regional Tourism Awards Country and Outback Network. The winners will be announced at the Tourism Awards, in Orange on July 28. There are six Destination Networks in NSW and the Country and Outback is the largest in the State. The LPSC VIC is a gateway to Country and Outback which stretches from Oberon to Broken Hill and north to the Queensland border.
“This is a great recognition of our VIC and congratulations to its enthusiastic team. Manager Nikki Robertson, Helen Hope, Lorna McGilchrist and Scott Teggins always strive to provide excellence in friendly customer service. First and foremost, they serve our Shire community, working together with our local businesses, promoting them and channelling business their way.
“Additionally, the VIC contributes to Regional Tourism through co-operating with the surrounding local government areas, the Kamilaroi Highway Marketing Group and Destination NSW,” LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope said.
“The VIC was officially opened in September 2010. Nikki Robertson has been working there since the start and has been Manager since July 2013. She is supported by 3 casual team members and LPSC staff Angus Fraser, Andrew Ballard, Emily Saul and Sophia Fitzgerald assist when required. Its operation has grown over the years and they keep it fresh and relevant with new attractions supporting the Kamilaroi – A Highway and People interpretive display. The VIC is also involved with local events, sister city activities, plus working with regional and state level tourism organisations,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said he was amazed at the variety of questions the team fielded, everything from ‘where is the Willow Tree Inn’ to ‘what’s the quickest way to Darwin’, ‘where is the best coffee in town’ to ‘what is the Merriwa Road like’. He said the VIC team possesses substantial local knowledge, they can help people read a map, speak a couple of languages and diplomacy runs in their veins, especially when answering the coffee question!!
“They’re flat out when the sunflowers bloom and they also play a huge role supporting Council’s Recreational Vehicle Strategy. To top off a good 12 months, visitation numbers to the VIC have grown 10% over that period,” he continued.
“We’re up against Bathurst, Mudgee, Orange and Parkes VICs at the Awards. We were Tourism Awards Finalists in 2013, and won Highly Commended in 2015, silver in 2016, and this progressed us to the NSW Tourism Awards where we won highly commended. This is all possible because of the team’s dedication and enthusiasm. Whatever the outcome on the night, they’ve done a great job getting there and we’re mighty proud of their achievements,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has welcomed $40,000 from the State Government to carry out a Community Based Heritage Planning Study. State MP for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen, visited Quirindi to deliver the good news and the cheque.
“A heritage study investigates the history of a local government area. It identifies then assesses items and places of heritage significance that demonstrate this history. The study explains why the items are significant and recommends ways to manage and conserve this significance. "
“Currently, Council relies on two outdated studies, a Parry Shire Report from 2002 and a LPSC 2005 study, along with the State Heritage Inventory data base. The development of a new, up-to-date, Shire wide assessment will assist Council and the community in making decisions regarding the management of cultural heritage. It will inform public discussion regarding future land use and any potential conflicts,” LPSC Mayor, Councillor Hope said.
“The preparation of a thoroughly researched thematic history will ensure the accuracy of site locations and clarify information relating to currently recorded places of significance, and that they all have statements that comply with NSW Heritage Council requirements. It will also ensure the recording of physical evidence of all aspects of historic human activity and that our rural and pastoral heritage is recorded,” he continued.
“The community-based approach provides an affordable means for communities to make a valuable contribution to the heritage study, with appropriate guidance from a heritage consultant. Ongoing community involvement gives an opportunity for residents to understand heritage management and Council processes and in so doing to take substantial ownership of the study and its findings,” he said.
“On behalf of the people of the LPS, I thank Michael Johnsen and the State Government for their contribution,” Councillor Hope concluded.
A prime objective for Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is its commitment to conducting quality consultation and a willingness to actively engage the community in its decision making processes.
LPSC first adopted a Community Engagement Strategy and Framework Policy in 2010. As part of its current review of all policies, Council, at its June Ordinary Meeting, resolved to adopt a revised and updated document.
“LPSC is strongly committed to open, accountable democracy that involves and includes the people it serves and represents. The policy has been developed to ensure a co-ordinated and consistent approach to all engagement activities currently undertaken,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The purpose of the policy is to facilitate understanding and decision making between the community and its Council to achieve good governance through fair and constructive dialogue, and to allow for informed decision-making through involvement engagement and inclusiveness of the community.
“Having a set policy and framework is important as it assures the community that Council is committed to the process, which in turn will build better relationships with residents and ratepayers. There is no one size fits all and engagement will be tailored to the particular needs of the project, stakeholders and situation,” he continued.
“I’d like to emphasise, as a starting point to engagement, there is a wealth of information regarding Council’s operations on its website or available at the Administration Centre. The Community Strategic Plan, the Delivery Program, the Long Term Financial Plan, Fees and Charges, the Operational Plan, the WHS Strategy and Workforce Plan are provided. The LP Economic and Tourism Plans, Asset Management Plans, Annual Reports, Financial Reports and the monthly business papers for meetings are also available. All this information is on the public record and Council welcomes feedback from the community,” he said.
“LPSC recognises the importance of informing and involving the community and this engagement assists Council achieve its goals plus improves the outcomes and build’s a community capacity to participate more actively in the development of a shared future. I invite everyone to contribute to this development,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Work continues on the Quirindi Library Precinct Activation Project. In April, Council received notification that its application for a $200,000 State Library Grant towards a redeveloped and expanded facility was successful. Council has submitted a further grant application to hopefully gain the additional funds required to complete the stages of this project as seamlessly as possible. Contractors have been engaged to prepare the necessary planning approvals documentation.
Three grant applications for the State Government’s Growing Local Economies Funding have been finalised and submitted. They are for; the Quirindi Sewerage Treatment Plant, a $7,135,000 project for which $ 2,780,000 is being sought. $8,464,000 towards the Werris Creek Sewerage Treatment Plant Project and $9,700,000 towards the Gap Road Realignment project.
Engineering Services reported that works proposed or commenced during June include; Continuation of the Williewarina Road upgrade on section 3 to 6kms from Bundella Road, and replacement of concrete causeway, commencement of Coonabarabran Road ‘Wheelabarrowback’ project, commissioning the RMS to undertake the Kamilaroi Highway Heavy Patching project, ongoing sealed road maintenance on both rural and urban roads/streets, renewal of line marking along the entire length of Coonabarabran Road and Bundella Road between the Kamilaroi Highway and Pine Ridge, commence Sign and Line Marking Audits at Railway Crossings, continued planning and design works for the Merriwa Road upgrade project, and awarding the contract for the upgrade of the water filtration system at the Werris Creek Pool.
Reports were also delivered from the Cultural and Events Advisory Group, the Currabubula Local Advisory Group, the Willow Tree Local Advisory Group, the Werris Creek Australian Railway Monument, the Longfield Oval Precinct Working Group, the Local Emergency Management Committee, the Local Rescue Committee and the Liverpool Range Rural Fire Service Liaison Committee.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, says he is looking forward to the official opening and naming of the new grandstand at Werris Creek’s David Taylor Oval on Saturday 7 July and is looking forward to celebrating the momentous occasion with the local community.
“This will be a special day for the Werris Creek community, Werris Creek Rugby League and other sporting groups who utilise the Oval’s facilities. Along with other works that have been completed or are underway the new grandstand is a significant addition to the Oval’s functionality.
“The project has been driven by the community and the facility is a result of their input and collaboration. I’d also like to acknowledge Council staff and contractors for their contribution to the final outcome,” he said.
“On the day, gates will open at 11am with the official opening and naming of the grandstand at 1pm, the Werris Creek vs North Tamworth Bears Ladies Leaguetag game from 1.30pm and from 2.30pm Werris Creek Magpies vs Gunnedah Bulldogs First Grade game. There’ll also be a jumping castle and a rock climbing wall for the kids. Another highlight will be the Old Boys Day and there’ll be bar and canteen facilities available. After the First Grade game, the celebrations will continue at the Werris Creek Golf Club where the jerseys from the game will be auctioned and there will be entertainment by the Heartland Duo. It will be a huge day for the Creek community,” he concluded.