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Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope has extended Council’s congratulations to all entrants in Quirindi Library’s Book Week children’s art competition. 

“The library received 120 entries in the competition this year which is a great result. They were of a very high standard which made the judging process particularly difficult. All entrants can be very proud of their efforts,” Councillor Hope said.

Winners and highly commended awards went to, by age category:

 

Preschool and Kindergarten

1st Place - Christopher Briggs : Walhallow Public School

Highly Commended - Logan Mumberson : Eastside Child Care Centre

Brody Ezzy Walhallow : Public School

Roy Bates : Eastside

 

Year 1 and Year 2

1st Place - Dakota Oliver : Quirindi PS

Highly Commended - Scarlett-Kate Schultz : Quirindi PS

Amarni Nean : Walhallow PS                 

 

Year 3 and Year 4

1st Place - Henry Teague : Wallabadah PS

Highly Commended - Charlotte Steibert : Walhallow PS

 

Year 5 and Year 6

Equal 1st Place - Ashton Sweeney : Wallabadah PS

Lachlan Cronin : Wallabadah PS

Highly Commended – Kallee Lobsey : Wallabadah PS

Councillor Hope said all the entries will be on display at Quirindi Library for the next week or so.

Book lovers recently enjoyed an author talk presented by Scott Whitaker about his books Railway Hotels of Victoria, Railway Hotels of New South Wales and Railway Hotels of Queensland.

“There are exciting times ahead for Quirindi Library with planning proceeding well for the extension of library space to include the former real estate office plus makeover of the library precinct,” Councillor Hope concluded. 

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Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Councillor Andrew Hope says that Council’s strategy to foster the Recreational Vehicle (RV) and tourism market has shown its worth during the current drought crisis with visitor spending providing valuable income at a time when many small businesses are doing it really tough.

“We continue to see a steady stream of people staying at our Freedom Camping facilities and other accommodation despite the drought. The dollars they spend are beneficial at a time when many of our residents have had to cut back on discretionary spending. In fact, surveys amongst the RVers themselves indicate they spend an average of just over $100 per day,” he said.

“Virtually all our businesses stand to gain by catering to the market because as they travel they buy a coffee, refuel, stay the night, go to the supermarket, the chemist, pubs, clubs and restaurants. They buy tyres, parts for cars, vans and many other items. Many travellers say they like to support the smaller places rather than the bigger regional centres and our Shire is focused on encouraging them and providing their necessities.

“Without a doubt the very best endorsements for RV friendly communities come via word of mouth recommendations between travellers and positive comments on social media groups focussed on exploring the country. The important thing is to make them feel welcome, give them a smile and assist them where possible,” he continued.      

“Our smaller communities are particularly entrepreneurial, both catering to visitors needs and staging events to attract them and I encourage businesses in our larger towns to be more proactive in this regard. It is not only the RVers we want to attract, there is also room to encourage organised tours and rallies to stop off on their way through,” he said.

“The Great Escape Rally, which over the years has raised $5 million dollars for Cystic Fibrosis Australia, recently stopped for lunch at Wallabadah. Terry Stewart, one of the organisers of the rally and currently President of Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide said he’d done the sums and the rally spends approximately $50,000 within a 24 hour footprint during their ten days on the road. Catering to events such as this not only assists a great cause but also brings in welcome dollars to the local economy. Anyone who’d like to support Cystic Fibrosis Australia can visit the Great Escape webpage at www.donate.grassrootz.com/cysticfibrosis/great-escape-2018,” he said.

“The LP Shire is incredibly grateful to the many organisations that have delivered aid to our farming families. The current drought impacts everyone in our community and a group named Saving Rural Australia is encouraging city folk to venture out to rural areas to show support and spend a few dollars in the battling towns. While they will provide ideas for areas to visit on an ongoing basis they are promoting a special weekend, at the end of September, as an ideal time to take a trip,” he continued.   

“I urge the whole community to make visitors feel welcome be they RVers, tourists or people coming to support us through this drought. All of these people are potential advertisements for our area and we want them to tell others that they had a good experience,” Councillor Hope concluded.

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Most people would probably be surprised to know that school and community groups make an average of $1997 by hosting a group sale as part of Garage Sale Trail. It also provides great opportunities for individuals to declutter or find a bargain and with over 400,000 Australians participating passing on what you don’t want to someone else is a great form of sustainability.

“As a community, we have a responsibility to wage war on waste and reduce the amount of material that ends up in landfill. That’s why Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) supports Garage Sale Trail. To date over 4 million items have been traded through this event and potentially saved from landfill. One garage sale on its own makes very little difference but when you have hundreds of thousands participating in this grass roots activity, then it helps drive significant change,” said Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.      

“It’s not too late to sign up for the weekend of October 20 and 21. By signing up for free with Garage Sale Trail you’ll get your own web page to use to promote your sale online and a seller dashboard to invite and manage your stakeholders. Find out more about hosting a group sale, with the step by step guide at https://www.garagesaletrail.com.au/blog/how-to-host-a-group-sale. Whether you are organising your own sale at your house/business as an individual or registering as a group sale go to www.garagesaletrail.com.au/register,” he said.

“It’s totally up to you what you do with the money raised. Some sellers keep the proceeds, others choose to fundraise for a charity, local community group or cause. First time garage salers are provided with tools, tips and a highly trafficked website with 2 million+ views. In 2017 the average household sale sold 75 items and made $381!” he continued.

“Setting up your sale listing should take just a minute or two of your time and once completed you’ll get access to promotional materials created to help make your sale a success.

“While a garage sale is a great way to shift lots of things you no longer need or want, you will probably have some stuff still left over at the end. Garage Sale Trail partner with Gumtree to help with that and once registered watch your inbox for tips, support and local ways to reuse what’s left over at the end of your sale day,” he said.

“There are already a number of sales registered from around the Shire and I encourage others to sign up before the event, get your details on the webpage and let others know what you are doing. If you’re looking for a bargain you can check out the different sales around the Shire at

http://councils.garagesaletrail.com.au/councils/Liverpool-Plains.

“Join in, clear out your clutter, have fun and make some money,” Councillor Hope concluded.

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Following the success of the inaugural Hangi in the Country last year, a large contingent from Liverpool Plains Shire’s sister city, Blacktown City Council, will come to Quirindi in October for Hangi in the Country II.

“Our visitors from Blacktown along with Shire locals shared a tremendous time last year and this year’s event will be a lot bigger with a good program to keep everyone entertained. The 2018 event will have a special youth focus,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.

Councillor Hope said the planned program of events is;

Friday 26 October

  • Kiwi Express arriving at Quirindi Station at 2.37pm with the welcome taking place at the Railway Station/ANZAC Square from 2.40pm
  • Sportsman’s Dinner at RSL in evening

Saturday 27 October

  • Hangi Youth Games: friendly games in soccer, netball, rugby and basketball, official opening of the games by State MP Michael Johnsen at 9am
  • Youth Forum at the High School, official opening by Michael Johnsen at 10am followed with an address by Jessica Watson OAM. At 16 years of age Jessica became the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. She has won many awards including Young Adventurer of the Year and 2016 Young Australian of the Year and is a great role model for young people.
  • 2pm – Free children’s show at Royal Theatre by Alex Papps, well known as an actor and presenter of Play School.  
  • Hangi at the Royal Theatre from 6.30pm with entertainment by local and Blacktown performers and MCd by Alex Papps with a Q&A with Jessica Watson and Hangi dinner. Tickets- $30 available online at www.bit.ly/HangiRoyalTheatreQuirindi.

Sunday 28 October

  • Breakfast at RSL, Charades finals by Toastmasters, Trophy presentation and farewell to visitors
  • Kiwi Express leaves Quirindi at 11.31am

In addition, on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 Blacktown City Council is sponsoring a visit by Rap 4 Change, a sing and dance group from their city and they’ll perform at local schools on these two days, at no cost to the schools.

“Hangi in the Country II provides a wonderful opportunity for our community to enjoy themselves and to socialise with visitors from our sister city across a range of events. Council looks forward to as many locals as possible participating,” Councillor Hope said.

“The Blacktown community and their Council are providing significant support to our community during the current drought crisis, including purchasing a new, high capacity tank that will be fitted to a Council truck to allow us to cart potable water, a very generous gesture indeed,” he said.

“Their co-funding with LPSC also allows Hangi in the Country to be staged and the visitors will also provide a welcome economic boost to many of our businesses during these tough times. The event will provide a great opportunity to thank them for their substantial support, so let’s ensure we show them a great time,” Councillor Hope concluded.

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Paramedic visit 1The kids at Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Eastside Childcare Centre thoroughly enjoyed a visit by an ambulance and three paramedics which was very hands on and informative, for both children and educators.

Eastside Centre Manager, Carmel Jones, thanked the paramedics for the great way they interacted with the kids and said such visits help them develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation through cooperating with others and negotiating roles and relationships in play episodes and group experiences as well as broadening their understanding of the world in which they live.

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Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has finish bitumen sealing the final 1.5km of Williewarina Road completing the upgrade of this important freight link between the Coonabarabran Road at Caroona and the Bundella Road at Pine Ridge.

“Council was successful in gaining a $1.758 million grant through the State Government’s Fixing Country Roads program to undertake this important infrastructure project, part of a road network that sees a lot of grain and stock movements. It is part of Council’s longer term vision to make improvements to key freight routes on the road network thus improving productivity for the agricultural and transport sectors,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.

“Work crews are now moving on to undertake the bitumen sealing of the last 3km of the Merriwa Road within the Council area that climbs the range.

“This is another important project that is being undertaken in partnership with the Upper Hunter Shire Council to upgrade this road for B-Double access to the Golden Highway, again reducing transport costs for the agricultural and transport sectors,” he said.    

“The Merriwa Road upgrade is a $12.2m project that has attracted nearly $5.5m of Australian Government funding thru the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity program as well as $5.5m of State Government funding through the Fixing Country Roads program.

“The Merriwa Road upgrade project is expected to be complete in July 2019,” he continued.

Work crews also completed the rehabilitation of a 1.2km section of the Coonabarabran Road between Spring Ridge and Premer at ‘Wheelabarrowback’ last week,” he concluded.

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Street sweeperLiverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has taken delivery of a new Mini-Street-Sweeper. The vehicle is now operational and housed at Council’s Administration Building for easy access to Quirindi’s main street. A trailer has been ordered and this will allow the unit to be mobiled into Werris Creek and the Shire’s villages to extend its use. The new machine will eventually replace the use of blowers and brooms for street sweeping operations. Council’s operators say the machine is very functional, saves time and does a better job than the old methods.    

 

Operators have been inducted and trained in the use of the new street-sweeper. In control of operations is Kevin ‘Sarv’ Taylor.

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Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) provides a comprehensive, ongoing maintenance and upgrade program that is essential to keeping parks, gardens, streetscapes, sporting and other facilities in good condition and to maintain community amenity.  

“Works carried out during the past month include playground inspections and maintenance, including installation of a new swing at Blackville Park, repairs to the flying fox in Spring Ridge Playground, installation of a replacement slide in King George Park and maintenance at Premer Park,” said LPSC Director Engineering Services, Warren Faulkner,

“The crews also assist the dedicated volunteers at the Quirindi, Werris Creek and Willow Tree cemeteries and other volunteers at Spring Ridge, Premer, Werris Creek, Willow Tree, Blackville and Quirindi with their projects,” he said.

“Other projects have included mowing and brush-cutting where needed in the villages and towns, furniture maintenance, landscaping at the Emergency Services Precinct with the planting of trees and shrubs, tree trimming Werris Creek and Quirindi, the removal of dead trees in Quirindi and sign maintenance on the Kamilaroi Hwy.

“Regular gutter cleaning is undertaken in Willow Tree, Werris Creek and Quirindi, solar street lighting at Morning View Estate is being repaired, landscaping is underway at the new Companion Animal Facility and general weed spraying has taken place in Quirindi, at Quipolly Dam Recreation Area plus gutters in Quirindi and Werris Creek,” he continued.

“We have a fantastic sporting culture here in the Shire and as a Council we want to provide the community with first-class sporting facilities to support that. Their maintenance schedule is comprehensive as we strive to ensure playing surfaces are in the best possible shape for local sporting clubs. Preparation of grounds is an ongoing task considering the wide range of events that are staged throughout the year. With the swimming season ahead, we are preparing and painting the Quirindi and Werris Creek pools and carrying out other maintenance works,” he said. 

It’s a year-round job providing the required upkeep, and I’d like to congratulate the crews who do a fantastic job providing this service to the community,” Mr Faulkner concluded.

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Engineering Department works underway in August include continuation of the Williewarina Road upgrade along the section 6 to 9km from Bundella Road. It is hoped that this project will be completed, on this important cross country transport link in September at a cost of $2,775,000. Maintenance grading continues although the prevailing drought conditions impact on these work. The final trim and sealing on the $613,000 Coonabarabran Road (Wheelabarrowback) project has been undertaken. Sealed road maintenance projects on rural and urban streets continues. Planning and designing for the $2,586,800 Merriwa Road upgrade project continues with a target completion date of July 2019. Work has continued on the filtration system as part of the Werris Creek Pool upgrade and tenders have been called for the Quirindi courts upgrade at Longfield Park.

LPSC continues to encourage local organisations to seek out funding opportunities to undertake community projects. Applications for the Federal Government’s Volunteer Grants 2018 will close on 18 September at 2pm. Further information can be found at www.communitygrants.gov.au. Applications for Community Sport Infrastructure grants will close at 5pm on 14 September. These grants target medium scale projects up to $500,000 to improve local community sport infrastructure which will support greater community participation in sport and physical activity and/or offer safer and more inclusive community sporting hubs. Details are available online at www.communitygrants.gov.au. LPSC receives information from many government and non-government bodies regarding grant funding on offer. If you’d like to receive information as it comes to hand email Council at grants@lpsc.nsw.gov.au and you’ll receive regular updates on what we know is available.  

The annual Garage Sale Trail is scheduled for Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October 2018. This event allows you to clear out unwanted items and make some money in the process. 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.

Maintenance projects have almost been completed on improvements to the cabins at Quirindi Caravan Park with new decks put on units. The Recreational Vehicle (RV) community have provided positive feedback on the improvements to the park and occupancy rates are continuing to be higher than anticipated with powered sites continuing to be consistently booked. It is vital we continue to attract RV visitors during the current drought as it provides welcome economic input to many local businesses.

Draft design plans have been prepared and are currently under review for the Quirindi Library Precinct Activation Project. This project will see the library expanded to include the space formerly used as a real estate agency plus a makeover of the court yard area.

Initial works have commenced for the Shire’s Waste Strategy implementation with further onsite visits by waste consultants to begin the process of rehabilitation plans and transfer station upgrades.

Council’s Weeds Officer successfully gained grant funding for weed removal of the privet, an invasive weed, around the Currabubula Hall. This will open up the area. Following the privets removal, a local Landcare group will establish some native plants in the cleared area.

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Rhino TanksLiverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has extended sincere thanks to Kingspan Rhino Tanks for their extremely generous donation of a water tank to the Shire as a drought relief measure.

“Kingspan Rhino Tanks have provided us with a 100,000 litre water tank plus 100,000 litres of water to fill it. This is a wonderful gesture on their behalf and we thank them for their generosity,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.

“Council considered where to locate the tank and decided that as Currabubula is the largest community in the Shire without a reticulated water supply it should be erected there. It has been placed next to the Currabubula Hall,” he said.

“Council will complete plumbing works as soon as possible so the tank can be commissioned. Obviously, we will need to secure the supply so it can’t be stolen and is available for residents whose own tanks run dry during the drought. We will advise the Currabubula community how and when they can obtain water from the tank in the near future,” Councillor Hope concluded.

 

Ash Bain and Zac Norris (left) carried out the physical construction of the water tank and are pictured with LPSC Deputy Mayor Doug Hawkins, Kingspan Rhino Tanks Area Manager Ron James, Councillors Virginia Black, Ian Lobsey OAM and Paul Moules and LPSC Regulatory Manager Steve Ryder.

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According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, whilst rural communities face many problems dealing with impacts of severe drought, the issue of general and mental health welfare is one of the most difficult to address. He said there is currently an urgent need to focus more on turning around the pattern of rising suicide rates in rural and remote communities.

“Drought is a major source of stress for farmers and others in rural communities with their livelihoods depending on the weather. One study has found that agricultural workers have the highest self-harm rates compared to other occupational groups and of major concern the incidence of drought-related stress is higher amongst young farmers.

“Over recent weeks I’ve travelled around the Shire talking with farmers, small businesses and community leaders and I’ve realised the importance of social networks in addressing this issue. It is vital that all of us, family, friends, health professionals, clergy and other community leaders and individuals who hold key positions in our society have a gatekeeper role to play in identifying those at high risk and directing them to appropriate supports or services,” Councillor Hope said.

“Farmers are less likely to access health services, either a primary care general practitioner or a mental health professional than non-farm workers. Studies have discovered that 50% of rural workers felt that they preferred to manage themselves rather than access help for physical health needs, and a massive 75% felt they preferred to manage themselves rather than access help for mental health needs. In addition, 41% of all rural workers stated they ‘didn’t think anything could help regarding their mental health and 30% were concerned about what others thought or that their mental health issues would not stay private. Stoicism and a tendency to self-reliance can be a protective mechanism to mental health problems but also a barrier to finding help when it is sorely needed,” he said.

“These are scary statistics and emphasise the need for us all to be vigilant and to support one another. If someone’s normal persona changes, they make comments like ‘I’ve had enough” or ‘I could just end it all’, they are signs or cries for help,” he continued.

“There is help available for farmers and others in rural communities whose mental wellbeing is impacted by drought including, The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) which provides a range of information services to individuals, communities and service providers to link rural and remote people to the help they need. This includes information on where to access services, common mental illnesses and how to keep mentally healthy, as well as the Glove Box Guide to Mental Health. Contacts based in Tamworth are Sarah Green (fulltime) - Sarah.Green@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au Phone 0428 109 990 and Kate Arndell (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) Kate.Arndell@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au Phone 0405 288 081. RAMHP’s website is http://www.ramhp.com.au/about-us/. Click on the link ‘Get Help Now” for emergency contacts, further links to mental health services, self-help resources and downloadable resources.

“Other useful contacts are Community Mental Health Line 1800 011 511, Mensline Australia available 24/7 1300 789, Beyondblue depression information line 1300 224 636, Lifeline 131 114, Australian Red Cross 1800 660 066 and Black Dog Institute 9382 4530,” he said.

“My major concern is that we need more professionals on the ground to help our community through this crisis. From a government funding perspective, a preventative spend in this area would reduce the reactive spend”, he continued.  

“What we have to ensure is that no one needs to think they are alone without support and remember we all have a role to play in this regard. There are many government, non-government, charitable and community services that provide support to those whose social, health, or economic circumstances place them at a higher risk of self-harm in the near or long-term future,” Councillor Hope concluded.  

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Mr Young Director Ningbo Agricultural Bureau and Mayor Councillor Andrew  Hope 2Liverpool Plains Shire Council and Shire business representatives have welcomed the visit of a delegation of Government and business representatives from Ningbo in China. In March this year, members of Namoi Unlimited JO, of which LPSC is a member, visited Ningbo meeting with the Bureau of Agriculture and Forestry and businesses. This reciprocal visit by the Chinese delegation provided an opportunity to showcase what the Shire has to offer and facilitated opportunities for local businesses and exporters to network with the visitors to explore economic and export potential.    

“This initiative is part of our vision to grow the economy and create jobs for the region. Ningbo is a province of 7.6 million people with an evolving economy and desire for the clean and green products we produce in the Shire,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.

“Members of the Ningbo delegation discussed investment in value add agricultural enterprises and renewables, beef and lamb, vegetable, pasture and grains production, tourism exchanges and research and technical exchanges around farming and grazing,” he said.

“Interest in our region is growing and our meetings provided a great opportunity to build relationships to grow agriculture and value add enterprises in our region further. We live in a global marketplace and must seize every chance we get to encourage trade and investment that can enhance the local economy and provide employment opportunities into the future,” Councillor Hope concluded.

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To assist its farming and small business community during the current severe drought and the recovery period to follow, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is providing a link on its website HERE to provide pointers to different forms of assistance available through the Federal and State Governments as well as non-government organisations during the current crisis.

“This is not a panacea for the problems we are facing however it is designed to help people quickly locate the information they require to find out if they are eligible for assistance from a raft of programs for a variety of purposes,” said LPSC GM, Ron van Katwyk.

“The newly developed LPSC Drought Relief Strategy can also be accessed. Council’s primary role in the drought response and recovery process is to act as an information conduit to lead response agencies, to provide support to the local community within Council’s identified areas of responsibility and to advocate on behalf of the Liverpool Plains community to ensure that it has the best access possible to drought support services.

“We are lobbying for a relaxation of taxation laws to better support primary producers and local businesses through this difficult period, lobbying for the streamlining of drought relief grants processes and a reduction in red tape, and advocating for the provision of additional local ‘on the ground’ support such as rural financial counsellors and mental health professionals for the local community. These a just a couple of the 33 items on the drought relief strategy agenda,” he said.

“There is an urgent need for the objectives, extent and range of Commonwealth, State and non-government social support services, including counselling and advisory services, available to farm families and rural communities during periods of stress and change, such as this drought, to be examined and overhauled where they are found to be lacking. The gaps in the application of Commonwealth, State and non-government social support services for mitigating these impacts on farm families and rural communities must also be dealt with quickly,” he said.

“There are a lot of hidden variables in regard to the impact of drought but research clearly shows some people become reluctant to get involved in community activities. If the drought continues unabated we may face volunteer stress or burnout, or even worse an inability to have a volunteering effort.

“Many people are currently volunteering and contributing to drought relief. On behalf of Shire residents, I sincerely thank them. We should all acknowledge the magnificent effort of Quirindi CWA President, Colleen Wills, and her team of volunteers. They have raised funds, co-ordinated relief deliveries and distributed assistance around the Shire. If you can volunteer time to assist them, wish to contribute or personally require or know of someone who requires assistance give Colleen a call on 6746 1326,” he continued.       

“Other problems we may face include a decline in traditional industries, the need to and/or ability to seek off-farm work, increased financial pressures, a decline in the physical and mental health of individuals and their families who themselves face dealing with questions of whether to leave the farm and/or problems associated with succession planning, loss of local farm labour, the inability to leave the property because of the demands of feeding and water regimes and a general increase of working hours with little opportunity for recreation and family time,” he said.   

“Whatever eventuates, an all of community effort is required. I feel confident that a team effort can deal with the many issues that face us. We need to ensure a domino effect does not destroy our resilence and ability to recover strongly when good rains and optimism finally come, maintaing the fabric of community that is the essence of our lifestyle” Mr van Katwyk concluded.

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On behalf of Council and the Liverpool Plains Shire community, Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has extended thanks to Professor Mark Wardle, Senior Scientific Officer Adam Joyce and five of their astronomy students from Macquarie University who brought a mobile Planetarium, a solar telescope and three night telescopes to Werris Creek for Pocket Astronomy in Pocket-sized Towns. He said the community was also most grateful for the generous donation of a telescope to Werris Creek library which will be available for fundraising events for community groups plus the library will run star-gazing sessions in the future.

Manager of LPSC Visitor Information Centre, Nikki Robertson, said that Council’s Events Team work very hard to bring a range of cultural events to the Shire. She said getting this event, which has proven so popular, was a bit of a coup as it only visited four towns in the north-west.

“Adam and his team provided a fabulous afternoon. Not only were the presentations and the planetarium shows fascinating and well delivered, the team’s passion was contagious and their willingness to talk to our young people, sharing their experience and wisdom was a special experience for many of the students,” Nikki said

“Enquiries about the telescope, or if you’re interested in being involved in a star-gazing event, call the Werris Creek Library on 6768 7340,” Nikki concluded.

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Chemical Clean UpLiverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is encouraging the community to take advantage of a free service to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and problem waste to be held on Saturday 25 August, between 9am and 4pm, at the Quirindi Waste Depot located on Merinda Road, off the Werris Creek Road.

“You can dispose of garden chemicals, pool chemicals, household cleaners, hobby chemicals and poisons,” said LPSC Manager Regulatory and Property Services, Steve Ryder.

“Chemicals and poisons can be hazardous to human and ecosystem health, making responsible disposal of unwanted chemicals a top priority,” Steve concluded.

For more information on this issue call the Environment Line on 131 555 or visit 

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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.

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“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.

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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

Plains Postcard Winners   Andrew Ballard Kelly Leonard  Tobi McGrath

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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.

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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.

Werris Creek LGW BBQ 2“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 upperhunter@parliament.nsw.gov.au or tamworth@parliament.nsw.gov.au 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.

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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.

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Opening Hours

Monday to Friday:

8.30AM - 5.00PM

Sat to Sun: Closed

Public Holidays: Closed

 

Physical Address

60 Station Street

Quirindi NSW

2343

 

Postal Address

PO Box 152

Quirindi NSW

2343

Contact Details

Phone: 02 6746 1755

Fax: 02 6746 3255

Email: lpsc@lpsc.nsw.gov.au

After Hours Emergency: 02 6746 1755