Media Releases & Exhibitions
“It’s time to bite the bullet and make a decision on a site for a Freedom Camping area in Werris Creek, so the town can share in the benefits other Shire communities are experiencing through the burgeoning RV industry, to attract more visitors to the Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum and the opportunities it can present for local business,” Councillor Paul Moules told the February Ordinary meeting of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC).
Following extensive discussion Council unanimously voted to establish the Werris Creek Freedom Camping Precinct on land adjacent to the LPSC Works Depot on Deeks Road.
LPSC Councillor Paul Moules at the site where the Werris Creek Freedom Camping Area will be developed
“For more than two years there have been attempts to gain concensus on a suitable site for a Freedom Camping Ground. More recently a site on Single Street was suggested however this is on Australian Rail Track Corporation land and the need to install sound barriers and security fencing makes the location unviable. Furthermore, the RV industry itself did not favour this site because of its limited scale with a main road on one side and rail marshalling yard on the other,” Councillor Moules said.
“Council officers have had a number of meetings with RV organisations and in particular the Australian Caravan Club (ACC) and they have all indicated a preference for a site away from the constraints of the railway line. Keeping their views in mind the Deeks Road location is far more suitable for their member’s requirements. I think it’s vital we respect the wishes and views of these organisations if we are going to succesfully cater to their needs,” he said.
“There are many rail enthusiasts amongst the grey nomads who will welcome the opportunity to conveniently camp and visit the Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum and many more amongst their numbers who just like to visit attractions in the towns they visit,” he continued.
“These visitors will also spend money with local businesses. ACC research shows their members spend $100-120 a day. They estimate 180,000 campers on the road at any given time. There are 30 million domestic visitor nights spent in caravan parks and freedom camping grounds each year and 90% of all visitor nights in the sector are spent in regional Australia. These numbers are growing and I want to see Werris Creek share in the benefits these travellers bring to a town,” Councillor Moules concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, is encouraging the Shire’s Seniors to join in the Seniors Festival activities being held locally to celebrate their important role in the community. The them for this year’s Seniors Festival is Let's Do More Together. For 2017 events include;
- SENIORS FESTIVAL OPENING EVENT – Cost $10 - Tuesday 7 March at Quirindi RSL Club. Commencing at 11am, with music and entertainment, a Roast Lunch and Dessert included with a free bus departing Werris Creek at 10.30am and free transport departing Willow Tree at 10.30am.
- A FREE MOVIE AND AFTERNOON TEA – Wednesday 8 March will commence at 1.30pm in the comfortable Quirindi Royal Theatre. It will feature the screening of the award winning movie Florence Foster Jenkins followed by a light afternoon tea.
- MYSTERY BUS TOUR – Cost $30 - Friday 10 March with buses departing Willow Tree Visitor Information Centre at 8.30am, Quirindi Railway Station at 8.30am and Werris Creek Post Office at 9am.
- LAUNCH OF STAYING STRONG PROGRAM AT REC CENTRE - Starts Thursday 9 March at 10.30am for an hour –Program runs for 6 weeks - A local qualified physio, from total care physiotherapy, will be running the program - Only 15 spots available – Make a booking by calling 6746 3122 or calling into the Rec Centre.
Councillor Hope pointed out that numbers to some events are strictly limited and encouraged people to book early at the Werris Creek, Quirindi and Willow Tree Home Support Service offices or the Customer Service Desk at Council’s Administration Centre. He said activities are open to all residents of Liverpool Plains Shire who are aged 55 years and over. He requested that anyone with mobility issues discuss these with Council staff when booking and that people who require a carer make a booking for them to attend as well.
“We’ve also arranged a Senior’s Festival Raffle. Tickets are $1 each with a 1st Prize of 6 months free movies at the Quirindi Royal Theatre, 2nd Prize is Gourmet Hamper from Plains Pantry and the 3rd prize a $50 Lolliebox from Quirindi Florist and Lolliebox. Tickets can be purchased from any of the LPSC Home Support Offices or the Administration Building. Tickets will also be on sale at each of the Senior’s Festival events,” he said.
Councillor Hope said persons over 55 years of age made p 35% of the LPS population in the last available census figures. He said like many rural areas the percentage of seniors is growing and will continue to do so into the future.
“Many of our seniors are still active on the land, in business and in many other areas of Shire life. A large number of the Shire’s volunteers are seniors and in this role alone they play a vital part in enhancing the social fabric of our communities,” he said.
The objectives of the week long Senior’ Festival are to encourage older people to live healthy and active lifestyles all year round, to demonstrate that older age can be a time of learning and adventure and to celebrate older people and their continuing contribution to family, friends, workplaces and communities, and across generations,” he continued.
During the Seniors Festival we celebrate the valuable contribution seniors make to our community. Here on the Liverpool Plains, it is our way of saying thank you to seniors and a great opportunity for all the generations to join with older people to celebrate,” he said.
“So, Let's Do More Together as we celebrate the role of seniors in our society. On behalf of Council and the wider community I say thanks for a job well done. Please participate in and enjoy the events that have been organised,” Councillor Hope concluded
Apart from events scheduled in the Liverpool Plains Shire there are events scheduled State wide and many major events in Sydney. Details can be obtained through www.nswseniorsfestival.com.au
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Deputy Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins, there is a pressing need for all the Shire’s businesses and organisations to come-on-board and partner with Council in driving economic development. He said while Council is undertaking many activities aimed at achieving positive outcomes real success can only be obtained if everyone is contributing and singing from the same hymn sheet.
“Let’s be honest, smaller rural communities like ours face many difficult social and economic issues into the future. Many businesses have been doing it tough but we have to face up to reality and find solutions. Competition from access to goods and services through the internet is a growing problem while economic opportunities leaking out of our towns to larger service centres is another,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“Our region has always had a strong agricultural base and now more than ever we must strive to ensure the town community can depend on the farming community for business and that our farmers can depend on our towns for their services and social connection. At the same time, high dependence on one industry can have its downsides. Rural towns hurt badly during expanded drought periods which cause economic downturn. On the other hand the whole local economy can benefit if producers can value add on their base product,” he said.
“Looking to the future, and with the aim of providing greater economic security, it is vital we diversify through building on opportunities like the burgeoning RV industry and tourism potential. Continuing steps to build trade links and partnerships with countries in Asia, particularly China is also important.
“The development of the Liverpool Plains Business Directory and the Liverpool Plains Economic Development Strategy are amongst the ways LPSC is striving to address these issues. Finding solutions will require multiple service/support strategies, increased agency inter-connection and proactive approaches envisioning, planning for and adapting to future socio-economic requirements.
“Council understands it is vital to work with local people to gauge and utilise the practical knowledge, experiences and insights available to tackle the future in real and locally specific ways,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has thanked the NSW Government and local MP, Michael Johnsen, for the financial and other support they have provided to Council and the local community to assist drive economic development across the Liverpool Plains Shire.
“They have provided funding to assist us stage Back to Business Week events, to develop a Local Business Directory and vitally to create an economic development strategy. We’ve also received funding for tourism projects whilst a number of local organisations have received funding for projects that stimulate economic growth and improve the social fabric.
“Given the importance of partnerships to regional economic development I am grateful for their effective and ongoing engagement with rural communities like ours that underpins commitment to localism and achieving long-lasting change. This partnership allows local and regional stakeholders to provide insight into the challenges and opportunities facing their communities and to work towards developing and implementing local solutions. Incorporating local decision-making helps achieve a shared commitment and sense of responsibility and ownership,” he said.
“These partnerships provide many opportunities for local businesses. The Business Connect program for example provides business advisory services and business skills training. It supports small businesses to startup, create jobs through growth, help established small to medium enterprises become sustainable and assists to increase business confidence. More information is available at http://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry-in-nsw/businessconnect/about-the-business-connect-program. Additionally, The Business Connect Bus visits the Shire a couple of times a year and delivers highly subsidised face-to-face business advice,” he continued.
“Other support comes through the Jobs Action Plan (JAP), Small Business Employment Incentives, The Small Business Rebate, Accelerating Growth Loans, the Export Capability Building Program, Austrade’s TradeStart Network, and the Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP). More information on these and other programs that may assist your business can be found at http://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry-in-nsw/businessconnect/grow-your-business.
“Also during Back To Business Week a free webinar The Power of Positioning will be held on Wednesday 1 March from 10am. You’ll learn proven yet simple marketing ideas and business strategies to stand out from the crowd and attract profitable long-term customers. Register https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3761257035822288386,” he said.
“The reality is there is a great deal on offer to support business development and growth but it will only aid local economic development if people seize the initiative and build on it,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Over several years, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has developed a substantial series of Fact Sheets to answer many of the questions people put to their Environmental Services Planning and Development Team.
According to LPSC’s Planning and Development Manager, Jon Shillito, when people are starting to plan a development it can often appear to be mystifying, so our team has tried to develop plain language Fact Sheets that are to the point without leaving out any details. He said these Fact Sheets are available in hard copy from Council’s Administration Centre (phone 6746 1755, fax 6746 3255, email firstname.lastname@example.org) or online from Council’s website at - http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/planning-building/fact-sheets.
The 34 topics currently covered are -
“If you have more questions after you’ve looked at a Fact Sheet, you can contact a planning officer on 6746 1755 during business hours,” Jon concluded.
A FREE Liverpool Plains Industry Showcase, will be held on Friday March 3, between 11.30am and 1pm, at Quirindi Bowling Club, 66 Pryor Street, Quirindi. The Showcase is one of the major initiatives being staged by Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC,) in partnership with the State Government’s Back to Business Week.
“Local business operators, government agencies and interested members of the local community are encouraged to attend the Showcase which will provide an opportunity to see at first-hand the many initiatives being undertaken by Council to drive Shire wide economic development,
It will also provide an information sharing and networking opportunity for local businesses and the general community,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Additionally, the Showcase will see the launch of the Liverpool Plains Business Directory, an important component of the Liverpool Plains Economic Development Strategy. This database will assist the establishment of business alliances and partnerships to source the capacity and capabilities necessary to pursue local opportunities. The NSW Government is to be congratulated for partnering and providing funding to allow Council’s like ours to pursue economic development,” he said.
If you haven’t already done so please provide your name, the name of your business/organisation, your address, contact details, products and services you provide and the category you’d like to be listed under to email@example.com or by post to LPSC PO Box 152, Quirindi NSW 2343, or fax details on 6746 3255,” he continued.
“To register to attend the Liverpool Plains Industry Showcase email Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact LPSC’s Community Events Organiser, Angus Fraser, on (02) 67461755. On the day please bring along any information and/or marketing collateral used as sales support tools,” he said.
“I encourage all businesses to get on board as the more you put in, the more you will get out of such initiatives,” Councillor Hope concluded.
As part of Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) endeavours to drive local economic development it is looking forward to partnering with the NSW Government Back to Business Week and other initiatives to support small and medium businesses.
“With State Government funding assistance, Council will be hosting a business networking event on Friday March 3 and we’ll be releasing further details on this in a week or so. Council is well aware of the importance of supporting local business at every opportunity. Their importance is put into perspective when one considers that over the past six years, high-growth small and medium enterprises, that make up just 6% of NSW firms, created over one million new jobs. They more than offset the 600,000 jobs that larger firms shed,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“One of the projects we are undertaking in our bid to assist economic development is the compilation of a Shire wide business directory. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a business with a shop front, a cottage industry, in the larger towns, villages, on a rural property or on-line. To give some idea of the scope of this project we’d like examples from Accommodation – (Motels – Hotels - Bed and Breakfasts - Self Contained - Caravan Parks, Camping and Cabins - Farm Stay - Group Accommodation) - Activities – Agriculture and Agricultural Services - Animal Care – Attractions - Auto, Car Yards, and Trailers - Banks and Financial Services - Building Services, Housing and Construction – Catering - Child Care Services – Churches - Cleaning Services - Coffee Shops, Cafes and Takeaway - Community Organizations – Computer and Web Services – Doctors – Dentists - Education, Training and Tutoring - Entertainment and Shows - Event Services, Support and Venues - Hair and Beauty - Health and Fitness – Hire – Local Produce - Locksmiths - Medical Services - Museums, Arts and Crafts – Photography - Professional Services - Real Estate Agents – Restaurants – Service Stations - Signage, Merchandise and Printing – Shopping – Solicitors - Sports and Recreation – Transport – Tours - Wedding and Bridal Services.
“If there are other categories you’d like included that don’t come under these headings please tell us. Whatever business you are involved in we’d like you to be listed in the directory,” he said.
“Let us know particulars of your business/organisation. We need your name (this will only be included in the directory if you wish it to be), the name of your business/organisation, your address (if you wish the public to come to you), contact details, products and services you provide and the category you’d like to be listed under plus any other comments you may have,” he continued.
Email the details to email@example.com, post them to LPSC PO Box 152, Quirindi NSW 2343, or fax 6746 3255.
“A quality business directory will not only provide valuable information to local residents, it will also be invaluable to visitors to the Shire and to people seeking to relocate to a quieter lifestyle but who want a community with a good range of organisations, businesses and services. It will also benefit those who are listed.
“To make it a success we need your support. Succesful economic development depends upon every one participating for the common good,” he said.
LPSC is proud to support the State Government’s Back to Business Week (26 February – 4 March) initiative which celebrates small to medium businesses and promotes and supports the critical role they play in our local communities. We look forward to partnering with them in coming months to build a stronger economic base and employment opportunities,” Councillor Hope concluded.
In a further move to boost local economic development through tourism and to support its ongoing endeavours to capture more visitors through the burgeoning Recreational Vehicle (RV) market Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Visitor Information Centre (VIC) manager, Nikki Robertson, has helped crew a stand promoting the Kamilaroi Highway as a tourist destination.
“The Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo, held at the Entertainment Centre and Showground over four days, 9 to 12 February, is one of the biggest events of this kind in NSW. It features over 170 exhibitors covering everything to do with camping and caravans and with a large catchment area it provides us with a great opportunity to target thousands of people who are keen to hit the road and discover Australia. They are also close enough that people who just want to get away for a weekend can come and discover what we have to offer whilst staying at our Freedom Camping Grounds or Caravan Park,” Nikki said.
The VIC’s Manager, Nikki Robertson answers a query about a holiday along the Kamilaroi Highway at the The Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo
“Another bonus for us is our VIC is right at the start of the Kamilaroi Highway and features the Kamilaroi A Highway and People interprative display. The Kamilaroi Highway runs for some 600 kilometres. From our Shire it runs on through Gunnedah, Narrabri, Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Brewarrina and Bourke. It really is a fantastic route that runs through the agricultural heartland of NSW also providing the opportunity to explore some of Australia's most historic towns and outback areas,” Nikki continued.
“The stand has been manned by representatives from Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah and Narrabri councils and we’ve also been handing out brochures for towns further out. I’ve been promoting our tourist attractions plus all the stunning colours of the sunflower and canola fields. We’ve been pointing out that the Kamilaroi Highway provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges plus the vastness of the area from the Great Divide to the Great Outback,” she said.
A wide range of promotional material for Liverpool Plains Shire attractions was available for visitors to the Expo
“The LPS has experienced good growth in tourist numbers since it improved facilities for Freedom Campers at the Willow Tree, Wallabadah, Currabubula and Premer facilities, facilities at Spring Ridge are currently being expanded and at Werris Creek and Blackville sites are in the planning stages. In parallel, the facilities at Quirindi Caravan Park are being upgraded,”
“We have also been greatly assisted by the Australian Caravan Club promoting us as an RV friendly destination to its thousands of members. More and more of our entrepreneurial businesses are also starting to realise the benefits that can flow by providing for RV visitors,” Nikki continued.
“I’ve fielded many questions at the Expo regarding visiting to see sunflowers in bloom, the Rail Journeys Museum at Werris Creek, Freedom Camping, attractions in general and the opportunities for a peaceful rural holiday.
“The Expo has provided a great opportunity for us to attract more of the yearly 30 million domestic visitor nights spent in caravan parks and freedom camping grounds, 90% in regional Australia,” Nikki concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope is reminding residents that the first Ordinary Meeting of Council for 2017 will be held on Wednesday 22 February, commencing at 2.30pm, at the Council Chambers. Councillor Hope said transparency is a key focus of LPSC’s operations and that everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend meetings.
“I also remind residents that Council is currently conducting two important surveys. One is to assist develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan to gauge what LPSC is currently doing in this area and where improvement may be needed. It closes on February 17 and can be accessed via Council’s website at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCcommweblink.
“The second survey is to allow all residents a chance to have their say regarding the development of our vital Community Strategic Plan. This can also be accessed via the website at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCCommunity and will close in early March. You could win one of three prizes for completing this survey.
You can also access both these links via our website’s homepage - http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au/,” he said.
“For the information of not-for-profit organisations who may wish to seek assistance through LPSC’s Community Funding Program, the way the fund is administered has changed and applications are now assessed on a six monthly basis by a Council committee. Council recognises the vital role that community groups play in the strengthening of our social fabric. The fund is underpinned by a pholosophy of partnership and collaboration. To find out more about the streams of funding available, funding elegibility, the application and assesment process, application forms plus information about LPSC’s youth scholarship program go to our webpage - http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-community/youth-scholarship-scheme. If you require further information email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our events team on 6746 1755,” he continued.
“Community Litter Grants, a project by Keep NSW Beautiful and supported by the NSW EPA, offer grants of up to $5,000 for community groups who are keen to tackle litter in their area. These grants have become perpetual so groups can apply at anytime. They are easily accessible and start with a local litter check, (like a clean-up, only this one takes stock of the types of objects most littered, in a chosen public space). For this, the group receives $500. For more information, visit http://knswb.org.au/our-programs/community-litter-grants/ or call Madeleine on 02 8594 4000,” Councillor Hope concluded.
February is Library Lovers Month and according to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, it is a good time for the whole community to find out about the wide range of services which Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries offer and to consider the vital role they play in our local community, work and personal lives.
“I’m very proud of our libraries. The LPS libraries have the highest per capita borrowing rates of all in the Central Northern Region cluster. Obviously many residents are aware of what they offer and utilize those services but I’d like to encourage others to call in, say g’day and to discover they are portals to all of the world’s knowledge. Our librarians are the original, and still the best, search engines. Only a tiny fraction of the world’s information is available for free on the internet. But all of it is available through our libraries,” he said.
“Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries provide an extensive collection of books, videos, DVD's, CDs, magazines and audio books. If they don’t have what you are looking for they can often order it in. You can borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks online. They provide public use computers with free internet access and Wi-Fi. Printing and photocopying facilities are also available. They have seed libraries too. There are also many library events. These vary between branches and include children's story time, author talks, book clubs and baby book time. There is always something new and exciting happening at your library so drop in and discover things of interest to you,” Councillor Hope said.
“Children in particular can benefit through regular visits to the library. Library time is active, not passive. Regular visits inevitably lead to more reading and reading, as it turns out, is brain food! Research shows that reading actually aids in brain development, especially in a child’s first five years of life. When kids are read to, their brain cells are literally turned on, and existing links among brain cells are strengthened and new cell links are formed. Reading is also one of the best activities to provide the foundational language and literacy skills a child needs to succeed. When you visit the library, you can expose your children to more books and magazines than most people can afford to buy. Additionally, the local librarian can recommend books that you may not know of or think to suggest, broadening their tastes and expanding their minds and vocabularies. Owning a library card helps teach kids responsibility,” he continued.
“It is also vital to recognise the importance of our libraries as information service providers for people who may otherwise be disadvantaged by their lack of access to information and services. They help level the intellectual playing field by allowing people of any income level or background to access high-quality information, to use computers, or to borrow what they want. The existence of libraries ensures that knowledge and technology are available to everyone, not just to those who can afford their own. This essential social service helps raise the education levels of society as a whole,” he said.
“So how can we help our libraries grow even stronger? Our libraries need substantially more State Government funding. Originally they paid half the cost of public libraries in NSW. By 1980 this had dwindled to 23.5% per cent. Now it is about 8 cents in every dollar with councils picking up over 90% of the bill. Write to your local MP demanding more funding for libraries.
“Both Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries have volunteer ‘Friends’ groups that assist in many ways. If you’d like to support them ask your librarian about how you might make a positive contribution,” he said.
“Libraries have been around for 5,000 years. If they were not essential institutions, they would have died out long ago. Next time someone suggests they are not essential ask them why some of the world’s smartest and richest people, such as Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates, pour their time and money into them?
“To find out more about your local library and what it offers drop in or call Werris Creek on 6768 7340 or Quirindi on 6746 2350,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The Royal Theatre in Quirindi has been building a reputation for staging a wide variety of entertainment for Liverpool Plain’s audiences and this will continue on Friday 17 February when the Spooky Men’s Chorale will perform at 8pm.
The Spooky Men’s Chorale
The 13 improbably bearded vocalists make their way to the Royal for Musica Viva in collaboration with Arts North West.
As thunderous as a herd of wildebeest, as sly as a wagonload of Spike Milligans, and as sonorous as a cloister of monks, the Spooky Men’s Chorale are a gift that keeps on giving. The Spooky Men’s Chorale are the defacto archdeacons of low frequency vocal mayhem. They emerged blithering and blinking eyed from the Blue Mountains 16 years ago, and armed with no more than their voices, a nice line in deadpan, and an ill matched set of hats, have been gleefully disturbing audiences throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK ever since.
With a repertoire ranging from Georgian table songs to immaculate ballads, vaudevillian nonsense and a mock Sufi ode to the Bee Gees, they have earned a reputation for highly amusing and entertaining performances built on a solid musical base under the leadership of Stephen Taberner.
The Spooky Men’s Chorale have appeared at the Woodford Festival, The National Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Festival, Port Fairy Festival, and Hobart Festival of Voices. They have featured on ABC TV in Spicks and Specks and The New Inventors. Internationally they have enjoyed great acclaim during 6 UK tours giving 170 performances to 80,000 people at music festivals including Cambridge, Shrewsbury and Sidmouth, theatrical venues at London Union Chapel, Liverpool Philharmonic and Cardiff St David's Hall. They have also appeared at Tonder Festival in Denmark and Malmo Festival in Sweden They have also toured New Zealand, appearing at the Otago Festival. Now Liverpool Plains music lovers have the opportunity to see them perform locally.
Since its formation in 1945, the not-for-profit national arts company Musica Viva Australia has delivered quality music to regional and remote areas around the country, ensuring all music lovers can experience live performances no matter where they live.
Tickets are $30 for adults and can be obtained online at - www.quirindiroyaltheatre.com/spookymen/ and are also available at the LPSC Customer Service Desk at the Administration Centre.
Although the official opening of the Quirindi to Willow Tree water supply pipeline took place in March 2016 significant relaying of pipework for the reticulation system within the township has taken place since and its completion wraps up this major infrastructure project.
The actual pipeline from Quirindi to Willow Tree was officially opened on March 29 2016 by State MP, Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen, Federal Member for New England, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“This major infrastructure project has realised an important component of Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) long-term vision to drought proof and secure the Shire’s water supply for the future, our Regional Water Supply Strategy”, said LPSC Mayor Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The $4.85 million Willow Tree Pipeline project has been fully-funded through the NSW Government’s Water Security for Regions Program, part of the Restart NSW Fund and our local community is grateful to them for partnering to achieve this magnificent outcome,” he said.
Whilst Leed Engineering were the contractors for the main pipeline LPSC crews carried out significant support works in both Quirindi and Willow Tree for connections to and from the main pipeline. LPSC crews (pictured) have just completed the final cut-ins of new pipework within Willow Tree
“Council is proud that the main pipeline was delivered on time and under budget and I would also like to thank MP Michael Johnsen and the State Government for allowing us to use the residual funding to carry out some vital pipe replacement works in Willow Tree. These works included 700 metres of reconstruction, including the crossing of the rail corridor between Humble Street and Recreation Road replacing old infrastructure that was prone to leaks and breakages,” Councillor Hope continued.
“Along with the main pipeline and the improvements to the reticulation system in Willow Tree the project included a new pump station in Quirindi and a new 200,000 litres reservoir in Willow Tree”, he said.
The pipes delivered for the main line are 150mm ductile iron cement lined
“The main pipeline and associated distribution system has worked extremely well over the past 12 months and even during the tragic fire at the Bowling Club water pressure and supply was maintained easily. Considering Council was trucking water to Willow Tree two years ago, we’ve come a long way and Willow Tree now has a safe, reliable supply that should serve the community well for many years to come,” he said.
“As well as the State Government and MP Michael Johnsen, I’d like to congratulate and thank Council’s Engineering Department, particularly Water Services Manager Rod Batterham, for their meticulous planning and oversight of the project, LPSC’s work crews who made major contributions, Leed Engineering and last but not least community members for their patience during the original water crisis as well as the construction phase,” he continued.
“The success of this project highlights what can be achieved with careful planning and partnerships between local government plus State and/or Federal governments. Despite adequate water being available, Werris Creek is currently on Level 1 water conservation measures because the ageing water treatment plant is unable to cope with demand during the ongoing hot conditions. Even a prolonged power outage to the pumps at Quipolly Dam or the Water Treatment Plant could result in an inability to provide supply to a community where the costs of trying to truck in water would be horrendous. Having successfully supported the Willow Tree plus $380,000 water supply bore, pipeline and associated equipment project to secure Wallabadah’s supply, the Werris Creek community are hopeful the State Government can match the $10 million already pledged by the Federal Government along with Council funding to complete the Regional Water Supply Strategy which will secure their supply as well,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has commenced its reseal program for 2017. Council has plans to complete over 8km of reseals on regional roads and over 11km on its local road network. Council also has an urban reseal program, with over 35,900m2 of pavement to be resealed.
“The Shire currently maintains over 1394km of road. The average cost of resealing is approximately $42,350 per kilometre. With a finite budget to carry out projects, each road is assessed using a condition rating system from one to five,” Councillor Hope said.
“Council is currently completing road rehabilitation projects on 400m of Inverkip Road and 2.14km of Moreduval Lane. These works include the recycling of the current pavement and adding appropriate binders to increase the strength of this material. Then an overlay is being applied to increase the pavement strength and quality,” he said.
“Resealing involves spraying hot bitumen on to the surface of an existing sealed road and then spreading aggregate. The bitumen acts as a waterproofing membrane and the aggregate protects the bitumen and provides traction for vehicle tyres. Moisture ingress is the single most damaging element in the life of any road and resealing drastically reduces the amount of moisture that can penetrate the road surface,” he continued.
Before and after – a section that has been rehabilitated on Moreduval Lane.
“Council will complete resealing work on regional and local roads around the end of February, weather permitting. Work will then commence on the urban resealing program,” he said.
“Council has had incidence of members of the public criticising us for resealing roads as a waste of money because resealing does nothing to improve the shape of a rough road. While the early signs of an aging seal on a good road are not always obvious to an untrained eye, the timely re-sealing of a bitumen sealed road can drastically reduce the need for road maintenance and pothole patching for periods of up to 10 years, which is generally regarded by the road industry as the best practice interval for resealing roads. Obviously with a limited budget we must strive to make every dollar go as far as possible,” he continued.
“In regards to funding roadworks, Council’s Community Strategic Plan survey, which is currently underway provides the opportunity for all residents to comment on how they think funds should be allocated at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2LWBS6K and I urge everyone to have their say,” Councillor Hope concluded.
With a finite budget to carry out roadworks, each road is assessed using a condition rating system from one to five.
On behalf of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Deputy Mayor Councillor Doug Hawkins has extended thanks to the Australian Caravan Club (ACC) representatives who presented three workshops to give local business owners a better understanding of the benefits that can accrue through encouraging RVers to visit the Shire.
“The workshops highlighted awareness of the value of the industry, a breakdown of RVers’ daily spending, how to encourage RVers to visit, the overall experience they a seeking, and better ways to access the burgeoning market,” Councillor Hawkins said.
Getting ready for the first Quirindi seminar - John Snell from ACC’s Policy, Advocacy & Town Support Team, Tom Smith ACC Deputy Chair, Donna Ausling LPSC Director Environmental Services and Economic Development, Kaye Christie & Graham Christie ACC Director, Membership Support
“LPSC and ACC have developed a close working relationship to achieve a better outcome for all RVers as well helping to drive local economic development. Council has invested in the establishment or upgrading of Freedom Camps at Willow Tree, Wallabadah, Currabubula and Premer plus the Caravan Park in Quirindi. Work is underway to improve facilities at Spring Ridge and when a suitable location is agreed upon a new Freedom Camp will be developed at Werris Creek. Possibilities at Blackville are also being explored. These developments have seen the number of RVers utilising Shire facilities increase greatly with flow on benefits for all communities involved,” he said.
“Approximately 50 people attended the workshops held at Quirindi and Spring Ridge,” he continued.
Glen and Lisa (right side middle row) from the Marshal McMahon hotel at Wallabadah, Caroline (centre front row) from The Hub at Wallabadah and Cathy (front right) from the Currabubula Hotel attended one of the seminars which focused on hospitality.
The Spring Ridge hall was the venue for one of the workshops. Local businesses are keen to develop the potential that an upgraded Freedom Camping site can bring to their community.
“Some of the info local businesses need to take on board includes Freedom camping use increased 24% over the last year. Growth is being driven by adult couples travelling without children. Overall though 50% of the RV market is families with Grey Nomads accounting for 25-30%. Families are more likely to stay at caravan parks, particularly at beach side locations, whilst couples and grey-nomads are more likely to utilise Freedom Camp sites,” he said.
“The numbers are big! Nationally, over $7 billion is spent each year by RV travellers, with 30 million domestic visitor nights spent in caravan parks and freedom camping grounds. Importantly for our Shire, 90% of all visitor nights in the sector are spent in regional Australia.
“I’ve received positive feedback about the workshops with the business community appreciating being better informed about what the RVers are looking for when they visit.
“Businesses who missed out on attending can contact me for more details on 0407 001 048. I often hear businesses saying times are tough, we’re not making enough, well supporting Council’s attempts to drive economic development by courting the RV market provides an opportunity for you to grow your business. The aim is to provide what the RV market requires and at the same time to help our Shire prosper,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor and Chair of the Namoi Council’s Joint Organisation (JO), Councillor Andrew Hope, has welcomed the appointment of Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall as NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Assistant Minister for Skills and Gunnedah based Sarah Mitchell MLC as Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education.
“I think their appointments is a great thing for the region, I congratulate them and look forward to working with them in both my role as LPSC Mayor and Chair of the JO. They are both local people and understand the special needs of our region and hopefully can help us all achieve bigger and better things,” he said.
Councillor Hope said he was particularly heartened to hear Mr Marshall say that he was “really looking forward to helping open up rural and regional NSW to more international and domestic tourists and building the capacity for our regions to attract and host more major events and grow the events we hold now.”
“Tourism is becoming an increasingly important industry for inland councils. Coming from the area Adam Marshall is well placed to assist the whole New England/North West reach its full potential in this area. There is a good base to build on plus LPSC is investing in providing for the burgeoning RV market and I see the potential for us to considerably expand opportunities in this area to benefit the whole region,” he said.
“Coming from Gunnedah, I’m sure Sarah Mitchell will be aware that expanding early childhood education opportunities is more difficult in rural and regional areas than in metropolitan areas and I hope she can help to close the gap. Our First Nation people also suffer disadvantage in many areas and any improvements she can make in this area will be most welcome,’ he continued.
“I understand that Tamworth MP, Kevin Anderson, has had his Parliamentary Secretary role expanded in the transport portfolio. I welcome his statement that this will allow him to take on a greater role in our state passenger services, especially those within rural NSW that link to city services. In this regard Mr Anderson’s great legacy could be the extension of Newcastle – Scone services to Tamworth to provide greater opportunities for Upper Hunter, Liverpool Plains and Tamworth region travellers to utilise public transport, at affordable prices, and importantly the opportunity for day return services that allow time for appointments in Newcastle or a trip to the beach plus connections to the electric trains to Sydney,” he said.
“The people of Werris Creek are also looking to him to obtain State funding to match the $10 million in Federal funds provided by Federal MP Barnaby Joyce plus LPSC funding to build an urgently needed new water treatment plant for the town. We are shovel ready and just waiting for this necessary assistance,” he continued.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro have certainly added new blood and enthusiasm to their ministry and I look forward to it benefitting our northern communities,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire (LPSC) Councillor Virginia Black is urging residents to assist Council develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan by completing a survey which will help gauge what LPSC is currently doing in this area and where improvement may be needed.
“The survey will be available at Council’s Administration Centre, Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries, the Visitor Information Centre at Willow Tree, Home Support Service (the former HACC) offices in Willow Tree, Quirindi and Werris Creek, the Service NSW office in George St Quirindi, The Recreation Centre and on Council’s website. The closing date to have surveys submitted is Friday 17 February,” Councillor Black said.
“Under the Disability Inclusion Act, Council is required to have a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) in place by July this year. The Disability Inclusion Action Plan will demonstrate Council’s commitment to people with a disability through improving access to services, facilities and jobs. It will assist in ensuring intent is transformed into action,” she said.
“It will set out measures enabling people with a disability to access general support and services and fully participate in the community and importantly assist in changing perceptions about people with a disability,” she continued.
“LPSC recognises that people with a disability have a right to quality facilities and services that enable them to live and fully participate in their communities.
“It is vital that we all remember disability does not mean inability,” Councillor Black concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has resolved to provide $6,000 to carry out repairs and an upgrade to the truck wash controller at the facility located at the old saleyards precinct. The repairs are necessary following damage to the unit which placed the facility out of use.
“LPSC has continued to operate the truck wash facility since the closure of the saleyards some years ago as a service to allow fundamental gross truck washing activities to local truck operators. Council also receives revenue from non-local operators who also utilise the site,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Looking to the longer term, Council is investigating the availability of grant funding that might be available to relocate and upgrade the present facility. Its current location is within the footprint of proposed Stage 2 works for the Emergency Services Precinct currently being developed,” he said.
“While Council realises the importance of the facility to the truck industry, which is itself vital to the local economy, we will require substantial assistance from other tiers of government to find the $170,000 required for a modern facility.
“This would include easy access for B-doubles, compliant effluent treatment facilities, sealed all weather access, increased water performance and signage on major roads to attract additional external users,” he continued.
“Council staff have put together a good submission to accompany a request for funding. Wash-down facilities play a vital role in vehicle productivity and maintenance, as well as protecting NSW’s biosecurity. Modern facilities remove bottlenecks that constrain logistic businesses and protect NSW against the spread of weeds and disease,” he concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Deputy Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins, individuals, organisations and small business have told him that funding is firmly at the top of the list of concerns they face when trying to initiate projects and events.
“Anyone who has to fundraise knows it can challenge creativity and organisational skills. Tougher economic times mean many people can’t donate as they once did and demands by Federal and State governments that more activity be based on the user pays principle can also make things more difficult,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“Under the circumstances I encourage those seeking funding to investigate the many opportunities to apply for grants made available each year by both State and Federal governments and also by charitable trusts and foundations. Every year, there are literally billions of dollars’ worth of grants handed out around Australia,” he said.
“Unfortunately, many businesses and community organisations don't know what's available, what to look for, or where, or when. LPSC often posts some of the most relevant grants available on its Facebook page but there are many more available. There are a number of sites on the web that provide this information, if you’re a local adjunct of a larger organisation your head office should be able to provide leads and government departments have details on their websites too.
“If you’re a small, local volunteer organisation Council, through its Economic Development Department can often provide limited assistance as to what is available or tips on applying for funding. You’ve got to be in it to win it,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Examples of available grants that may assist local organisations are:
- Grow with NBN - NBN Co has a range of grants available to small/micro businesses, community organisations, and educational organisations. Up to $25,000 is on offer for each grant with a total pool of $150,000. Applications close at 12 noon on Friday 17 February. More information including applications available at www.growwithnbn.com.au.
- Grants of up to $5,000 are available for community groups who are keen to tackle litter in their area and have the local knowledge to make a difference. The grants are easy, accessible, and can be a fun bonding opportunity for groups. They start with a local litter check for which the group receives $500. For more information, visit http://knswb.org.au/our-programs/community-litter-grants/ or call Madeleine on 02 8594 4000.
Werris Creek and Quirindi swimming pools will provide a family fun day with free admission for everyone on Australia Day, January 26. Werris Creek pool will be open from 11am to 7pm and Quirindi pool from 10am to 7pm.
“Free admission to the pools will provide an additional option for the community to celebrate our National Day,” said Liverpool Plains Shire Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“BBQs will be operational at both pools between 11.30am and 1.30pm and for $2.50 you’ll be able to get a sausage sandwich,” he said.
“To show appreciation to those who have bought season passes, present your pass on entry to the pool, receive a ticket and during the BBQ, all those listed on the pass will be entitled to a free sanger,” he added.
“I would urge those who go along on the day to slip-slop-slap, take a hat and keep up the fluids if the day is a typical, hot Aussie summer day,” he continued.
“Aussies are renowned for our love of water sports so Council hopes as many people as possible will take advantage of the free admission to the pools and have a great day,” Councillor Hope concluded
Swimming lessons, with many options available for ages 2yrs and up, will commence on Monday 30 January at Quirindi Pool. Further information and price structure can be obtained by calling 6746 3122.
LPSC Pools Manager Annah O’Neil Shaw said it is worth noting that Royal Life Saving believes that a rapid increase in drowning in young adults aged 15-24 year olds is undeniably linked to a fall in the swimming and water safety skills of children in Australia over the past 10 years. Of real concern is research showing that many children are leaving primary school without being able to swim 50 metres or float for 2 minutes, skills Royal Life Saving describes as a basic right of every child living in Australia and mandatory if we are to halve drowning by 2020.
Werris Creek and Quirindi swimming pools will revert to off peak opening hours once school returns on January 30.
Werris Creek Pool -
- Monday to Friday 3pm to 6pm
- Saturday and Sunday 11am to 7pm
Quirindi Pool -
- Early Morning Swim Monday Wednesday Friday 6am to 8am
- Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm
- Saturday and Sunday 10am to 7pm