Media Releases & Exhibitions
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) wishes to inform residents that requirements for muzzling of pet greyhounds have been eased in NSW. Until recently, all greyhounds were legally required to wear a muzzle in public unless they had completed an approved retraining program. The law was changed this month and this legal requirement no longer applies provided they are pet greyhounds and registered on the NSW Pet Registry.
“Removal of the muzzling requirement is part of the State’s commitment to improving living standards and rehoming rates for the breed and to help improve whole-of-life tracking of racing greyhounds. The changes were recommended by the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel following extensive consultation. The RSPCA supported the complete removal of compulsory muzzling requirements saying their use should be based on the behaviour of each individual dog. The changes are being implemented in a way that promotes the welfare of greyhounds and other animals, as well as community safety,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“As with all breeds of dogs in NSW, greyhounds are still required to be on a leash at all times while in public, unless they are in a Council designated off-leash area,” he said.
“Greyhounds are still required to be muzzled in an off-leash area if they haven’t undertaken
an approved retraining program. Greyhounds that have completed this program will continue to wear identifying green collars, or, now as an alternative, the person in charge of the animal must carry a ‘proof of completion’ card,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said the same penalty that previously applied for an un-muzzled greyhound, in an off leash area, still applies if the animal has not completed an approved retraining program. He said currently the penalty is a $180 fine while a court can apply a maximum penalty of $880.
“The requirement for muzzling in off-leash areas will be transitional until the socialisation of ex-racing greyhounds is improved as part of the ongoing work of Greyhound Racing NSW and the Greyhound Integrity and Welfare Commission. This includes development of a new Animal Welfare Code of Practice to set out socialisation requirements for each stage of a greyhound’s life and to ensure their suitability for rehoming.
“The NSW Office of Local Government is recommending that owners muzzle their pet greyhound in public for at least eight weeks after adopting it. This will allow the greyhound to settle into its new environment and the owner to monitor and assess the dog’s behaviour,” he said.
“As with all dog breeds, greyhound owners still have the discretion to muzzle their dogs based on their assessment of its behaviour and are still required to use a muzzle if the dog has been declared to be menacing or dangerous,” Councillor Hope concluded.
In a move to increase security for family pets, that may stray and end up in care, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is reminding pet owners of the need to safeguard their welfare by making sure they are properly microchipped. There is also a requirement for them to be registered through the NSW Pet Registry at https://www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au/#/ or at Council’s Administration Centre. Council is also urging residents to ensure pets are securely contained at their property.
“Sadly, LPSC is still seeing family pets come into care and the owners unable to be contacted because they aren’t microchipped or the details on the chip are no longer up-to-date. A microchip is only as good as the information it contains. If you move, change your phone number, or transfer ownership of your pet, please update its microchip details. It is worth keeping in mind that a lost animal with out-of-date microchip details is no more identifiable than a stray animal with no ID. The most important aspect of microchipping is that it can literally save your pet’s life,” said LPSC’s Regulatory Manager,” Steve Ryder.
“Apart from the added security microchipping provides your pet, the NSW State Government, by law, requires microchipping and lifetime registration for all dogs and cats under the Companion Animals Act.
“Microchipping must be done by 3 months of age and earlier if you are selling or giving them away. In regard to registration, if you desex and register your cat by 4 months of age you can get a reduced registration rate. Otherwise dogs and cats must be registered by 6 months. The one-off registration fee is for the lifetime of the animal, again details need to be updated when circumstances change.
“If your pet goes missing and you know its microchip is out-of-date, or it doesn’t have one, please ring the Ranger on 6746 1755 during business hours to see if it is in care. Wearing a collar and ID tags at all times can also assist a pet and owner to be reunited. LPSC posts details of pets taken into care and those available for adoption on its Facebook page,” he said.
“Another safeguard is ensuring your pet is securely contained at your home. It is against the law to let your dog wander on its own outside your property. Keeping your pets properly contained can protect them from attacks by other straying animals and the risk of accident on the roads. It also protects the owner from the possibility of their pet attacking another animal or human. Confining dogs to the property will prevent eighty percent of dog attacks in public, confining your cats can help protect native animals. To put it simply, it can save a lot of trouble,” he said.
Steve is reminding pet owners that recent changes to State legislation require people advertising kittens, cats, puppies and dogs for sale, or to give away, to include an identification number in advertisements.
“The identification number can be either a microchip number, a breeder identification number, or a rehoming organisation number. All advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites must include one of these forms of identification.
“It is now an offence if you fail to use an identifying number in an advertisement. It is also an offence to falsify a number. Sellers and those giving pets away can be issued an on-the-spot fine of $330 if they do not include it. Failure to display an identification number, or falsification of a number can also carry a maximum penalty of $5,500 in court.
“Buyers will be able to use the identification number in a search on the NSW Pet Registry to see recorded details like breed, sex, age, whether it is desexed, and whether or not it is already registered. Go to The Pet Registry website for more information,” he said.
“It is recognised that all residents have the right to enjoy the benefits of animal ownership but with that comes the responsibility of not adversely impacting on neighbours, community amenity, the environment, and wildlife. Owners’ obligations under NSW legislation can be found at https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/public/dogs-and-cats/responsible-pet-ownership-program.
“Council’s Ranger is available to provide any advice you may require regarding responsible care of pets and your obligations. If you have a pet, you can no longer care for don’t just dump it. Call the Ranger and find out how you can surrender it legally. We are here to help,” Steve concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) GM, Ron Van Katwyk is urging Shire residents to support two project applications through the State Government’s My Community Fund. The community driven applications are 1) Liverpool Plains Silo Art Trail to transform the grain silos of Quirindi and Premer into silo art and 2) Mobile digital screen/scoreboard to provide the community with a mobile screen/scoreboard for community, school and sporting events.
Mr Van Katwyk said these two projects are amongst 28 submitted in the Upper Hunter electorate and funding will be decided based on a public online vote so it is vital that LPS residents support them as they are competing with projects from other local government areas within the electorate. He said LPSC is proud to support these projects, submitted by locals, both of which can provide substantial, ongoing benefits for the whole Shire.
“The Liverpool Plains Silo Art Trail proposal has the potential to deliver the first Silo Art in the Shire, to attract tourist and visitors which will benefit cafes, fuel stations, accommodation services and businesses providing economic flow on and stimulus to the Shire economy. Additionally, a strong and common regional identity can mobilise people to boost development, entrepreneurship and innovation creating regional product and services. More detail for this project is available at https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au/project?projectId=cjy157tro1fru0856h6187u80,” he said.
“The Mobile digital screen/scoreboard proposal will facilitate sporting, school and community groups to display information to enhance experience and engagement. Businesses and organisations will have the opportunity to promote activities and events for the benefit of the community and sporting groups and schools will be provided with the opportunity to increase participation and engagement through digitally displaying live scores and information. More info at https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au/project?projectId=cjy157uuy1fzc0799r4mtq9me, he continued.
Mr Van Katwyk said to vote go to https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au/projects and select the Upper Hunter electorate and log in or create a MyServiceNSW Account. He said to find out if you already have an account, or to create one, go to www.service.nsw.gov.au, call 13 77 88 or visit a Service NSW centre.
“You will need to verify your identity, live in NSW and be at least 16 years or over. Use your Medicare card to verify your name and age and provide your NSW residential address to identify your electorate. The verification process is carried out by Service NSW,” he said.
“Then, shortlist your favourite projects by going to Browse projects. You can click on a project to read about it in detail. Click on the star icon to shortlist. You can view your shortlist at any time by selecting 'My shortlist' from the top of the screen. You must select at least 3 projects, so after choosing the two in LPS you will need to select at least 1 more from the 28 on offer.
“When you have at least 3 projects in your shortlist arrange them in your order of preference. They will be given points, 1st preference – 10 points, 2nd preference – 5 points and 3rd preference – 3 points. After arranging your favourite projects in order of preference, submit your vote. You can only vote once and you can’t change your vote after it’s been submitted,” he continued.
“These projects will greatly benefit economic development and community assets, but they need your support to make them reality. I urge all people eligible to vote to please support these community initiatives. If you have further enquiries please email LPSC’s Economic Development Officer, Ian George at email@example.com or call him during business hours on 6746 1755. We can only be successful with these applications if as many community members as possible submit a vote,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, is reminding parents, guardians and carers they can now apply for 2019’s second round of NSW Government $100 Active Kids Vouchers. This program provides two $100 vouchers per annum to allow school-enrolled children to use towards sport and active recreation costs each year. Vouchers from round one are valid January to December and Voucher 2 is valid July to December.
“It is a proven fact that regular physical activity is an important part of getting healthy and staying healthy. Encouraging kids and teens to be active from a young age sets good habits early on and helps them develop the skills they need to stay active throughout their lives. I encourage parents, guardians and carers to take advantage of this benefit and to apply,” Councillor Hope said.
“To apply you’ll need a MyServiceNSW account. You can apply for one of these online at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/sign-myservicensw-account. To be eligible students must be a NSW resident, aged between 4.5 and 18 years, enrolled in school, from Kindergarten to Year 12, including those who are home-schooled or enrolled in secondary school education at TAFE NSW, and your child’s Medicare card details. You can apply for a voucher for each eligible student,” he said.
“To use the voucher, you need to choose the eligible provider where you'll use it. At registration or payment time, provide the following information, the child's full name, date of birth and Active Kids voucher number through the provider's preferred process. You can eligible providers online at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/find-active-kids-provider. If you can't find your preferred provider, you can ask them to register to become one by on line at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-active-kids-provider. If you’re a local provider of such services and not registered I encourage you to do so,” he continued.
Go to https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-active-kids-voucher#introduction for more information and to apply. Please keep in mind that a voucher can only be used once and if the fees for your chosen activity are less than $100, the remaining balance is forfeited and can't be used,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Water security, access and infrastructure has been put under the microscope as part of the Water for the Future project coordinated by Namoi Unlimited JO, of which Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is a constituent member.
“The strategy reports have been prepared by an independent consultant. Volume 1 is a collation of water resources and climate change is addressed in section 3. The second volume provides the draft recommendations and possible actions that can be undertaken by JO members. This information is currently on exhibition and members of the community are invited to make comment. These reports can be viewed at www.namoiunlimited.nsw.gov.au and submissions can be made via email at firstname.lastname@example.org,” said LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk.
“This is a technical and complex report about the region’s water resources with analysis and recommended actions. It has been developed to help member Councils better understand how climate change and other factors are impacting this region’s water supplies and assesses the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats to water security in our region.
“The JO recognises that water is a critical enabler for economic growth. The report complements work already being undertaken by Namoi Unlimited to understand and diversify economies and build vibrant and sustainable communities. While the water needs and concerns of each member Council may vary, the JO is united in the belief that Local Government should embrace best practice water management and fight on behalf of its residents for secure water supplies,” he said.
“The reports makes 33 recommendations about what member Councils and the region as a whole can do to take action. It considers ways Councils can collaborate to complete a regional Integrated Water Cycle Management strategy with local considerations which will go a long way to addressing the complexity, linkages and planning for urban water, quality and community expectations around issues like access, public health and the environment.
“It includes recommendations for potential short and long term infrastructure projects to strengthen water security and changes to water planning and policy. It highlights the need for further studies and assessment to address data gaps to enable regional improvements to water management. A professional report to this standard would be near impossible for an individual Council to fund, and action alone,” he continued.
“Our region is well aware of climate change challenges we need to address as we continue to battle one of the worst droughts in history. The JO overseeing this important project will provide better opportunities to inform State and Federal Governments of the situation and to seek their support in addressing them,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council is supporting Local Government (LG) NSW’s calls for the State Government to adopt a fairer approach, to resolve the problems they’ve caused by cost shifting to ratepayers the higher expenses incurred through changes to the Emergency Services Levy and required to meet the Government’s obligations to provide better workers’ compensation coverage for volunteer and career firefighters.
“LPSC, in fact local government state-wide, fully supports efforts to ensure fair workers’ compensation for volunteer and career firefighters around the State. These people are family, friends and workmates. We are indebted to them for the risks they take and the role they play to protect us,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Local Government’s problem arises from the fact that when the Government passed the legislation last year, they did not consult with local government about their decision to fund these changes via the emergency services levy. As a result, after the State election and when Councils around NSW had framed their 2019/20 budgets, they get hit with unexpectedly high bills from Revenue NSW for which no budget provision was made.
“In the case of LPSC, the invoice from Revenue NSW was for $436,193.58 for its emergency services levy contribution 2019/20. This is $83,994.54 more than last year’s levy - a 23.8% increase! This will mean Council will need to find additional funds and/or cut planned initiatives or services. Council’s state-wide face this dilemma.
“The LG NSW campaign is requesting the NSW Government to cover the initial additional increase to Councils for the first year. It also calls for the NSW Government to work with NSW local government to redesign the funding mechanism for the scheme to ensure fairness into the future,” he continued.
“To support LG NSW, our GM will liaise with them providing information on the impact to LPSC budgets of the increase to the Emergency Services Levy and Council advocacy actions already undertaken on the issue. As Mayor, I’ve written to the NSW Premier and NSW Opposition Leader, NSW Minister for Customer Services, NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Local Government, Shadow Minister for Local Government plus local state member/s to advocate for the Emergency Services Levy to be significantly modified to ensure it is transparent, equitable and accountable,” he said.
“The poor planning and implementation of the increase is inconsistent with the Government’s commitment to work in partnership with local government. Proportional to Council revenue, the extra $84,000 LPSC is being asked to pay is a large amount and the impact of this unplanned cost will have negative impacts for the whole community,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Two representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) northern regional office in Armidale, Angus Adair and Rebecca Scrivener, popped into Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) recently and made a power point presentation to Councillors and staff about the organisations role and its connection with local government.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, said many of Council’s activities are governed by the EPA under NSW legislation. He said parks, reserves and protected areas, air quality, heritage, water, land and soil, animals and plants, energy savings and resource efficiency and climate change all come under the EPA’s umbrella of responsibility.
“Staff from the Armidale Office undertake work involved with environment protection and regulation and catchment and environment protection sciences, important issues for rural communities. I’d like to thank Angus and Rebecca for visiting and sharing their insights with us,” he concluded.
(L to R) - LPSC Mayor Andrew Hope, LPSC Water Services Manager Rod Batterham, LPSC Director Environmental Services Donna Ausling, EPA Officers Angus Adair and Rebecca Sharkey and LPSC Property and Regulatory Manager Steve Ryder discussed the important linkages between the EPA and Council
Parents and carers are urged to make a booking to secure a place for their children 8+ so they can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing at a fun and educational event, at Quirindi Library, during the school holidays.
Limited places available are limited so drop into the library or call 6746 2350.
“This will be a great experience for children. After participants complete each mission, they’ll be able to fill their Lunar Astronaut Mission Log with stamps acknowledging their achievements.
Don’t miss blast off and book now,” LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope said.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has welcomed the news that the latest round of the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), with applications closing 5pm Friday 27 September, and for the first time, not-for-profit and community organisations can now apply.
“This round is offering $100 million for community projects in regional NSW The round has an increased focus on young people aged 12-24 with at least $50 million earmarked for youth-related projects. The fund has also been expanded to cover programs and events as well as infrastructure,” he said.
“In the past LPSC has collaborated with communities and organisations and achieved funding for a number of significant projects. Through this process experience has been gained in recognising projects that fit the fund’s criteria and the essentials for completing successful applications.
“Shire communities/organisations that may consider submitting an application, are invited to call LPSC’s Economic Development Officer, Ian George, on 6746 1755 during business hours for advice and tips towards submitting successful applications or email email@example.com,” he said.
“The fact that there are three months until applications close gives time to produce the detailed applications required for a chance of success. An application is no longer scratching a wish list on a piece of paper.
“Applications must meet guidelines and objective of the SCCF, provide a detailed project scope, a clear and detailed project budget, how infrastructure will be operated and/or maintained, have landowner consent if applicable plus evidence of community consultation and strong community support. Community amenity and infrastructure applications must demonstrate how the project will help boost the liveability of the local community and evidence of how the project will meet a community need and how benefits will be measured. Youth infrastructure and program applications must demonstrate how the project will benefit young people and how young people have been involved and consulted in the development of the proposal and how the benefits will be measured,” he continued.
“That sounds a mouthful but with community collaboration it is achievable. Please contact Ian to examine prospects for successful outcomes and the way towards achieving them. Let’s see if Liverpool Plains Shire can’t grow on its previous achievements with more wins for our communities,” Councillor Hope concluded.
More information is available at https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/regional-nsw/regional-growth-fund/stronger-country-communities/.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, local government is tasked with making responsible decisions about a diverse range of community needs. He said to cater for these needs and to achieve the best outcomes, transparent community involvement helps to better inform Council’s decision making process and development of policies and their translation into effective strategies, programs and projects.
“LPSC’s Local Advisory Groups (LAG) provide grassroots input from our various communities and these groups have been responsible for driving projects that have seen substantial improvements to local amenities such as playgrounds, recreational facilities, halls and local events.
“Members of the LAGs volunteer their time to help strengthen their communities and their input is greatly valued. Council encourages community members, interested in building a stronger future, to become involved in this decision making process. Interested persons who would like to become involved can find out details of upcoming LAG meetings by emailing or calling LPSC’s Economic Development Officer, Ian George, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 6746 1755,” he said.
“Representatives from the LAG’s meet on a regular basis as part of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) to pool ideas and regional matters of community interest. For example, the roll-out of the ongoing Telecommunications Outreach Program (TOP), to campaign for improved mobile and telecommunication services that are so vital to rural communities, resulted from the issue being raised at a CAG meeting with input from the various LAGs,” he continued.
“Our most recent CAG meeting discussed a wide range of issues including rail corridor issues with a presentation from Belinda Sinclair on behalf of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), an update on TOP, a grants update and a review of current community priority and working community action lists,” Councillor Hope said.
“The minutes of CAG meetings are included in Council’s business papers and available via the website at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/council-papers-meeting-minutes for community perusal,” he said.
“The real-life experiences of community stakeholders, through the LAGs and CAG, makes a valuable contribution to decision-making through an open and deliberative process. I encourage others who have an interest in the development of their Shire to become part of this process,” Councillor Hope concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, a quick look at the calendar for the next month highlights the remarkable role volunteers play within the community enriching wellbeing and social amenity. Councillor Hope is encouraging the community to be grateful to the volunteers for their efforts and to support their endeavours.
The Friends of Children with Special Needs Quirindi group is holding their A Touch of Christmas event at the Jockey Club Function Centre on Saturday 29 June from 6pm ‘til late with entertainment by Heartland. The event is for age 18+. Tickets must be purchased before the event and are available from Goodness and Gracious.
On Friday 5 July, the Rotary Club of Quirindi are holding a Movie Fundraiser at the Royal Theatre commencing at 7pm. The movie will be Rocketman which is rated M. The bar will be operating and tickets, at $20pp are available online at http://bit.ly/RotaryRocket.
On Saturday 6 July, at Spring Ridge, The Starlight Bush Rally starts at midday with a 150km round-trip journey. This will be followed by the Firecracker and Bonfire Night. It commences at the Spring Ridge Country Club from 5pm. There will be a BBQ, bar facilities as well as entertainment and free overnight camping. There is a $10 entry fee per car/family. The fireworks commence at 7pm. News and updates via Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Spring-Ridge-Bonfire-Firecracker-Night-1894799320788339/.
The Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum, at Werris Creek Railway Station, is open 10am to 4pm daily, except Christmas Day and Good Friday. The Museum’s stunning displays are a credit to the tireless volunteers who make this museum happen. Continuing upgrades and new displays means it is a place you can visit over and over again. A recent addition is a model railway showing Werris Creek in its railway heydays. Entry by gold coin donations which goes towards upgrading and maintaining the facility.
On Wednesday 10 July, NAIDOC Week celebrations will see a free community event held at Longfield Park, between 10.30am and 2.30pm with rides, food, drinks and entertainment.
Saturday morning, 13 July, sees the monthly Quota Markets held at Rose Lee Park with fresh produce, arts and crafts, local honey, cakes and more! If you’d like to arrange a stall contact Mary Roberts on 0400 339 127.
Quirindi Rural Heritage Village is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4pm and the Miniature Railway operates the fourth Sunday of the month, 10am – 2pm. The train can also be booked for birthday parties, bus tours, and Christmas parties, call Roger on 6747 1264 or 0427 456 967 for further details. You can make a day of it checking out the wonderful exhibits of times past and have a break at the Coffee Shop sampling some homemade treats.
The Shire’s Royal Theatre is run by volunteers, showing movies on a regular basis. It is also a great venue for functions or conferences. To enquire call 6746 1755 during business hours. Movies coming up include Thursday 27 6pm and Sunday 30 1pm Aladdin (PG), Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (PG) June 30 1pm and Thursday 4 July. Other movies scheduled for later in July include 2040 (G), Men in Black: International (M) and Toy Story 4 (G). Full details on The Royal’s website http://www.quirindiroyaltheatre.com/movies/.
The Quirindi Clay Target Club Monthly Shoot will be held on Sunday 28 July. Everyone is welcome to the club’s monthly shoot. Their range is on the Seven Creeks/Gaspard Road. If you haven't got a shooting license, call John Hoskins on 0428 461 187, to arrange a trial shoot or for further information.
“A lot of effort by dedicated volunteers helps create a variety of events that assist them to fund important projects that further benefit the community or allow outlets for people’s interests. LPSC encourages individuals and community organisations to let us know what events you’re holding so we can cross promote it for you. Email details to our Visitor Information Centre Manager, Nikki Robertson, email@example.com or call her on 6747 1226. Further promotion can help your event grow, resulting in a stronger community,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is requesting the community to report incidence of illegal dumping of rubbish on private and public land, parks, public places and bushland. Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, says to achieve the best outcomes in combating waste illegally dumped a whole-of-community approach is required.
“LPSC has a commitment to maintaining and improving the appearance of the Shire's towns, villages and rural areas. Council encourages community members to use their smart phones to RID - Report Illegal Dumping, activity in the Shire, anytime and anywhere, using the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)'s illegal dumping reporting portal RIDonline,” he said.
“Using RIDonline is an important way the community can provide vital information about illegal dumping activities. To report a matter, go to https://ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au/#/home.
“There are a few things to keep in mind. If there is an immediate emergency such as toxic fumes or a large chemical spill, call 000 immediately. If dumped waste poses an immediate environmental risk, contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555 for large urgent incidents over a two trailer load. For small urgent incidents, under a two trailer load please report to Council on 6746 1755. If you see litter being thrown or blown from a vehicle or trailer you can report it via https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/litter-and-illegal-dumping/report-littering.
“When making a report, it is of great assistance if you can advise when the dumping took place and, if possible, the type of vehicle involved and its registration number. Photographs of the vehicle involved, and the site of the illegal dump also help greatly,” he continued.
"Illegal dumping is not a problem confined to the LPS. The creation of RIDonline by the NSW EPA and their partnering with local government to combat the problem highlights that there is a problem State-wide. Illegal dumping is not only unsightly, it puts public health at risk, degrades the environment, plus the community pays a high cost to clean it up.
“Penalties for illegal dumping are severe, ranging from on the spot fines issued by the EPA of $7500 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations, up to over $500,000 for individuals and $2,000,000 for corporations. Some offences also prescribe a prison sentence. In the case of a continuing offence, a further daily penalty of $60,000 for individuals and $120,000 for corporations can be applied,” he said.
Councillor Hope pointed out that many people probably aren’t aware that by accepting waste on your own land, you might also be committing an offence.
“If you allow waste to be dumped on your land, you are responsible for managing the clean-up while bearing the cost. Both the owner of the waste and the transporter are also guilty of an offence. Again, penalties are severe, ranging up to $1,000,000.
“Landowners need to beware of accepting clean fill, rubble and various soils, onto their land and be certain that they are not accepting illegal landfill. Check the credentials of anyone who offers you free or cheap fill and never accept fill from unknown sources. Before accepting fill, check if any EPA or Council approvals are required,” he said.
“Dumped materials range from a piece of litter and small bags of rubbish, to bigger scale dumping of hazardous waste such as asbestos and chemicals. Green waste also fits into the category as it can spread diseased vegetation and noxious weeds,” Councillor Hope continued.
“You can report illegal dumping anonymously but it is vital you provide as much worthwhile information as possible so the matter can be investigated and where possible enforcement action taken against perpetrators. At the end of the day illegal dumping has serious consequences for the environment and costs the community substantial amounts to clean up and rehabilitate sites. So please remember RID – Report Illegal Dumping,” he concluded.
The Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, is encouraging local business operators to attend a free visual merchandising event for local businesses, that will be held on Monday July 8, commencing at 6pm and running through until approximately 8pm, at the Quirindi Jockey Club Function Centre at the Racecourse.
Councillor Hope said the initiative is being hosted by Council in collaboration with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner. He is urging interested parties to register as soon as possible as spaces are strictly limited and expected to fill quickly. To register, please email or phone LPSC’s Economic Development Officer, Ian George, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0408 615 753.
“Visual Merchandising is an important ingredient for any successful retail business, so this is a must attend event for any shop, café and restaurant managers or owners looking to retain and grow their business,” Ian said.
“Visual Merchandising can assist you to increase and maximise sales, by attracting increased foot traffic and returning customers to your store, it is simple and quick to do yourself and cost-effective with an immediate impact and result for your business. While technology is continually changing the way things are sold, Visual Merchandising skills can be applied to all platforms for selling,” he said.
“The workshop is being delivered by visual merchandising consultant and user experience specialist, Charmaine Corcoran, who will provide you with the tools to improve your business. Charmaine will draw on her significant experience, with proven success across the retail, commercial and residential fields and working with local and global retailers, demonstrating how you can improve sales, customer experience and retention plus enhance your brand by adopting simple visual merchandising techniques.
“Attending this workshop provide you with an introduction to Visual Merchandising, you’ll find out how Visual Merchandising can drive sales, learn about the five (5) principles of Visual Merchandising, hear real world examples of how Visual Merchandising communicates a good brand message, including international and local case studies, and leave with ideas to apply to your business.
“In addition, five business will get the chance to have a free 1 hour visual merchandising consultation with Charmain at their business,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said rural communities face considerable economic development challenges exacerbated by ongoing drought plus national and global economic factors.
“LPSC is focused on addressing these issues and our collaboration with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner is just one of the ways we are doing this. It is proving to be of great benefit to our community and their support towards growing the potential of agri-tourism is a prime example of this. The upcoming Visual Merchandising Business Workshop sees another opportunity being rolled out for local businesses,” he said.
“Charmaine has pointed out to our economic development team that a business never gets a second chance to make a first impression and this succinctly sums up why I urge business operators to grasp this opportunity and to attend this free workshop because it could prove a game changer for you,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) General Manager, Ron Van Katwyk, is reminding the community that Council currently has six draft documents on public exhibition and seeking submissions to be received by 4pm Wednesday 26 June.
“The Keeping of Animals in Urban Areas Policy aims to establish guidelines for the keeping of animals in the towns and villages of the Shire. It applies to the keeping of animals in urban areas that requires consideration by owners of the impact of animals, particularly noise and odour to neighbours,” Mr Van Katwyk said.
“A balance has to be made between a person’s rights to own companion animals and other pets, and their responsibility to respect the amenity of other people and the environment. As such, animals must be kept in a manner which does not create unclean or unhealthy conditions for people or animals, attract or provide harbourage for vermin, create offensive odour or noise, create waste disposal or pollution problems, create unreasonable annoyance to neighbouring residents, cause nuisance due to the proliferation of flies, lice, fleas or other pests or parasites and cause neighbours to fear for safety. This draft policy sets out these expectations,” he said.
Mr Van Katwyk said the Project Management Policy and associated Project Management Directive have been prepared in accordance with the recommendations and guidance of Council’s Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC).
“The policy aims to ensure Council provides the best available outcomes to the community by ensuring consistent and successful project delivery. It further outlines Council’s proposed approach to ensuring that all Council projects have appropriate project management governance and due diligence.
“This will be achieved by ensuring Council manages successful project delivery by ensuring that all projects identified are subjected to appropriate project management. This includes governance, providing a single corporate-wide framework, guiding users through the project, management lifecycle processes, activities, and documentation. Projects must align to Council’s strategic plans and must be allocated the appropriate resources and funding, thus ensuring projects are only commenced after an appropriate level of due diligence has been undertaken, with a view to minimising risk and achieving the best use of Council’s resources,” he continued.
Mr Van Katwyk said the Section 7.12 (formerly 94A) Contributions Plan (Amendment No. 2) results from a housekeeping review of this plan. He said it provides the mechanism through which Council can collect fees from new development to fund public amenities or public services in accordance with the provisions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Regulation).
“The proposed amendment is procedural in nature and involves the removal of details regarding works that have already been completed,” he said.
Mr Van Katwyk said the other three documents on exhibition are the draft Code of Conduct, draft Code of Meeting Practice and draft Gifts and Benefits Policy.
“All documents can be viewed at the LPSC Administration Centre, on Council’s website at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/public-exhibition or an email copy can be obtained by request to email@example.com,” he said.
“Following the period of public exhibition all drafts will again be considered by Council taking into account submissions received, before formal adoption,” he continued.
“LPSC encourages community members to play a role in the decision making process recognising that community participation, openness and accountability in the local government decision-making process helps foster good management and better practices for outcomes that deliver in your interests and meet your expectations,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has welcomed the arrival of the first train at Crawfords Freightlines new intermodal rail facility at Werris Creek, congratulating Peter and Dianne Crawford and their team on their initiative and saying the project not only provides local economic, employment and environmental benefits but also wider benefits for the entire New England/North West region.
“Rail imposes fewer costs on the community in terms of accidents, congestion and emissions than road freight which produces 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight per tonne kilometre and 16 times as much carbon pollution as rail freight per tonne kilometre.
“I also commend the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for partnering with Crawfords to construct upgraded new line and concrete sleepers providing 1 kilometre of loading track plus line for the fuel station and retention of the departing services. The facility already has enough base freight to run 4 x 900 metre trains per week and this has the potential to grow with seasonal freight allowing for grain, cotton, fertiliser and also imports for the region. There are hopes that this will further grow to one service per day which will give consistency at Port Botany to meet the windows for vessel receivals and negate early receival fees or late receival fees at the port,” Councillor Hope said.
“Importantly, the facility is open access which means, if an existing carrier in the region has freight they are taking to the Ports via road, those carriers can utilise the Werris Creek facility. The cost savings, road vs rail, are substantial and this will allow them to pass a percentage of those savings onto the farming, manufacturing and retailing sectors. On the rail side, it means if another rail operator wants to come into the Werris Creek facility, they can arrange an interface agreement which is standard procedures everywhere on the network and pay an access fee to enter the facility.
“The Werris Creek Intermodal Freight Terminal welcomes people in business to support this great facility and to come on board to reap the benefits through cost savings that will allow exporters and importers to be more competitive in the marketplace allowing those businesses to grow further, plus the further benefit of taking trucks off the Kamilaroi and New England Highways south of our region and in through Sydney to the Port Botany area. At the same time, it will provide opportunities for the local trucking industry delivering to the facility,” he continued.
“Each 900 metre train equates to 130 x 20ft containers or 65 x 40ft containers. These quantities may be subject to seasonal fluctuations and demand and are predicted to be roughly equivalent to 70 – 80 truck movements. It is also Crawfords’ intention to eventually increase the length of trains to 1.2 kilometres. The potential grow is exciting especially when the region has a good grain season.
“The terminal will save transporting the commodities down to Newcastle via road to be packed into containers and then transported via rail to Port Botany, as it will be able to be packed at the Werris Creek facility then go straight to the port. The facility is at the bottom of the Namoi Valley and any road movements to get produce or products here doesn’t involve back tracking, which adds to cost, as it has all traffic moving towards the Port.
“Werris Creek is also an ideal location as it is at the main rail junction and generates potential for shuttle services to the north and the north-west. Crawfords are hoping to develop 2 services a week to those regions which will also give them consistent and reliable services,” he said.
Councillor Hope said businesses and exporters wishing to benefit from this initiative can call the Werris Creek site office on (02) 5701 0771 or the manager Phil Davis 0490 095 017 or go to Crawfords’ at www.crawfordsfreghtlines.com.au.
“Crawfords have acknowledged the support of the local community and their acceptance of the facility coming to Werris Creek and said that without that support they would never have achieved this result. I know as they get the facility up and running, they will be strong partners with the Werris Creek community and region.
“Werris Creek has always been one of the State’s most important rail hubs. However, changes to the system over many years have seen that role diminished. This project will see a rejuvenation of those fortunes. During the commencement period, the facility will employee 20 staff and this number will increase as volumes start to come through. When the grain starts, the potential could be up to 40 people on site. General goods, and imports coming to the region will require delivering with side loaders or unpacking on site, and then delivery and freight from Sydney will be moved up in the empty containers and delivered to the region daily. Not only does the facility provide job opportunities, the flow on effects will also see a most welcome injection into the local economy,” he continued.
“LPSC has been delighted to collaborate with Crawfords to make this intermodal facility a reality. Council is focused on economic development and this project is a perfect fit with out vision. Thank you, Peter and Dianne Crawford and your team for showing confidence in our Shire as a place where business can be done and we welcome you into our community,” Councillor Hope concluded.
At its May Ordinary Meeting, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) received and noted the General Manager’s report ‘Budget Review for the Quarter Ending 31 March 2019’ and approved the variations to the existing budget as outlined in the report.
Council adopted the original budget included in the Annual Operational Plan for 2018/2019 at the Ordinary Council Meeting held 27 June 2018. Any changes to the budget must be approved by Council at a later Ordinary Meeting. The GM’s report sought and obtained Council approval for the required budget variations identified during the third quarter of 2018/2019 for which there has been no previous specific report or approval.
“The annual budget provides Council with the means to control resource allocation and revenues as per the objectives set out in its Annual Operational Plan. The annual budget forms the basis for future forecasts and gives Council staff the legal authority to commit expenditures. Constant monitoring and updating of the budget is therefore important for sound financial management,” LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk said.
“The budget review process for 2018/2019 is still at a very high level, especially with regards to expenditure, as it is a time consuming process to link the high level budget line items back to Council’s actual costing. Another issue is that some of the works identified as capital in the budget are incorporated in costings for operational expenditure again resulting in the need for a high level review,” he said.
“Council will be provided with a budget review for the whole of the 2018/2019 financial year and it is anticipated this will be presented at Councils August 2019 meeting. This budget review will provide Council with estimated reserve balances as at 30 June 2019. These balances will then be used in conjunction with reserve movements forecast in the 2019/2020 budget to fulfil quarterly budget review reporting requirements regarding Council’s projected cash and investment position at year end,” he continued.
“This report is in compliance with section 211 - Authorisation of expenditure and 202 - Responsible Accounting Officer to maintain system for budgetary control of the Local Government (General)
Regulation 2005,” he said.
“Interested community members can view the report in Council’s May Business Paper via Council’s website at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/council-papers-meeting-minutes,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has placed its draft Code of Conduct, draft Code of Meeting Practice and draft Gifts and Benefits policies on public exhibition and is inviting written submissions and comments on these draft documents to be received by 4pm Wednesday 26 June.
A copy of the draft documents can be viewed at LPSC’s Administration Centre, 60 Station Street, Quirindi, on Council’s website at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/public-exhibition or an email copy can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Office of Local Government has released a new Model Code of Conduct and procedures
for the administration of the Code of Conduct. A Councillor workshop was held in May and reviewed the Model Code. It was agreed to adopt the Model including a number of supplementary clauses to enhance the Code. This new Model Code of Conduct gives effect to a key reform made by amendments passed in the NSW Parliament to consolidate the prescription of all ethical
standards for local government into a single statutory instrument,” said LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk.
“Consolidating all ethical standards into a single instrument will result in a better understanding of and compliance with ethical standards and allow pecuniary interest breaches by Councillors to be treated as ‘misconduct’. Minor breaches can be dealt with by the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government (OLG) as an alternative to referral to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Suspensions for pecuniary interest breaches will be counted towards disqualification for the purposes of the ‘three strikes’ automatic disqualification. These changes will allow greater flexibility and efficiency in updating the standards to address emerging issues.
“The key features of the new Code of Conduct are incorporating the pecuniary interest provisions previously contained in the Local Government Act and Regulation. This sets new standards relating to discrimination and harassment, bullying, work health and safety, behaviour at meetings, access to information and maintenance of Council. There are also new rules governing the acceptance of gifts including mandatory reporting plus new ongoing disclosure requirement for Councillors and designated persons requiring disclosure of new interests in returns of interests, within three months of becoming aware of them. Additionally, Councillors will be required to disclose in their returns of interests whether they are a property developer or a close associate of a property developer,” he said.
“As part of the new Code of Conduct provisions, Council’s current Gifts and Benefits Policy has been reviewed and amended to be consistent with the new Code.
“The new Model Code of Conduct prescribes the minimum ethical and behavioural standards all Council officials are required to comply with. It is all about promoting community confidence in the integrity of the decisions Council makes and the functions they exercise on behalf of the communities they serve,” he continued.
Mr Van Katwyk said the Code of Meeting Practice is one of Council’s most important policy documents governing Council’s decision making processes. He said the objective of the new Code is to make local government more ethical, more accountable and more transparent in its role as a community decision maker.
“Previously there was not a uniform set of meeting rules for Councils beyond those prescribed under the Local Government Act and the Regulations. In developing the Model Code of Meeting Practice, the OLG identified significant variability in meeting practices and rules across all Councils. The OLG’s review of NSW Councils’ codes noted that while there are a number of areas of commonality between Councils in meetings practice there is significant variability in how this is prescribed in their codes of meeting practice.
“The new rules are designed to ensure there are uniform rules of meeting practice for all Councils that are consistent with the Local Government Act and Regulations keeping in mind the fact that the primary purpose of meetings is to make decisions consistent with their efficient and effective conduct, and importantly, informed decision making,” he said.
“In a move to further increase transparency LPSC will webcast an audio recording of Council meetings via its website and it is our intention to post these recordings within at least one business day of the meeting, commencing with the first meeting after the Policy is formally adopted,” he continued.
“The new draft LPSC Code of Meeting Practice has been developed in consultation with Councillors via a workshop. It was determined that a number of non-mandatory provisions be included. It was also determined to include additional non-mandatory appendices on various topics to assist Councillors more easily understand the requirements of the Code,” he said.
“These are important policies for the community and its Council. We encourage the community to make submissions on these issues and they will be considered as part of the process before Council officially adopts them,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
The Aboriginal Flag was raised on a new flagpole outside Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Administration Centre during National Reconciliation Week as part of the process of moving forward and creating a community strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Late last year, LPSC received a request from the Nungaroo Local Aboriginal Land Council that the Aboriginal Flag be flown next to the Australian Flag at the front of Council’s Administration Centre. Council agreed to that request, we purchased a new flagpole for the purpose and thought it fitting that the flag be raised up its new home for the first time as part of National Reconciliation Week,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The Aboriginal Flag was proclaimed as a Flag of Australia under the Flags Act on July 4 1995. It is recognised as the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and a flag of significance to the Australian Nation generally.
“At the 2016 census Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people made up 12.4% of the Shires population as compared to the overall Australian population where they comprise 2.9%. There are many well respected people amongst their community who make substantial contributions within the wider community. We are proud to recognise this contribution and their special place within the Shire community,” he said.
“The flying of the Aboriginal Flag is another step forward in promoting reconciliation and building trust, respect and unity, as well as forging a stronger relationship between all community members,” Councillor Hope continued.
“LPSC will continue on building a special relationship between the Nungaroo Aboriginal Lands Council, the wider Aboriginal community and all citizens. We acknowledge the Aboriginal Traditional Custodians of the land we meet on and will endeavour to enhance the relationship further,” he concluded.
Parents/carers can now have their children’s car seat restraints checked to ensure they are correctly and securely fitted, free of charge, at the Service NSW Agency in Quirindi and can book for the service by calling 6746 1755 during business hours.
“All children must be safely fastened in the correct child car seat for their age and size. A child who is properly secured in an approved child car seat is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not. I urge parents/carers to take advantage of this service to help protect their precious loved ones,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Recently, our Business Support Officer, Kay Brennan-Lee, successfully completed a course, completed through Australian Safety and Engineering Training, and received her statement of attainment in selection and installation of child restraints.
“Many parents/carers may not be aware that although they have the correct baby capsules or booster seats installed, if they are not correctly fitted it may negate their safety benefits. It only takes about 20 minutes for the inspection that can help provide peace of mind on this important issue,” Councillor Hope said.
The new service was introduced at an event held at the Service NSW Centre. At this event, LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk, also presented Kay with a letter of congratulations for excellence in customer service.
“Kay received a lovely commendation, from a member of the head office at Service NSW, for going above and beyond the call of duty to resolve a customer’s issue. It is a great feeling when we can acknowledge and congratulate staff in situations like this, so a big thank you Kay for a job well done,” Mr Van Katwyk said.
Picture 1 - LPSC’s Service NSW Customer Service Officer Kay Brennan-Lee checking
child car restraints are properly fitted to a vehicle at the Service Centre
“LPSC is proud to partner with the NSW Government in facilitating the Service NSW Agency which allows and makes it easier for people in rural communities such as ours to interact with government. The agency is focused on a customer first approach to reduce excessive paperwork and replace the need for copious phone calls and duplication of services with a one stop shop. I encourage Shire residents and businesses to avail themselves of the services on offer,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Picture 2 - (L to R) – LPSC Mayor Andrew Hope, GM Ron Van Katwyk, Kay Brennan-Lee,
LPSC Director Donna Ausling and Lions Club volunteer Beryl Mannion at the presentation
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is advising residents that following on from changes to State legislation, from 1 July 2019, people advertising kittens, cats, puppies and dogs for sale, or to give away, in NSW will need to include an identification number in advertisements. The changes have been implemented in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices.
The identification number can be either:
- a microchip number
- a breeder identification number, or
- a rehoming organisation number.
The advertising requirement will apply to all ‘regulated’ dogs, including hunting dogs and will apply to all advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites.
‘Regulated’ cats or dogs are defined as any of the following:
- a cat or dog that is or will be required by the Companion Animals Act 1998 to be identified (microchipped), including a cat or dog that has not been born or has not yet reached the age at which identification is required;
- a greyhound (whether or not it is registered in accordance with the greyhound racing rules) including a greyhound that has not been born;
- a cat or dog that is in the custody of a council; and
- a cat or dog that is the custody of the Animal Welfare League NSW, the Cat Protection Society of NSW, or the RSPCA.
The requirement applies to all people who are giving away or selling a cat or a dog, including hunting dogs, whether they do it commercially or not. A small number of exemptions apply. Working dogs that are not required to be microchipped under the Companion Animals Act 1998 do not need to include an identifying number in advertisements. It will also not apply to proposed or declared menacing, dangerous and restricted dogs as it is illegal to sell or advertise these dogs in NSW.
It will be an offence if a person does not use an identifying number in an advertisement. It will also be an offence to falsify a number. Sellers can be issued an on-the-spot fine by an enforcement officer of $330 if they do not include an identification number in an advertisement.
Failure to display an identification number, or falsification of a number can also carry a maximum penalty of $5,500 in court.
The advertising requirement will be enforced by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, enforcement agencies being the RSPCA NSW, Animal Welfare League NSW and NSW Police. The Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission will also be able to enforce the requirement for greyhounds that are being advertised by registered greyhound racing participants.
From July 1, if you suspect an advertisement does not include an identification number, or if it might display a false number, you should contact one of the aforementioned enforcement agencies.
As a result of these changes, buyers will be able to search the NSW Pet Registry to see what is recorded for the cat or dog’s breed, sex, age, whether it is desexed and whether or not it is already registered. A breeder identification number search will also display any recorded business name. Safeguards are in place to ensure personal information is protected. People will be able to use your breeder identification number or a microchip number for an animal to search the registry and see any publicly available information. From 1 July, the registry will also let you know whether an annual permit is needed to keep the animal. It is important that this information is kept up to date. More information is available online via the Pet Registry at https://www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au/#/.
Everyone has a role to play in helping to ensure responsible cat and dog breeding and selling practices. Animal welfare enforcement agencies will also be able to use this information to identify ‘problem’ breeders and to enforce animal welfare laws.