Media Releases & Exhibitions
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has unveiled an ambitious Capital Works program for the 2019 - 2020 Financial Year amounting to $30,525,769. The details appear in Council’s draft 2019 – 2020 Operational Plan/Budget which is currently on public exhibition until 4pm, Thursday 13 June. Members of the community are invited and encouraged to make submissions on the document up until that date.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope said the Capital Works Program and project costs include:
- Quirindi Showground Arena Amenities ($221,940)
- David Taylor Oval ($227,549)
- Currabubula Recreation Reserve Arena ($67,968)
- Currabubula Multi Sports Courts and Playground ($64,200)
- Quirindi Heritage Village Trainworld Room/Shelter ($97,776)
- Werris Creek Pool Cover and Warming ($164,355)
- Spring Ridge Oval Fence ($77,969)
- Royal Theatre Kitchen Improvements ($101,970)
- Quirindi Library Upgrade ($190,000)
- Quirindi Basketball Upgrade ($136,9500)
- Callaghans Lane construction and seal ($185,000)
- Centre Street kerb and guttering/Pavement ($274,836)
- Culvert Causeway ($235,000)
- Dewhurst Street stormwater piping ($201,664)
- Glenyalla Bridge ($865,000)
- Regional Roads bitumen reseal ($400,000)
- Urban roads gravel re-sheet ($25,000)
- Werris Creek Main Street Paving ($380,000)
- MR129 repair ($625,900)
- Regional Roads Guardrails ($35,000)
- Merriwa Road Upgrade ($660,000)
- Rural Roads bitumen reseal ($550,000)
- Rural Roads gravel re-sheeting ($536,650)
- Urban Roads resealing ($200,000)
- Quipolly Water Treatment Plant - commencement ($18,300,000)
- Power to Willow Tree Transfer Station ($100,000)
- Weigh Bridge at Quirindi Waste Facility ($100,000)
- Weigh Bridge at Willow Tree Waste Facility ($100,000)
- David Taylor Facility Upgrade ($30,000)
- Gravity Main Duplication ($210,000)
- Main Realigning ($180,000)
- Quirindi Sewer Pump Station No 2 Upgrade ($120,000)
- Quirindi Sewer Treatment Plant Upgrade - commencement ($3,000,000)
- Sewer Technical Upgrades ($25,000)
- Sewer Treatment Plant Quality Monitoring ($25,000)
- Sewer Treatment Plant Flow and Quality Monitoring Equipment ($15,000)
- Werris Creek Sewer Treatment Plant Upgrade Planning ($130,000)
- Britton Ave (Duke to Russell St) ($50,000)
- Centre Street (Cross to Perkins) ($95,000)
- Spring Ridge Pump Station and pressure upgrade ($563,000)
- System Chlorine Analyser ($25,000)
- Telemetry inputs ($10,000)
- Unallocated Works Program ($20,000)
- Water Main replacement upgrades ($225,000)
- Water Meter Replacements ($25,500)
- Water Quality Monitoring Equipment ($15,000)
- Water supply valves and hydrant replacements ($40,000)
- Water Technical Upgrades ($15,000)
“Many of these projects are being undertaken with grant funding Council has been successful in attracting. This would not have been possible but for the massive effort of Council’s Management Team and staff. I’d like to congratulate and thank them for their planning and successfully putting together the applications that resulted in us gaining the necessary funds,” Councillor Hope said.
The Operational Plan is available for public perusal on Council’s website, at the Administration Centre and the libraries in Werris Creek and Quirindi. A copy can be emailed or posted out to residents who make a request by calling 6746 1755 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A further report will be submitted to Council at the completion of the formal exhibition period detailing any public submissions received during the period for Council’s further consideration,” he concluded.
“Extremely disappointing”, is the way Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has described a grab on $85,000 of local ratepayer’s money after Council received an unexpectedly high bill from Revenue NSW.
Councillor Hope said the unexpected slug is as a result of the NSW Government’s new obligations to provide better workers’ compensation coverage for volunteer and career firefighters who are diagnosed with one of twelve specific work-related cancers.
“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. Our community is indebted to them for the risks they take and the role they play to protect us, often in very dangerous conditions. They deserve to be looked after properly. However, it is the way they’ve gone about this, cost shifting to ratepayers, that we are disappointed with,” he said.
Councillor Hope is asking the Shire’s State MPs, to take the issue back to their Liberal coalition partners, to point out how this grab will hurt rural and regional councils even more than large metropolitan ones and to work with local government and emergency services to find a better and fairer way forward so our community isn’t disadvantaged by the government’s implementation of what is an important policy initiative.
“When the Government passed the legislation last year, to address the issue, they did not consult with local government about their decision to fund these changes via the emergency services levy. Now, they’ve chosen to pass on these significant additional charges to councils, and thus communities, by increasing the levy rather than identifying savings in the State budget and it is pushing councils nearer to the point where they’ll have to make difficult choices about which vital community services they reduce or discontinue.
“Before the election, when promising billions of dollars of spending, the Government failed to tell local communities they had a nasty surprise in store, as soon as the election was over, by another cost shifting exercise to communities that can ill afford it, particularly at a time when the drought crisis,” he continued.
“I’d like to remind our National Party State MPs of the problems their coalition partners caused them through the local government amalgamation process and that this money grab will leave a similar nasty taste in the mouth of their constituents, especially at a time when they can least afford it, and particularly when the money is needed for roads, libraries, recreational facilities and other vital community services,” he concluded.
Following the first cold snap of the season, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is issuing a reminder for residents to take their own preventative action by covering their water meters and exposed pipes to protect them from freezing as the winter months draw closer.
“Frozen water pipes can be inconvenient. Keep in mind that not only can frozen water meters and water pipes stop water service, in the worst-case scenario they can also cause damage that is expensive to repair or replace. Please act now to safeguard this important infrastructure. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within a building's insulation, or insulation on the pipe itself, cause much less problems from freezing,” said LPSC Water Services Manager,” Rod Batterham.
“Many people use old tyres, and it is timely to check that they, or other forms of insulation, are covering the meter securely and will properly serve the purpose of preventing freezing. LPSC has tyres ready cut that can be used to protect meters and can be supplied to residents upon request to the Customer Service Desk on 6746 1755.
“Please remember, any insulation that is used must be able to allow quick and easy access to read the meter. Any measure, such as wrapping the meter display, that prolongs reading could attract a fee for a return visit to carry out a meter read,” he said.
“Ice forming in a pipe does might not typically just cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. The expansion of water during freezing will look for the weakest point in a plumbing system to cause damage, so prevention of freezing is the best course.
“It is timely to check that an old tyre, or other forms of insulation, are covering the meter securely and will properly serve the purpose they are intended for. A broken meter incurs a cost to the running of a water supply, and this ultimately adds to the prices that Council has to charge to maintain the supply,” he continued.
“It’s no fun waking up to find you have no hot water on a freezing cold morning and a frozen meter means no water for the household until the meter thaws out, so think ahead and pursue the best option - ensuring it doesn’t freeze in the first place!” Rod concluded.
As soon as the curtains close on the funniest month of the year in Melbourne, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, their Roadshow takes the Festival’s most loved and laughed at comedians on the road. Again, in 2019 the Roadshow will be visiting the Liverpool Plains, appearing at the Royal Theatre Quirindi on Sunday 16 June at 7pm, home-delivering hot and tasty comedic treats.
The line-up for their Quirindi visit has just been announced with MC Kevin Kropinyeri plus Dane Simpson, Ivan Aristeguieta, Nikki Britton and Pat McCaffrie. The annual show has picked up a lot of fans from around the Shire and they’ll be looking forward to the sketch, stand-up, satire, silliness and song the 2019 show will present,” said LPSC Events Coordinator, Andrew Ballard.
“The show is for general admittance and tickets are available now, online at http://bit.ly/MICFR19. There are savings for group bookings of four or more. The bar will be open on the night,” he said.
“The show has evolved into a night where families, friends and workmates like to get together to have a fun night with these fantastic funny makers from Australia and beyond,” he continued.
“Previous Roadshow casts have introduced audiences to many big names people now recognize on radio and television. It really is an international show and when they complete their Australian tour, they head off for tour dates in Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Malaysia,” he said.
“For 20 years this roving tour-de-comedy has visited towns and cities around Australia, and we are very pleased they keep coming back to the Liverpool Plains. If you haven’t experienced this fun filled night previously get a group of friends together and prepare for a night of hilarity,” he concluded.
According to the Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, our public libraries play an important role in the lives of many older residents and Council acknowledges the importance of development of services and facilities to cater for their specific needs.
“Our Seniors grew up in a time when libraries were the main and, in many instances, the only place to be able to easily access information. Many of those people still regularly use their library, witnessing change from a time when libraries mainly supplied hard copy books to the present day where you can still get books plus there’s a whole array of other services as well. With around 38% of our population being 55+, meeting their requirements is a key focus of Council,” Mayor Hope said.
“Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries provide a safe, comfortable, and inviting setting at which older members of the community are treated with courtesy and respect. As our libraries are affiliated with Central Northern Regional Library (CNRL) membership provides access to a whole range of traditional and digital resources including novels by best-selling authors, books on subjects of interest such as gardening, health, arts and crafts; travel and biographies, magazines; an extensive DVD collection, music on CD, audio books on CD, Large Print books, public computers and scanner. Quirindi library has recently been connected to the NBN, which has greatly improved internet speed, and we look forward to a connection being made at Werris Creek later in the year. These improvements will enhance the library experience not only for Seniors but also all other library users,” he said.
Councillor Hope said in addition membership provided access to;
- RB Digital: eBooks, eAudioBooks and eMagazines that can be download for free to your computer or portable device using RB Digital apps.
- Bolinda BorrowBox: eBooks and eAudioBooks that can be download for free to your portable device using BorrowBox apps.
- Beamafilm: Videos and Movies - stream hundreds of documentaries and independent features. Over 60% of Beamafilm's videos are independently made by Australians, many of which are only available online with Beamafilm.
- Freegal: Music - use your library membership number to download three, free songs every week to play on any mobile phone, MP3 player or home computer.
Councillor Hope said library staff can assist Seniors to access these services. He said with the NBN on at Quirindi staff can help download the necessary apps to your device, while at Werris Creek they can only, at this stage, show you how to download to your own device although once the NBN is connected you’ll be able to physically do it at the library. He added that these services are not limited to Seniors and he encouraged other library members to also take advantage of what is on offer.
“Werris Creek library is open Tuesday to Friday and Saturday morning. It offers regular programs and events for seniors including the library Knitting group which meets each Tuesday morning and the Friends of Werris Creek Library is an active group of volunteers who meet once a month and who welcome new members of all ages. Other events for seniors throughout the year include; Healthwise and IT Connect for Seniors. They are advertised in the local Flyer and on the Werris Creek Library FB page. It is also an agency for the Department of Human Services offering a range of assistance with Centrelink enquiries and on the first Thursday of the month, between 2 and 3pm, North and Northwest Community Legal Service provide a free legal advice service. Call into the library and the friendly staff will be only too happy to provide further information,” he said.
“Quirindi Library is open Monday to Friday 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-12noon. Amongst the many things they encourage Seniors to be part of are the Book Club group that meets the third Monday of the month, regular meetings of the Friends of the Library, a Scrabble group meets every Friday, there are a couple of Trivia days held each year and Storytime on Mondays at 10.30am. Their events are promoted on their FB page and you are also encouraged to call into the library for further information or help accessing the many extra services available,” he continued.
“So, whether you’re after recreational reading, general information, community information, genealogy / family history resources, local history information, large print, spoken word books
newspapers, magazines and a raft of other services plus personalised assistance in locating information and resources utilising information technology your library has it all in one location,” he said.
“Council’s commitment to our libraries, our Seniors and the wider community is strong. The connection to the NBN in Werris Creek and the redevelopment of the Quirindi library precinct are in the pipeline and will further enhance the library experience.
“Many Seniors regularly use our libraries and we welcome and thank them. We also encourage other Seniors who haven’t visited the library for a while to call in, discover what is on offer and enjoy the social connections they provide,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has extended thanks to Shire residents who contributed to the Telecommunications Outreach Program (TOP) questionnaire seeking information on problems with mobile phone/internet services. The questionnaire resulted from concerns raised by Council’s Local Advisory Groups (LAG) regarding problems with mobile phone reception. Representatives from the Telstra Business Centre Tamworth (TBCT) met with LPSC staff and as a result have offered to undertake some free site surveys in areas registering the greatest concern.
“We’ve had responses to the questionnaire from Ardglen, Big Jacks Creek, Blackville, Braefield, Bundella, Caroona, Currabubula, Piallaway, Premer, Quipolly, Quirindi, Spring Ridge, Wallabadah, Warrah Creek, Werris Creek, Willow Tree and Yarraman geographic areas.
“In response to the question - How do you rate your mobile service, over 70% said BAD, about a quarter said FAIR, with less than 5% saying GOOD,” Councillor Hope said.
“The responses highlight the frustration and concerns far too many people are experiencing with their telecommunications and that in most instances they just don’t come anywhere near meeting 21st century requirements,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said the Spring Ridge community was amongst the first to raise their concerns and responses like - ‘Very patchy service. Constantly dropping out and losing connection during phone calls. Some days we are unable to send a text message the service is so bad. Mobile internet is extremely slow to load, and some days will not load at all. This is extremely inconvenient considering ADSL has been switched off in our area and satellite is so expensive, that many families cannot afford it’ and ‘Coverage is very patchy. Internet usage barely usable. Makes working from home in a remote area almost impossible. Drop outs, unable to make calls or send texts 50% of the time’ – back up the anecdotal evidence that led to the questionnaire.
Blackville community were also leaders for this campaign - Only very intermittent service! No use in present form. All avenues explored to increase performance to no avail! – is typical of responses from the area.
Werris Creek LAG also raised concerns about both town and out of town reception and this response from within the township shows problems are not just confined to rural and remote locations - I have the latest Apple I phone, and I have to stand on the front verandah to get 1 bar of service.
“Council recently highlighted the telecommunications requirements our agricultural sector have to operate their businesses effectively in a global economy and sadly responses indicate services are nowhere near achieving these essential needs,” Councillor Hope continued.
We do not have mobile phone service at our home residence. We have satellite internet but find it very frustrating operating our farming business not having mobile phone service.
We have no mobile reception inside most of our house, our sons house or most of our property. We are an agricultural business heavily reliant on good communication to run the business and for assistance in the case of an emergency. We are required to have satellite internet as we can’t get anything else, the satellite is slower and more expensive than other internet services.
Not reliable, loss of internet connection, blackspots constantly when driving from property to property into town etc. recently had an incident on one of our helicopters that required the Westapc chopper attend. This highlighted once again how we need good mobile reception.
Service is very patchy. Full service to no service within 1km or less. We are running an agricultural business and find it very frustrating when you have service one day and none the next.
“These responses are typical of those received from all our rural/agricultural areas and particularly the western and south western parts of the Shire. They desperately need these services to compete and do business efficiently,” he said.
“The problems seem to be so wide spread that it will take a concerted effort by service providers and government to address them and provide the solutions to deliver the services people in the bush expect simply to go about their day to day business efficiently. They clearly have to understand current systems are failing our agricultural sector which makes substantial contributions to the national economy and can be expected to achieve even better results if they have the right tools,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said that after TBCT carry out the free site surveys customers requiring urgent action, before mobile black spot funding is made available by the Federal Government, will be offered a commercial solution. He said this will be done independently, as a direct engagement between TBCT and the end customer and they will be under no pressure to accept a commercial solution.
“It is long-term solutions we are really after, not band-aid jobs. I ask the providers and government to consider the uproar there would be in metropolitan areas if service was as bad as bush folk are reporting. Consider the comments of our communities and think of their frustration when our people say things like - ‘Intermittent coverage and outages can last weeks’ and ‘We have to go outside our home and stand on the road to have continuous conversation on mobile. It makes me anxious if I have to make a long important call, as unless I am outside on the road it WILL cut out’. The message is the LPS community demand reliable services,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The value of Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) focus on economic development was highlighted during a visit to the Shire by NSW Small Business Commissioner, Robyn Hobbs. The Commissioner visited a local property to meet with businesses participating in the trial agritourism pilot program that was instituted late in 2018 as a collaboration between the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, Regionality and LPSC. Additionally, the Commissioner met with Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, GM Ron Van Katwyk and members of LPSC’s Economic Development team to discuss the impact of drought on small businesses in the Shire.
“LPSC is proud to be one of three Council’s in Regional NSW that are participating in the pilot agritourism program. Council has identified that value adding at the farm gate holds great potential for the Shire’s farmers and small business, so this pilot program was tailor made for pursuing that objective. There are top notch agricultural products produced here plus farmers who want to value add to their business and I think it is a great things to be involved in a program that can expose them to other markets,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
Commissioner Hobbs told Councillor Hope and Mr Van Katwyk that her Office was thrilled when LPS put in an expression of interest to be part of the agritourism pilot program.
“It’s really important in regional NSW to keep jobs in those areas and the fact the LPS has 13 businesses that are wanting to succeed through this agritourism pilot is absolutely fantastic. There is some great enthusiasm and I heard stories from lavender farmers, artists, cattle producers and others looking for export opportunities. Our aim is to help make them as sustainable as possible and we’ll do that with our partners Services NSW and LPSC. We not only want to profile the LPS but also the businesses that are working in the area.
“The pilot program will run to the end of the year and I’m hopeful these 13 businesses will have created something new to add to the local economy,” the Commissioner told them.
Mr Van Katwyk said the collaboration between the Small Business Commissioner and Council was facilitating the process of getting the message out there, that there’s things to learn, see and experience. He said Council is looking for and encouraging entrepreneurial individuals and businesses to consider how they can develop opportunities that will benefit them and the Shire.
“LPSC’s focus on economic development is starting to pay dividends. The development of our RV/Freedom Camping strategy has helped boost the number of tourists and travellers who are injecting into the local economy. The 13 businesses who are participating in the agritourism pilot program will substantially add to what we have to offer.
“Additionally, following community consultation and suggestions, Council has obtained funding through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program to upgrade public facilities such as the refurbishment of amenities blocks, installation of barbecue and camp kitchen facilities in the Freedom Camp areas and other initiatives to boost tourism potential. This will have benefits in the short-term providing stimulus to the local economy through employment and procurement opportunities as the projects are rolled out, and long-term in building tourism potential,” he said.
“LPSC is focused in many directions on economic development. A recent successful outcome was achieved working with Crawford’s Freightlines to get their intermodal freight complex set up in Werris Creek. This project has evolved from a dream to reality in six months and it was gratifying to hear Peter Crawford say in a TV interview that ‘he deals with other Councils and gets held up so much by roadblocks and red tape, that they’ve done everything by the book through LPSC, who have been very proactive, they’ve hopped in the car and drove with us’. Council saw the prospects this project provided for employment in the Werris Creek area plus improved transport links for the area and grasped it enthusiastically,” Mr Van Katwyk continued.
Councillor Hope said the message is the Shire is open for business, to build the economy, employment prospects and better opportunities for young people.
“Individuals, organisations, businesses and the wider community are encouraged to be part of this process, working together to build on the good things we already possess. If you have constructive, realistic ideas you are welcome to contact LPSC’s Economic Development Officer, Ian George, on 6746 1755 during business hours, to discuss them and for possible advice on assistance available from State and Federal Government programs, as well as Council, to facilitate good initiatives,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) staff are currently completing a review of the Local Environment Plan (LEP) in line with Council’s statutory obligations and commitment under the 2018-19 Operational Plan. LPSC has received a number requests for changes as a part of this review. The requested changes relate to rezoning, dwelling opportunities, amendments to heritage listings, minimum lot size and the permissibility of specific land uses, for example rural worker’s dwellings.
“A preliminary assessment of all Expressions of Interests (EOIs) for changes to the LEP that have been received from the community over recent years and the feedback through the Open to Change consultation process are currently being finalised. A meeting with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has also been conducted,” said LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk.
Mr Van Katwyk said the assessment methodology considered for the LEP review recommendations will include; Council’s adopted Growth Management Strategy (GMS), Land use conflict, Proximity to town, availability of services, Environmental protection i.e. capacity to deliver urban development without excessive removal of vegetation, Natural hazards e.g. bushfire and flooding, Riparian protection, Unique offering of the property, Fragmentation of agricultural land, and Sterilisation of future uses i.e. suitability for other land uses.
He said Council’s Planning staff met with NSW DPE in late March in order to ascertain the Department’s strategic direction regarding the LEP review. NSW DPE advised that Council should consider the following matters,” he said.
- Avoiding ad-hoc dwelling entitlements and rezoning proposals
- Staging the release of rural-residential land based on take-up and not merely timeframes or population growth in order to avoid saturating the market and having a negative impact on growth, particularly if large amounts of land are to be rezoned as a part of the review
- Providing robust justification for any dwelling entitlements on rural land, particularly in regard to future and existing land use conflict
- If servicing requirements for new development are to be relaxed e.g. on-site provision of water, sewer and power in lieu of reticulated supply, Council must consider the impact on the strategic future extension of services and appreciate that the future residents of such areas may request for Council to extend, or provide, reticulated services
- Council’s draft Industrial Land Use Strategy should be adopted in order to have any strategic weight in the LEP review. DPE should also endorse the Strategy
- Consideration needs to be given to the Ministerial Directions under Section 9 of the Environmental Planning and Protection Act, the provisions under the relevant State Environmental Planning Policies (e.g. Primary Production and Rural Development SEPP)
- DPE appreciates Council’s approach to encourage and facilitate economic development; however, any large scale proposals (e.g. rezoning) need to be supported by strategic justification. If such justification is absent in the existing GMS, Council should consider incorporating the LEP review process with the preparation of a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS)
“A LSPS sets out the 20-year vision for land use in the Shire, the special character and values that are to be preserved, and how changes will be managed in the future. Council is required to have a LSPS completed before 1 July 2020 under Section 3.9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
“It has been identified there are both advantages and disadvantages if Council were to follow through with combining the LSPS and LEP review processes. However, after consideration Council resolved to proceed with incorporating the LEP review with the preparation of a LSPS,” Mr Van Katwyk said.
“It has been noted the Shire currently has a substantial supply of existing undeveloped land that is zoned R5 Large Lot Residential. There are approximately 940 hectares of existing R5 zoned land including 241 hectares (ha) to the west of Quirindi including Who’d A Thought It, Spains Lane and Ray Carter Drive, 85 ha to the north of Quirindi including Borah Creek Road, Bells Gate Road and Barnes Estate, 4.3 ha to the east of Quirindi including Stanley Crescent, Callaghan’s Lane and Heaths Road, 560.1 ha near Willow Tree, 25 ha near Wallabadah, 16.5 ha near Currabubula and 9 ha near Werris Creek.
“Public consultation is an essential part of this process and is ongoing. Discussions with affected landholders continue and staff are working towards a Draft Planning Proposal and recommendations to place before Council for consideration. All community members will have the opportunity for further comment as the process proceeds,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
In an update on the Telecommunications Outreach Program (TOP), a collaboration between the Telstra Business Centre in Tamworth and Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) to elaborate the issues of concern around mobile phone services in the Shire, Mayor Councillor Andrew Hope says there has been a good response to date but he would like to see more people from farming properties providing input.
“TOP is firstly building a data base that can be used to reliably inform State and Federal Governments as well as the telecommunications industry exactly where the problems areas are and to seek solutions to the problems. All Shire residents are encouraged to complete the quick questionnaire which can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCTCS19. Alternatively, a hard copy can be obtained by calling the Customer Service Desk on 6746 1755 during business hours,” Councillor Hope said.
“We are keen to get more information from the farming community. There is a revolution in technology being introduced to agriculture around the world and our farmers must not be left behind if they are to compete in an increasingly global economy. Businesses in the coastal, mega urban conglomerates usually have access to reliable mobile and high-speed internet service. The majority of our agricultural sector do not. It should not be considered a luxury; it is an absolute necessity in this digital age.
“We are entering an age of digital agriculture that will integrate production from the paddock to the consumer. These technologies are vital to provide the agricultural industry with tools and information to make more informed decisions and improve productivity. Our farmers need to be able to operate and compete on a first world stage, not a third world one,” he said.
“Here in Australia organisations like the CSIRO are undertaking research addressing the key challenges across a range of farming systems. Along with industry they are developing tools to assess, monitor and redress environmental and economic risks associated with agricultural practices.
“Things like SoilMapp for iPad can provide soil information at a farmer’s fingertips, sensor and social networks enable adaptive water management, autonomous animal control is being turned into reality and there are web-based decision-support tools for grain growers. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Agriculture of the future will be digitally integrated at all stages of production, from understanding genetics to transport logistics. Our farmers cannot benefit from this until they have the tools to operate it and currently, they are sadly lacking.
“Opportunities to lift productivity in the agricultural sector lie in new and emerging technologies through digital and wireless technologies for data measurement, weather monitoring, animal monitoring, geospatial monitoring, and precision application of water and chemicals application of water and chemicals. Integrated digital animal health biometric sensors and electronic identification devices can enable farmers to rapidly respond to cases of animal stress or disease, helping to increase livestock production and improve livestock health. There is also huge potential to help the agricultural sector meet the challenges of climate change and extreme weather,” he continued.
“Robust mobile and broadband networks can foster more efficient, economical and environmentally responsible agricultural operations. Digital agriculture can also help support development in regional communities and younger generations are keen to work with technology. Through increasing use of digital technology, the agriculture sector will attract and retain young people to live and work in regional and rural areas,” he said.
“Rural communities’ mobile and broadband concerns have been pushed to the back burner for too many years now. It is a sad state of affairs that as a result agriculture is the least digitised industry in Australia. This has to be turned around urgently if our farming sector is to compete successfully on the world stage. That is why I urge farmers to take a few minutes, share their experience via the questionnaire and help us complete some more pieces of the jigsaw,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Continuing the wide variety of entertainment coming to Liverpool Plains audiences, the Royal Theatre Quirindi will host Grace + Hugh, a musical collaboration between songwriter/performers Grace Hickey and Hugh Scott Murray, on Saturday 11 May, commencing at 7pm. Tickets are $20, available online at http://bit.ly/GHRTQ19.
Grace and Hugh met on the road. Grace was on the run from art school with a sketchpad full of songs. Hugh was returning from playing a thousand shows across Australia and the United States, racking up song writing and performance credits with the likes of INXS, Keith Urban and soul legend Lou Rawls
Grace + Hugh are currently touring their self-titled record to halls and theatres across regional Australia. Grace’s powerful voice and striking stage presence are the perfect foil for Hugh’s soulful piano playing and warm baritone, and their vocal chemistry is starting fires on stages across the country.
The pair have recently recorded their first album together, featuring co-writes with Don Walker (Cold Chisel) and Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) and featuring a stellar band of players based between Sydney and Nashville, Tennessee.
The multi-award winning family show KAPUT, which was postponed from its original date in March due to family commitments by star Tom Flanagan, will now be staged on Saturday 1 June, at 2pm.
This show will melt hearts of all ages, as it already has on stages around the world, with its glorious brand of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness. Tickets are $12 adults and $8 children at https://ticketing.oz.veezi.com/purchase/134?siteToken=d83r4gh8g3h84pttrtb3yg79mc.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow has become a popular social event on the LPS calendar, and it returns to The Royal this year on Sunday 16 June, commencing at 7.30pm. This year’s full line up will be announced shortly however, those who want to get in early can book Early Bird tickets for $30 or $100 for a group of 4 adults at http://bit.ly/MICFR19.
Other shows confirmed for The Royal include Cinderella Spinderella ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’ on Wednesday 24 July at 10am, Catherine Britt’s ‘20 Years in the Biz Tour’ on Saturday 3 August, Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits’ on Friday 9 August, and ‘Evening Stars’ with Jane Rutter and Peter Cousens with a 2pm matinee show on Sunday 15 September. More information on all of these shows can be found on The Royal Theatre website http://www.quirindiroyaltheatre.com.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) recognises the importance of close liaison with NSW Police and bringing matters of community concern to their attention. In keeping with this philosophy, Council invited representatives from NSW Police to attend their Community Action Group monthly meeting to discuss issues that have been raised around the Shire.
“One of the key elements that came out of the meeting was the need for community members to report suspicious activity and criminal activity to Police. There are many reasons why we should all report crime, the most obvious being that if we don’t, the offender will get away with whatever they have done, and they will then be encouraged to do it again,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
To report crime, choose the most suitable of these options;
- Emergency Situations call Triple Zero (000)
- If you have information that you think may assist the Police in relation to specific incidents or investigations, you can pass it on to Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000. Alternatively, you can submit the information online, via the NSW Police Force website. Information is confidential.
- For all general enquiries, including non-emergencies call the Police Assistance Line 131 444
- For hearing/speech impaired assistance call (02) 9211 3776
- If your information is about children that may be at risk of harm call 1800 333 000 so your information can be reviewed immediately.
“No matter how trivial you may consider an event to be please report it. Often police will find that incidences of petty crime, committed in a particular area, can present a pattern and police can plan to deal with it. There are for example, occasions police have caught up with the offenders a few streets away for some other crime, but unless the first crime has been reported the offender cannot be charged with that offence,” he said.
“It is also important to report a crime as it is happening or immediately you discover that it has been committed,” he continued.
“There may be occasions Police are unable to respond immediately and you need to report the crime to a police station. For instance, if your car is broken into and some items stolen but there’s no evidence of the offender then it may be better if you ring or go to the police station to report the crime. This helps leave police patrols to attend crimes where they could look for evidence, such as a house break or assault. The crime will still be recorded and investigated, and it may paint a crime pattern, when put together with other reports, and that pattern may fit the modus operandi of a known criminal thought to be working in the area,” he said.
“When reporting a crime please do it as soon as possible and give police at least a fighting chance to apprehend the offender/s. When you make a report give very clear and precise details. What is the crime? Is it a house break, is it a larceny, is it a robbery or is it a hold-up? A larceny is when something is stolen no matter how small or how valuable, a robbery is when something is stolen from the person and a hold-up is when there is a threat of violence and usually a weapon.
“It also assists if you take notice of what the offender/s look like so that you can describe them. First look at the clothing, then age, sex, size. These are the items that police will be looking for as they make their way to the scene or search the area. If you have a good memory note the hair colour and style, eye colour and any physical details such as tattoos or scars. Vehicle registration numbers are very important and should be written down and given to police when you are reporting the crime,” he continued.
“There have been periods in recent times when crime rates in non-metropolitan areas have increased faster than in metropolitan areas. Population size and location play a role in determining the crime levels of local areas and there is evidence crime rates are highest in either highly accessible or very remote areas rather than those in between. Police need the community's help to identify people involved in rural crime. It costs the economy millions of dollars every year through the theft of livestock, produce, equipment, fuel, illegal shooting, trespassing and other crimes that impact people's livelihood and well-being,” he said.
“Whether you’re an individual, a family, a business, a farming enterprise, if you are a victim of crime it can be very traumatic. A community that supports its Police helps them identify factors that drive crime rates in an area and is crucial to developing strategic approaches to crime prevention and control leading to a safer environment for all,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is urging all members of the community to ensure needles, syringes, lancets and other injection equipment (sharps) are always disposed of correctly to minimise infection to others in the community.
“Because of the high risk of injury to workers and community members sharps must never be disposed of in household waste and recycling bins. Nor must they be flushed down toilets or drains or carelessly discarded in public spaces,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“In recent weeks used hypodermic needles have turned up in material collected from kerbside collection yellow lid recycling bins and delivered to the Material Recycling Facility. This poses an unacceptable health risk to staff who sort the recyclables on the conveyor belt. Council is aware of the areas these loads have come from and if it continues, we will pinpoint the premises they come from for further action.
“There have also been isolated incidents of used sharps being discarded in public spaces, including parks and this again is totally unacceptable. If you find a thoughtlessly discarded sharp in a public space please call Council on 6746 1755 to arrange its safe disposal,” he said.
“LPSC provides two (2) Sharps Disposal Bins, one at Rose Lee Park Quirindi, the other next to the main toilet block at Hoamm Park in Werris Creek. Used sharps can also be disposed of at public hospitals in NSW,” he continued.
“Everybody has a role to help ensure we manage health risks and minimise harm to others and the environment associated with unsafe or inappropriate disposal of sharps,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Work is progressing well on the construction of the new shared pathway in Werris Creek that will link the existing one, currently ending at Russell Street, to David Taylor Oval via Single Street.
“Not only will this new pathway provide improved amenity, additional opportunities for leisure activities and freshen up the streetscape, it has the bonus of injecting economic stimulus into the town with the work being carried out on behalf of Council by Werris Creek Concrete and Excavation,” said Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The pathway works on the northern approach to the bridge have been completed, utilities like Telstra pits have been replaced and work has commenced to the south of the bridge,” Councillor Hope said.
“While the work continues, the footpath/work site is closed and there is no pedestrian access after-hours although provision is made for access to and from properties as signposted. When the bridge traffic lanes are reduced to one lane and under traffic control, extra care is required by motorists driving through the area. The work site will be closed during the Easter period and again pedestrian access to the footpath will be restricted and signposted accordingly,” he continued
“Council is delighted that this project is fully ‘Werris Creek In-house’ being constructed by a locally contracted business. All sectors of the Shire are impacted by the continuing drought crisis and LPSC recognises the importance of projects that help maintain and increase local employment opportunities and inject economic stimulus to assist retention of businesses and services.
“In coming weeks, more projects and opportunities will be rolled out to help sustain the local economy during the drought crisis. Holistically these projects will provide stimulus at a time it is desperately needed as well as improving infrastructure and facilities that will leave a long-term legacy,” he said.
“LPSC maintains a Local Preference Purchasing Policy to achieve the best value for money in its procurement of goods and services, where possible giving preference to local suppliers, and non-local suppliers using local content, to support the Shire’s economic development.
“Full details of this policy and application forms are available via the Council’s website at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/local-preference-purchasing,” Councillor Hope concluded.
CURRABUBULA – 9am at Currabubula War Memorial Hall.
PREMER – 10.45am Premer Park (luncheon to follow).
QUIRINDI Dawn Service - 5.30am at the War Memorial Town Clock, corner of Pryor and George Streets. (Veterans wearing their medals will be provided with a free breakfast at the Quirindi RSL following the event. Other members of the community are welcome to attend the breakfast).
Associated Road Closures - between 4.45 and 6.30am - George Street between Henry Street and Pryor Street, Station Street between Pryor Street and Dalley Street and Pryor Street between George/Station Street and Church Avenue.
QUIRINDI Morning Service and March - form up at 10.45am Quirindi Post Office to march to the War Memorial Town Clock for wreath laying ceremony. State MP Michael Johnsen will march with the Quirindi RSL Sub-Branch and speak at the event. (A free luncheon for veterans wearing medals will be supplied at the RSL Club following the service. Other members of the community are welcome to attend.)
Associated Road Closures - between 10am and 12.30pm - George Street between Thomas Street and Henry Street, George Street between Henry Street and Pryor Street, Station Street between Pryor Street and Dalley Street and Pryor Street between George/Station Street and Church Avenue.
WERRIS CREEK Dawn Service – 5.50am at the War Memorial, corner of Single Street and Anzac Parade. (A free breakfast for all those attending the Dawn Service will be provided at the Bowling and Tennis Club from 7.00am).
Associated Road Closures - 5am through till 15 minutes after completion of service - Anzac Parade between Single Street and Henry Street.
WERRIS CREEK Morning Service and March – form up at 10.30am Single Street and Coronation Parade for march to War Memorial in Anzac Parade and wreath laying ceremony at 11am. (A luncheon will follow at the Bowling and Tennis Club from 12.30pm).
Associated Road Closures - between 10am and 12.45pm - Single Street between North Street and Poole Street and Anzac Parade and Coronation Avenue, both between Single Street and Henry Street.
WILLOW TREE – Form up at 8.45am, beside Willow Tree Inn, for march commencing at 9am to Willow Tree Memorial Hall for wreath laying ceremony.
Associated Road Closure – between 8.45 and 9.15am - New England Highway between Eipper Street and Sisson Street.
An RAAF flyover will occur between approximately 10.50 and 11.10am over Werris Creek, Quirindi and Willow Tree.
The RSL Sub-Branches invite and encourage members of the community to attend one or more of these events.
Motorists are asked to abide by the road closure and detour signs when in place and to recognise it takes time for staff to open up roads commensurate with the amount of people attending the marches/services. Please remember, Safety First.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has undertaken a review of its Cemetery Policy and as a result has updated it. A draft of the proposed new policy is currently on public exhibition through until Wednesday 1 May 2019 and submissions from interested parties are welcome.
The policy is currently on display at Council’s Administration Centre, on the web at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/my-council/public-exhibition or email email@example.com and request a copy. Submissions on the policy should be forwarded to the General Manager by 5pm on the closing date.
“This policy has been reviewed to ensure that it suits the burial requirements and needs of the general community. Revisions include updated legislation and governance requirements for cemetery operations across the Shire. There are fourteen (14) pieces of relevant State legislation the policy has to reflect the requirements of,” said LPSC General Manager, Ron Van Katwyk.
“LPSC is the operator for all cemeteries located within the local government area, Blackville (closed for burial), Bundella (closed for burial), Colly Blue (closed for burial), Currabubula, Quipolly, Quirindi, Spring Ridge, Wallabadah, Werris Creek, Willow Tree and Yarraman (closed for burial).
“Council is responsible for the administration and management of plot and niche purchases, transfer of interment rights, approvals for monumental works, issuing of approval to work in cemeteries, maintenance of cemetery grounds and the interment of ashes into the columbarium walls,” he said.
“In accordance with legislation, Council collects the information necessary to meet its requirements for maintaining cemetery registers. These registers are available by contacting Council either in person, by calling 6746 1755 or in writing to PO Box 152, Quirindi, 2343.
“As well as the register, location plans are available for all cemeteries and family history enquiries may be made in person, in writing or over the phone to Council,” he continued.
“LPSC acknowledges cemeteries as places of reverence, emotional attachment and reflection. Given that a number of changes have been made to the old policy the new draft has been placed on public exhibition to seek further community input,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is reminding residents of the need to have their cats and dogs microchipped so owners can be contacted if their pets stray from home and they become lost. Additionally, the State Government requires all cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first. It is also important to update information on microchips when pets are sold and/or contact details change.
LPSC’s Ranger has expressed concern and frustration with the number of pets who’ve recently ended up at the Council’s Companion Animal Facility and their family unable to be contacted because the pet isn’t microchipped or the info it contains is outdated. For many people, their pets are an important part of the family and it is sad to think they can’t be reunited for want of ensuring they’re microchipped or keeping the microchip details up to date.
Failure to have your cat or dog microchipped as required by law can result in a fine by fixed penalty notice of $330, or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $5500 or up to $6,500 if your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog.
All cats and dogs in NSW, other than exempt cats and dogs, must also be registered by six months of age. The registration fee is a once-only payment, which covers the cat or dog for its lifetime in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership.
Owners are encouraged to have their cat or dog desexed before they are registered. Discounted registration fees apply to desexed cats or dogs. Having your cat or dog desexed prior to registration helps to reduce straying, fighting and aggression and antisocial behaviour, such as spraying to mark territory. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets born each year.
NSW has a pet registry which allows cat and dog owners to update their pet’s details at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au. Residents can also update details in person at Council’s Customer Service Desk. The pet registry enables lost pets to be reunited with their owners, allows them to create an owner profile, update contact details, transfer ownership of pets, report missing pets and to pay most lifetime registration fees online. Paper forms are still available for those who cannot use the pet registry.
LPSC posts details of pets that end up at Council’s Companion Animal Facility on its FB page in an attempt to locate their family and/or to find them new homes. However, up to date details on the microchip is the best way to ensure pet and owner can be reunited.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, has thanked those who have already participated in the Telecommunications Outreach Program (TOP), providing vital information regarding concerns with mobile phone coverage around the Shire. He is urging everyone who has a problem with mobile service to complete the questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCTCS19, as soon as possible.
“Locally we know that rural and remote areas experience patchy, unreliable mobile coverage and too often no coverage at all. The questionnaire is an attempt to quantify what we all know, to be able to inform government and providers with solid, irrefutable evidence that leads to improvements.
“Minster for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, recently announced a fifth and sixth round of funding for the Mobile Black Spot Program, to deliver new base stations and better coverage to those areas that need it most. Help us get the most comprehensive information possible to back up applications for improvements in our Shire when applications open,” Councillor Hope said.
“The Shire’s Local Advisory Groups (LAG) have provided the initial anecdotal evidence regarding the problems with mobile services and now it is up to all other community members to back their groundwork and provide much needed additional information that is required to build the necessary data base required to support their initiative. Put simply, this requires everyone with concerns to make an effort towards achieving the desired outcomes for telecommunication that meets the requirements all sectors of our community.
“Our community recognises the benefits mobile devices can provide and want to be able to use this technology in their everyday lives. People are rightfully demanding mobile communication that is reliable in emergency situations, to run businesses, work in remote areas, and encourage tourism and growth. I know that many residents and businesses feel there is a growing divide between urban and rural areas and that urban Australians are moving ahead while rural and remote communities are falling further behind. Your feedback is vital to pinpointing the problems and facilitating action to improve the situation,” he continued.
“Satisfactory mobile communications are necessary in this digital age and those without reliable mobile coverage are finding it increasingly difficult to fully participate. When people are unable to communicate effectively, they lose business. Rural areas must be on an equal footing with urban ones to capitalise on advances in technology that can improve productivity. A prime example for us is agricultural applications that require mobile technology to record and process data in the field.
“People in the bush want more than just mobile voice and text services, they want effective mobile-broadband services for business and pleasure. They want to be able to access monitoring, recording and data-processing applications. Farmers want to use remote sensors in conjunction with wireless technology and mobile devices to monitor irrigation supplies and manage livestock,” he said.
“It is no good simply complaining about mobile phone services amongst ourselves, we need those who can do something about the problem to be properly conversant as well. Everyone who completes the questionnaire is helping build the bigger picture. That’s why it’s important every individual contributes, because every part of this jig-saw is needed to move forward on the issue,” Councillor Hope concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, Joint Organisations of Councils (JOs), such as Namoi Unlimited JO which Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is a member of along with Gunnedah Shire, Gwydir Shire, Tamworth Regional and Walcha Councils, have exceeded his expectations as a vehicle to build stronger local government cooperation and improve service delivery and infrastructure for rural and regional communities.
“Namoi Unlimited JO is providing a unified voice and a more structured, permanent way for local councils, State agencies and other interested groups to collaborate, plan, set priorities and deliver important projects on a regional scale. At the same time, it allows our region to decide its own priorities, working on short and long term projects such as attracting new industry to the region, improving road infrastructure to facilitate agricultural and industrial requirements and many other important issues that would be beyond individual council financial capacity. Our JO highlights the value of being part of a collaboration tasked with strategic regional priorities and plans to achieve those priorities, advocacy and leadership as well as inter-governmental relations,” Councillor Hope said.
“Whilst the vast majority of projects the JO progresses have benefits for all constituent members, it also supports projects for individual councils or in partnership with a bordering one where the projects align with strategic regional priorities.
“On behalf of LPSC the JO is providing support for the Thriving Small Towns Initiative through the Regional Leadership Executive. This is an important initiative for our Shire, and we will be part of a pilot program designed for towns and villages with a population between 200 and 5000 people, where population growth is likely to remain static while the community maintains optimism by continuing to invest in itself to drive improvements in lifestyle and amenity for current and future generations. It will look holistically at key factors supporting towns to thrive, including harnessing existing community strengths, leveraging government services/infrastructure and capitalising on each community’s natural endowments. Being part of this pilot program fits nicely with the Shire’s economic development and tourism strategies,” he continued.
“Another project being supported is a joint initiative of LP and Gunnedah Shire’s. The Liverpool Plains and Gunnedah Shire Corridor project again aligns with the JO’s strategic regional priority to enable and connect infrastructure that is important to economic development.
“Council’s own economic development planning identified Williewarina Road and Mystery Road as key transport links and the importance of sealing them to benefit productivity for farmers and transport operators moving produce around the region, particularly from our southern and western areas through to the Kamilaroi Highway and further afield. LPSC has now sealed the Williewarina Road section and is pleased to partner with Gunnedah Shire, with the support of the JO, for funding to complete the missing link,” he said.
“A project that will benefit all JO members is the water for the Future project. Forecasts of hotter conditions, more extreme heatwaves and prolonged drought indicated the need for a critical analysis that audits current sources and availability of water, to identify supply, security and access issues now and potentially 20 years into the future. The identification of constraints and opportunities will enable the region to develop a regional focus and priorities for funding for water access and infrastructure.
“It will provide advice as to the issues, opportunities and impacts for agriculture, agricultural products, commodities, supply and value chains, as well as services that are dependent on water security and supply. Agriculture is the Shire’s primary industry, so it is vital we focus on and set directions to support agriculture and innovation into the future,” he said.
“These are just a few of the many ‘big picture’ projects Namoi Unlimited is progressing and LPSC looks forward to further collaboration with its partners to strengthen and benefit our region,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has agreed to a request received from the NSW Department of Industry to accept the transfer of control of several formed and maintained sections of Crown Road reserve at Ardglen to Council as Council Public Road reserves.
“The roads being transferred are the first 1km of Swinging Ridges Road from the village of Ardglen, part of High Street from Swinging Ridges Road to the railway overpass bridge and the road reserves that contain St. Stephen Street and Warra Street that lead to the Quarry entrance,” said LPSC GM, Ron Van Katwyk.
When the Department of Industry was reviewing a recent modification application for the Ardglen Hard Rock Quarry, they identified that several streets leading to the quarry, within the village of Ardglen, are formed and maintained by Council, but weren’t dedicated as Council Public Roads, rather as Crown Public Roads,” he said.
“Swinging Ridges Road from the village of Ardglen up the hill, High Street, St. Stephen Street and Warra Street are all roads that Council has identified in its Asset Register and that have been maintained by Council since LPSC came into being. It is worth noting that maintenance of Warra Street, St. Stephen Street and High Street in Ardglen is the responsibility of the quarry owner in accordance with condition 37 of the current consent for the operation of the Ardglen Quarry,” he continued.
“Apart from the actual transfer of control of these road sections to Council it will be business as usual and the maintenance program currently in place for them will continue into the future,” Mr Van Katwyk concluded.
Following the concerns raised by its Local Advisory Groups (LAG) regarding problems with mobile phone reception in various areas and other telecommunications issues, Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope and Director Economic Development, Donna Ausling, have held a meeting with representatives from Telstra Business Centre in Tamworth (TBC) to examine ways of addressing issues already raised and to gather more information from the community to assist further action being undertaken.
“The meeting with TBC was very positive. We are establishing the Telecommunications Outreach Program (TOP) with roles for both the LPS community and TBC to play, the first step being the need to elaborate the issues of concern around mobile phone services,” Councillor Hope said.
“Telstra Business Centre have expressed a desire to work constructively with the LPS community, indicating they see this initiative as a great way to give back to the local community and to develop a more engaged relationship with the businesses and people around the Shire,” Councillor Hope said.
“Council is hosting an online questionnaire designed to provide more in depth data. This will allow a better picture of the problems our various communities face in relation to mobile phone coverage. We already have a lot of anecdotal evidence and the intention is to build on this through more concrete research via input from those affected.
“The questionnaire can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCTCS19. You will only have to contribute a couple of minutes of your time. It asks for your location details, how you rate your mobile service and then an opportunity for you to outline your concerns. This information will be vital to building the data base, required to build an action plan and to inform government of the issues, as they also have a role to play,” he said.
“Telstra Business Centre have offered to undertake some free site surveys in areas registering the greatest concern. This requires a focus on localities so we can bundle them together geographically to expedite the process. Put simply, the more people who provide information, the better the chances of benefiting your community.
“After free site surveys have been completed, customers requiring urgent action, before mobile black spot funding is made available by the Federal Government, will be offered a commercial solution. This will be done independently, as a direct engagement between TBC and the end customer. Customers will be under no pressure to accept a commercial solution,” he continued.
“I thank TBC for responding positively to our community’s concerns and telling me they are locals caring for locals and assuring that this initiative comes from a place of support wanting to help the community and provide the right advice around improving their telecommunications
“Your LAGs have highlighted this issue and the importance of community-initiative. As an individual you can now value add to the process, to achieve something by the means of harnessing the power of community and seeking resolutions to an issue that for standalone individuals would be almost impossible,” he said.
“This is the first step in a program where a partnership between our community, TBC and your Council can make a difference but to get past that first step we need the information that only you can help provide,” Councillor Hope concluded.