Media Releases & Exhibitions
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is set to kick off a comprehensive community consultation process on a proposed rate increase, after having formally notified the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to apply for a Special Rate Variation (SRV).
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, said ratepayers would soon receive a flyer containing further information on the proposal, with Council to launch an online consultation site dedicated to the SRV and holding information sessions across the region in the New Year.
“As with many other councils across rural and regional NSW, LPSC is struggling to provide the broad range of services that we do and maintain our assets and infrastructure at the standard our community expects,” he said.
“Each year, IPART sets a rate peg that limits the amount by which local councils can increase their total rate revenue by, and unfortunately, the rate peg has not kept pace with the increasing costs of delivering services, maintaining and improving our assets, and running a contemporary local government organisation.
“While Council has contained rates to the rate peg for the past five years, the costs of providing services and maintaining infrastructure have increased and they will continue to increase over the years ahead,” he continued.
Councillor Hawkins said an SRV is required for Council to maintain existing services, improve its financial sustainability, and fund infrastructure maintenance and renewal.
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate in recent years to receive funding from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to deliver some major infrastructure projects across the shire, with several more in the pipeline,” he said.
“However, with new and improved assets comes increased maintenance costs and increased depreciation fund; all on top of the costs we must meet in maintaining our roads, bridges, footpaths, water and sewer infrastructure, and public buildings.
“Over recent years, Council has also increased the number of services it provides to the community, and while some of our community and recreation services operate in a cost-neutral manner, others are operating at a significant loss,” he continued.
Councillor Hawkins encouraged all community members to have their say on the proposed SRV, by participating in Council’s program of consultation exercises over the coming weeks or providing a submission to IPART.
“This is a conversation our community has to have, and we want to hear from as many residents and ratepayers as possible,” he said.
“I urge all community members to keep an open mind, consider the information put before them, and to provide feedback over the coming weeks before Council determines in early February whether or not to formally apply for an SRV,” he concluded.
Further information on the SRV process is available from IPART’s website at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council has ratified recent reconstruction works on two sections of the Merriwa Road (MR 358) and one section of the Werris Creek Road (MR 130).
“The works have been undertaken to enhance safety and to provide an improvement to the road environment for all road users,” said LPSC Mayor, Doug Hawkins OAM.
The works have seen line-marking installed in line with current RMS Delineation at the following locations:
- Merriwa Road (MR 358) – for the final 3.6 kilometre section, following reconstruction adjoining the Upper Hunter Shire Council boundary and involves 3.6 kilometres of double barrier line and edge line.
- Merriwa Road (MR 358) – at a recently reconstructed section at the T-intersection of Willow Tree Gravels’ Quarry, 2.5 kilometres from the New England Highway involving 700 metres of Double Barrier lines, a short 26 metre channelised right hand turn bay, 1400 metres of edge-line, 30 metres of barrier line and 60 metres of edge-line on the entrance to the Quarry.
- Werris Creek Road (MR 130) – at the recently constructed heavy vehicle U-turn bay approximately 320 metres south of South Street Werris Creek involving 250 metres of edge-line, a 26 metre channelised right hand turn bay and 140 metres of barrier line.
“Funding for the work undertaken the final 3.6 kilometre section of the Merriwa Road within the LPSC local government area was obtained through State and Federal Government agencies. The 700 metre reconstructed section at the Quarry was funded through Block Grant funding and the line-marking funded by the Quarry,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“The heavy vehicle U-turn bay works on the Werris Creek Road were funded by Crawford’s Freightlines. The heavy vehicle U-turn facility has been constructed on the Werris Creek Road, south of Werris Creek, to provide a safer access route into South Street and the intermodal terminal for vehicles coming from the north,” he said.
“As our roadways become increasingly busy it is important that infrastructure is well planned and maintained and will meet our needs now and in the future,” he concluded.
Best Practice Constructions Pty Ltd, who won the tender for the redevelopment of the Quirindi Library precinct, have wasted no time getting work underway, commencing on site operations within a week of being awarded the project.
“It is envisaged this $ 1,598,000 project will take about 6 months to complete, so I’m pleased the contractor has been able to commence work so quickly. Now that things are underway motorists and pedestrians are requested to be on the lookout for truck movements to and from the site, pedestrians to respect any marked deviations put in place for their safety and motorists to display extra caution and obey traffic control officers. Safety is a priority,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“The work underway means the public toilets at this site have had to be closed. There are alternative facilities approximately 200 metres to the south in George Street.
“As an additional safety measure, to help facilitate movement to and from the worksite, the parking bays outside the Service NSW centre will be closed during the times construction work is taking place on site,” he said.
“While the redevelopment is underway an office for Quirindi library has been established in the Home Support Service building on the corner of Dalley and Station Streets. This office operates Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm and 2 to 4pm. Due to COVID-safety requirements you are requested to call 6746 2350 and reserve a time to attend.
“People wishing to borrow can phone the librarian to place their order or go online to https://www.cnl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/HOME, the Central Northern Regional Library website where you can access click and collect or join the library. Order your books by Monday and they can be collected from Thursday morning. Books being returned can be placed just inside the front door or on the veranda of the HSS building. Current magazines are still available at the library and a public access computer is available as are photocopying and scanning services,” he continued.
“The Quirindi Library redevelopment is an exciting project that will add dynamism to the CBD. When completed the facility will be more user friendly with a strong focus on attracting users of all age groups. A new pergola will provide a modern outdoor setting with a clear roof that will provide shade plus allow for lights and reduced solar reflection and heat transmission. Landscaping will feature 2 new trees installed at the front. When completed we’ll have a community hub we can be proud of and that will serve the community well into the future,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, as we participate in pre-Christmas parties and throughout the Christmas/New Year and school holiday period, it is vital we focus on road safety and aim towards zero fatalities.
“Road deaths are closer to home than you think. Every person in the road toll is someone’s grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, brother, sister, or child. We shouldn't accept that people die on our roads so let’s all aim for zero road deaths. All road users have a part to play, safety is a shared responsibility, and we all need to be more aware and avoid risks,” he said.
“Before we head off on holidays we need to ensure the car is ready and roadworthy. We need to plan ahead, choose the safest route which may not necessarily be the quickest and when we hit the road it is essential that we drive to conditions.
“Not driving to the conditions is a major cause of death and injury on our roads. Driving to conditions is about using common sense. A road’s speed limit doesn’t mean it is safe to drive at that speed the whole length of the road. Ultimately, all drivers have the responsibility to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. This means that drivers must do whatever is necessary to adjust to the current road and weather conditions,” he continued.
“Police have told me that one of the most important issues we need to focus on to aim towards zero fatalities is managing fatigue. Remember that driving when tired and not taking regular breaks is very dangerous. This highlights the importance of having a good night's sleep before a trip and taking regular breaks every two hours.
“Another proven killer is handling mobile devices when driving. You must ensure your mobile phones and other devices in the car are not accessible to disturb concentration, because when we are distracted our vehicles are essentially out of control.
“Statistics show that speed continues to be a major factor contributing to road trauma. There’s a lot of truth in the old road safety adage it's better to arrive a few minutes late than dead on time. Put simply, it is better to arrive late than to risk your life speeding to a destination. Also, avoid drink and drug driving which are factors in a considerable number of road accidents.
“Ensuring seatbelts and child restraints are properly fitted is also important, and pets require restraints as well,” he said.
These are important factors to keep in mind at all times but especially with more of us on the road during the busy school and Christmas/New Year holiday period. These are a reminder to be attentive, stay focused, and drive as if our loved ones are on the road ahead.
“Towards Zero takes the approach that everyone should be aware that safety must be a shared responsibility and the road toll is not just a number, it is real people and could include your family and friends.
“Be patient, obey the speed limit, give yourself enough time to get things done and remember that courtesy goes a long way on our roads. Everyone deserves to be safe in the traffic over the holidays, but we all have to play our part. If everyone drives to survive we’ll all get to our destination safely,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
The contractors engaged by Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) to construct the new Glenyalla Road bridge, Murray Constructions, have nearly completed the project.
Over the last 2 weeks work undertaken has seen all the piles in place, both abutments completed, all three spans planked, and rock mattress completed.
On Thursday the concreting of the deck slab was undertaken.
The new $865,000, single lane, concrete structure crossing of Borambil Creek replaces an old timber bridge which was closed to traffic following structural damage.
LPSC was successful in applying for a grant from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and gaining 50% of the replacement cost for the new concrete structure. The new bridge has been built to current Australian standards, that provides unrestricted access for heavy vehicles and a useful life of at least 100 years. Council has financed the remaining 50% cost of the project with funding received through the Roads to Recovery program.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, said he was pleased to see the bridge nearing completion, which will allow the reopening of the through route from the New England Highway at Kankool, to the Merriwa Road near Willow Tree. He said the road is important to local farming families, as a rural transport route and for those delivering to or collecting from properties enroute.
At its November Ordinary Meeting, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) resolved to participate in a Temporary Transfer Scheme for 2020/2021 within the Upper Namoi Ground Water Management Zone 1 system.
“Council originally resolved in principle, at its November 2019 meeting, to participate in a Transfer Scheme for 2019/2020. Owing to delays with being issued the required approvals from various authorities to allow trading and following good rainfall during the beginning of 2020, the temporary trading scheme has not operated to this point in time,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“For the 2020/21 period Council is making available a temporary transfer of up to 250 Megalitres (ML) of its unused annual town water allocation for Quirindi to the Zone 1 irrigators pool for purchase.
“Council will adopt a fair and equitable distribution guideline for irrigator’s participation and a panel of Council and irrigator members will oversee the scheme’s distribution of available water,” he said.
“By making this allocation available it will provide irrigators with some certainty in planning their cropping options for next year, providing extra water into the Zone 1 system with the bonus of enabling irrigators to increase their productivity,” he continued.
“Council will review the scheme after the first year of operation to fine-tune the scheme if necessary and determine its ongoing application.
This decision furthers the aims of Council’s policies and community strategic plan that strategies, plans and decision making have a strong focus on financial, economic, social and environmental sustainability,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
After months of shutdown due to COVID-19, Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Freedom Camping area at Willow Tree has reopened and the picturesque village is ready to welcome travellers who are requested to abide by the COVID-safe requirements that have been put in place.
“Council has assessed the performance of its COVID-19 safety measures put in place at the Wallabadah Freedom Camping area which reopened recently. The system has worked far better than originally anticipated and as a result we are now ready to reopen Willow Tree. Maintaining COVID-safety is a priority both to keep travellers safe as well as to protect our local community,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins.
Similar arrangements as instituted at Wallabadah will be in place and visitors are required to register by scanning the QR code which can be found at the amenities block. Instructions on the use of the QR code are provided. Council officers will attend the Freedom Camping Area in the morning and evening and anyone who has not registered with the QR code will be required to register with them. The receipt should be displayed on your vehicle’s dash,” he said.
Councillor Hawkins said that during the COVID-19 shutdown Council took the opportunity to upgrade facilities at the Willow Tree Freedom Camping precinct utilising $50,000 it successfully gained through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program and carried out by local contractor Hoswell Constructions.
“This included an upgrade to the septic tank and rubble drain, the replacement of the water heater to increase capacity for showers, new showerheads, replacing doors and painting walls, timber battens and the floor. A new gutter was installed on the northern side of the building and broken pipe vents were repaired. Additionally new LED light battens were installed as was an underground sub-circuit and safety switch. I am pleased that on reopening we can offer visitors enhanced amenities,” he said.
Debbie Shaw and her daughters Hannah and Kylie established Plains Pantry in Willow Tree in 2015. Debbie said, “the reopening of the Freedom Camping area will provide additional economic stimulus for the village’s businesses that have taken a united approach to promote Willow Tree as an important food strip catering for travellers on the New England Highway with a wide variety of options available.”
“COVID-19 has negatively impacted businesses in Willow Tree and we look forward to welcoming Christmas/New Year/holiday travellers to what we have to offer and increased visitation improving the situation,” Debbie said.
“Both travellers on the highway, and those who choose to stay at the Freedom Camping Area, will be made welcome in Willow Tree. The Shire’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is located in the main street so call in and find out what the Liverpool Plains Shire has to offer visitors from the Great Dividing Range to the agricultural wonderland of the rolling plains to our west. The VIC is also home to the impressive display, Kamilaroi, a Highway, a People, which pays tribute to the culture, customs and traditions of the First Nation People of this area, the Kamilaroi. It is a fascinating story featuring a welcome to country in English and Gomeroi and a series of interpretative panels, sculptures and features Aboriginal groove stones” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, has extended his thanks to Rob Webster, who has tendered his resignation as a Councillor, for serving the community since his election to Council in 2012.
“During the 8 years Rob served on Council he held the post of Deputy Mayor in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He has also served on various Council committees during his tenure,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“To have the trust of the community to represent their best interests is a big job to live up to, and over the last 8 years Rob Webster has always stood up for what he believed was best for the Shire, its residents and businesses,” he continued.
Councillor Hawkins said that due to COVID-19 Rob Webster’s position would remain vacant until the deferred Council election to be held in September 2021.
“Councillors Cudmore, Black, Moules, Lobsey and I will remain focussed on the delivery of a record number of projects that are currently underway or to begin during the current financial year, designed to improve community infrastructure, to provide economic stimulus and to maintain the LPS as a good place to live, work and to raise a family,” he said.
“On behalf of Council, I wish Rob Webster the very best with his endeavours into the future,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, says it is important that local hospitality venues are aware that the State Government is making the use of QR codes mandatory for all NSW hospitality venues from November 23.
“Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has confirmed that QR codes for hospitality businesses will be compulsory so it is important that local business operators are prepared,” he said.
“It’s recommended venues use a QR code from Service NSW, however operators can also use a provider of choice. If you choose the Service NSW QR code they will create a unique, free QR code for your business that customers can scan when they visit.
“To access a QR code through Service NSW you will need to register your business as Covid-safe. You can do this here.
“If your business has already registered as COVID Safe, then you can recover your QR code and Service NSW will email you the link to your QR code and support posters. To recover your code go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/lost-qr-code, he continued.
“The new requirements come after a COVID-19 outbreak was linked to a restaurant in Sydney. It did not have a COVID Safety Plan and did not keep contact details of patrons as required under the Public Health Order relating to COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement.
“NSW Health’s contact tracing has worked extremely well to date in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. That is why customer contact details collected by pubs, restaurants, bars, and other businesses are so important, providing time sensitive information that makes contact tracing more efficient, he said.
“We have been extremely fortunate in the LPS with no recorded incidents of COVID-19 for many months. However, that must not allow us to become complacent. The upcoming school holiday, Christmas, New Year period will see many more people travelling both to and from as well as through the Shire. This can provide welcome benefits for the local economy, but at the same time we must maintain COVID-safe practices to minimise the risk of infection which can spread very rapidly if set loose in the community.
“I encourage business operators and all community members to play a responsible part in keeping our Shire COVID-19 free,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Work is continuing with the roll out of recommendations from the Liverpool Plains Shire Recreation Strategy. The Strategy and its two Master Plans provide the framework to guide the provision of sport and recreation facilities to support active and socially connected lifestyles across the Shire into the future.
“Following a community consultative process which began in 2018, Council formally endorsed the LPS Recreation Strategy and its Master Plans in May 2020. The Strategy identifies the overall directions and outcomes necessary to support Council's commitment to sport and recreation over the next 10 years plus facility development at the Quirindi Showground and Racecourse, and the sporting precinct which includes Longfield Park, Golland Fields and the Milner Parade tennis courts,” said LPSC Mayor Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“Council has successfully secured funding to the value of $3,532,950 to deliver the projects at the Showground Precinct and the Quirindi Sporting Fields Precinct. Of this amount $2,567,950 was obtained through the State Government’s Crown Lands Showground Stimulus Fund for the Showground redevelopment component, $550,000 through the State Government’s Local Drought Stimulus package and $415,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund for the Sporting Precinct,” he said.
“The synthetic surfaces for the 2 new cricket pitches at Golland Fields has been completed and this will allow junior cricket to relocate to the Golland Fields, which in turn will allow for an increased number of players to register with Quirindi Junior Cricket Association. In addition, if the grass pitches at Longfield Oval become unavailable during periods of wet weather the Senior Cricket teams will be able to utilise these facilities too,” he said.
“Quotes have been received for the relocation and improvement to Golland Field soccer ground. Additionally, surveys have been completed by a consultant for Longfield Oval and Golland Fields to ensure the sporting precinct has a level playing surface when complete.
“The contractors for the three new multipurpose, all-weather combined basketball/netball courts to be constructed at Longfield Park have completed preliminary works which include the installation of the concrete margins and new fence posts for the courts. The bases for the lighting columns and associated ducting have also been completed. It is envisaged this project will be completed in the first quarter of 2021,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“At the Showground Precinct, a survey of the grounds has been completed and a contractor appointed for the design of the Pavilion and Clubrooms. A draft design has been provided and feedback sought from the user groups. Council is preparing a Development Application (DA) for the demolition of the two old pavilion buildings and construction of the new pavilion building. It is anticipated that the DA will be lodged shortly.
“Specifications have also been completed for the rodeo arena, trotting track fence, and camp draft arena, and a request for quotations issued,” he said.
“While the Showground Precinct and Sporting Fields Precinct in Quirindi are facilities that are utilised by schools, junior and senior sporting events and sporting organisations from all parts of the Shire, the importance of supplementary facilities in other communities is also important. Over a number of years investment has been made at David Taylor Oval Werris Creek including a new grandstand, improvements to camping amenities, shade coverage, a bore and improved field irrigation and landscaping. A new canteen and amenities facility are currently under construction near the grandstand and will be completed soon. Tennis courts at Currabubula and Warrah Creek have been upgraded and improvements made to recreation ground facilities at Willow Tree and Spring Ridge,” he continued.
“Community consultation has informed Council of the importance of sporting and recreational facilities to a large section of the Shire Community. Council thanks all those individuals, sporting organisations and community groups that have contributed to the development of the recreational strategy. This has assisted Council to successfully gain millions of dollars of grant funding which in turn has enabled the roll out of projects that will support the active and socially connected lifestyles the community wants, now and into the future. These are great outcomes for all concerned,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, has welcomed the good progress being made on the Glenyalla Road bridge replacement project and the commencement of work towards the construction of a new basketball/netball court complex in Quirindi.
“The $865,000 project to replace the old, damaged timber Glenyalla Road bridge crossing of Borambil Creek with a new concrete structure is progressing well. Piling has been completed for the two eastern and western piers, with the headstock landed on both pier 1 and the western abutment. The eastern abutment has also been completed. Scour protection has been undertaken. Weather permitting it is expected the project will be completed by the end of November,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“Work has commenced on clearing the site on the corner of Henry and Rose Streets in Quirindi, adjacent to Longfield Park, where 3, all weather netball/basketball courts will be erected. This project and the associated redevelopment of the Milner Parade tennis courts is being undertaken with $160,000 funding secured from a Salvation Army grant and $415,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.
“The project will include new fencing, construction of kerbing and walls, installation of lighting, asphalting, and the installation of the sporting surface with line marking. It will provide improved facilities for Quirindi Amateur Basketball Association and Quirindi Netball Association and the community members who enjoy participating in these sports. At this stage it is envisaged the project will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. It will further complement the investment being made at sporting facilities in the Longfield Park, Henry Street precinct,” he concluded.
After a three year hiatus, due to severe drought conditions, Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Biosecurity Officer will be undertaking aerial inspections for priority weeds, from a helicopter, between the period Monday 16 and Friday 20 November weather permitting.
The aerial inspection program will assist Council’s Biosecurity Officer to ascertain priority weed occurrence and density in the Shire.
Aerial inspections are a cost effective way of getting across the Shire within a short timeframe.
Landowners will be notified if any infestations are found on their land with follow up on-ground inspections to guide landowners on how they can achieve their General Biosecurity Duty under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.
If any landowner/Manager has any concerns could they please contact Council’s Biosecurity Officer, Mike Whitney, on 0427 961 980 to arrange an on ground inspection at a mutually convenient time.
A priority weed is a plant that has been assessed to cause severe economic loss to agriculture and significantly impact our natural and recreational environments. Taking action on weeds creates substantial environmental, social and economic advantages.
For a list of priority weeds on a State and regional level, visit www.weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au
Alternately, the NSW WeedWise app provides key information to help users reduce the impact of priority weeds and can be downloaded for free via the Android or Apple app store.
Nominations have opened for the 2021 Liverpool Plains Shire (LPS) Australia Day Awards. There are 7 categories, and the aim of the awards is to recognise outstanding contributions by individuals and groups to the local community, plus highlighting the importance and significance of Australia Day. The theme for 2021 is The Story of Australia - Reflect, Respect, Celebrate.
“Due to COVID-19 2020 has been a very different year for most people. However, many volunteers and organisations have continued to do a remarkable job under very difficult circumstances. We need you to let us know of those people and organisations you feel are deserving of these awards by taking a few minutes of your time to nominate them,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
The categories for the 2021 (LPS) Australia Day Awards are:
Citizen of the Year - open to persons 18 years or older on 26 January 2021
Young Citizen of the Year - open to persons under 18 years of age on 26 January 2021
(Both Citizen and Young Citizen categories will be assessed on the commitment the nominee shows to the community through their various community based activities over the last 12 months)
Local Legend - Seeks to recognise those individuals who have worked tirelessly without recognition behind the scenes to support an organisation in its activities or an individual in achieving success in a chosen field
Sportsperson of the Year - open to persons 18 years or older on 26 January 2021
Junior Sports Person of the Year - open to persons under 18 years of age on 26 January 2021
(Both sports categories will be assessed on the sporting achievements of the nominee including the number of different sports at which the nominee excels and the level at which they represent. Sportsperson of the Year also includes recognition of those men and women who have given outstanding service to a sport or sporting organisation over many years).
Marie Maunder Community Service Award - Seeks to recognise an individual who has made an ongoing and outstanding contribution to community service to the Liverpool Plains District.
Emergency Services Community Award - As well as looking at contributions within a nominee’s given Emergency Service Agency (ESA), judges will be specifically looking for examples of additional community service nominees have performed, above and beyond their normal ESA duties.
“Nominees must be Australian citizens, residing in the Liverpool Plains Shire local government area at the time of nomination. You may nominate a person in more than one category however they cannot win more than one category and cannot win a category they won the previous year.
Full details of criteria, eligibility and the nomination process can be found on the official nomination form. The form can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSAUS21. Hard copies of the form are available from the LPSC Administration Centre, Werris Creek library and the Visitor Information Centre Willow Tree. You can request a form be emailed to you by calling the Customer Service Desk on 6746 1755 or via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of how to return completed nominations is provided on the forms,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“The LPS Australia Day Awards Ceremony will be presented at the Royal Theatre Quirindi, commencing at 10am, on Tuesday 26 January 2021.
“The LPS Australia Day Awards reward and recognise individuals and organisations that have made a noteworthy contribution or given outstanding service to our local communities. Because these awards are grassroots, it is other community members who know who deserves to be recognised. Your nominations are essential in making the awards successful so please take a moment and consider nominating those that make a difference and enrich the fabric of our Shire,” he concluded.
Work is underway on additional landscaping at Werris Creek’s David Taylor Oval and associated Freedom Camping Area.
“The planting of trees, shrubs and provision of raised flower beds will compliment a number of other projects undertaken at the facility including the amenities block, a picnic table and associated shading, which have been completed and enhance separation between the BBQ area and public amenities,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“As well as improving amenity for locals it will also help provide an improved experience for freedom campers when the facility can be reopened as COVID-19 restrictions are further relaxed.
“Council was successful in gaining $247,549 funding for these and other projects at the David Taylor Oval precinct through the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Program with the support of Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson,” he said.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, has expressed his thanks to Council’s Parks and Reserves crew headed by Chris Norvill, for their efforts which have seen the Shire’s parks and gardens looking beautiful.
“When you think back to twelve months ago when the region was in extreme drought and many areas little more than dust bowls, it is fantastic to see the transformation some good rains can bring about and crews have been out taking advantage of the conditions to ensure things are looking fabulous,” he said.
“Your efforts have seen positive comments on social media and visitors to our communities have also commented on how nice things look, congratulations,” he continued.
“Following the recent rain and with warmer spring weather grass is expected to grow extremely quickly in a fashion we haven’t seen for some period of time. Our machinery and staff numbers to deal with this explosion in growth are finite and I would ask residents to be patient as crews work to deal with the issue,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
The recent rain events that forced some road closures, in the Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) local government area, provided the opportunity to trial the effectiveness of new gates that have been installed on Gap Road near Werris Creek. Gap Road links the Kamilaroi Highway through to the Werris Creek Road. Further improved signage will be put in place in the coming weeks near the junctions of the roads to further inform motorists of the closures.
“Gap Road has become an increasingly important cross country link over recent years and experienced increasing numbers of road users. Unfortunately, during flood events there has been an increase in the number of people disregarding road closure signs. This has included incidence of people driving around them, physically moving them and even running over the top of them,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“This is very dangerous behaviour that not only puts a motorist, and their passengers’ lives at risk but also if they need to be rescued inherently puts emergency service personnel at high risk,” he said.
“As little as 30cm of still floodwater is sufficient to float a small passenger vehicle, and 50cm for a 4WD. Moreover, drivers may be unable to see what lies beneath flood waters. Large sections of roads often deteriorate or wash away. Flash flooding events are considered even more dangerous to motorists and their passengers.
“Research carried out by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience highlights the fact that people entering floodwaters by vehicle constitutes a major cause of flood fatalities in Australia. Over a 20 year period over 80 people have died attempting to drive through floodwaters. The data shows that 35% per cent of these people were driving 4WDs. It may surprise many to learn that 48.5% per cent of flood deaths in Australia have been attributed to being vehicle-related incidents,” he continued.
“While these new gates will add to motorist safety on Gap Road during flood events, there are other roads within the Shire that are often impacted, and I urge motorists to obey road closure signs. There have been a number of incidents where emergency services have been called out in the middle of the night to rescue motorists and their vehicles stranded in water on local roads. Please remember it is illegal to drive through road closed signage. Not only can you put yourself and your passengers at risk, it also costs the community money when rescue operations have to be undertaken and puts the lives of emergency service teams in danger,” he said.
“At all times motorists need to drive to conditions so at any time if you encounter water across the road pavement or flowing through causeways please exercise caution and if in doubt please don't proceed. Always choose road safety,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Biosecurity Officer is urging all landowners in the Shire to be prepared for the upcoming St John’s Wort season due to more favourable conditions for their growth following rain.
The past two seasons have seen little to no St John’s Wort present due to the very dry, hot conditions. Unfortunately, this plant has been sitting dormant and has been waiting for the right conditions to germinate.
Both ground and aerial inspections are to be ramped up in the next month to ascertain the extent of growth and to advise landowners how they can best achieve their General Biosecurity Duty obligations, under the Biosecurity Act 2015, regarding this toxic, highly invasive weed.
Councils around the region are also gearing up to control St John’s wort on roads and other land under their management along with the Local Land Services from the North West.
You get some idea of how invasive this can be when you consider one St John’s Wort plant can produce 30,000 seeds annually. The sticky seeds are spread primarily by animals and may remain viable in the ground for more than 20 years.
It is important that all known infestation sites are regularly monitored. All new plants must be treated before seed set, as left untreated it has the potential to produce thousands of new plants. It contains a chemical called hypericin. Livestock that eat it become very sensitive to sunlight resulting in poor health and low productivity.
For more information please contact Council’s Biosecurity Officer Mike Whitney on 67461755 or go to the following links for more information:
Following the closure of Quirindi Library’s George Street site ahead of the precinct’s redevelopment, a library office has been opened at the Home Support Services (HSS) building at the corner of Station and Dalley Streets Quirindi. Days and hours of operation for the library are
Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 2 to 4pm.
In line with current public health requirements, a COVID-19 safety plan is in place and those wishing to avail themselves of library services will need to call the library on 6746 2350 and reserve a time to attend and carry out their business. It should be noted that Quirindi library has a new email address Quirindi.Library@lpsc.nsw.gov.au through which the librarian can be contacted.
As the library’s collection of books is in store, people wishing to borrow can phone the librarian to place their order. Additionally, click and collect via the Central Northern Regional Library website https://www.cnl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/HOME can be used to order your selections or to join the library.
Book deliveries will be made on Wednesdays, so it is suggested that orders be placed either with the librarian or via click and collect on the Monday prior. Borrowers will be able to pick up their books from Thursday morning. Books being returned can be placed just inside the front door or on the veranda of the HSS building.
Current magazines are still available at the library so ask the staff. A public access computer is available as are photocopying and scanning services. In all instances it is necessary to book a time before attending so please call the library first to arrange.
If a library member finds it difficult to attend the HSS building they can discuss arranging home delivery by phoning the librarian. Meals on Wheels clients can also request delivery of their books with their meals.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, has encouraged library members to call the librarian if they require assistance navigating the interim system.
“The redevelopment of the library precinct will add a fresh dynamism to the CBD with a community hub that will serve library members and the community well into the future,” he concluded.
National Water Week’s theme for 2020 is Reimagining our Water Future. Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, believes this is a conversation all communities need to have. He said that as our population grows, there’ll be more stress put on our water resources, and we need to reimagine the way we use and reuse water to ensure there’s enough of it to meet demand in the future.
“Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world. While our farming sector has long realised what a precious commodity water is many people living in towns and villages with reticulated water supplies have grown accustomed to taking water for granted, that it’s just there when you turn on a tap.
“The droughts we’ve experienced so far in the 21st century have clearly demonstrated that we have to stop taking water for granted and we need to be asking questions like how can we rethink our current water practices to help conserve valuable water resources? and what can we do as individuals and as communities to inspire a more sustainable water future?” Councillor Hawkins said.
“LPSC has invested millions of dollars in recent years to improve water infrastructure through projects like the Quipolly Dam augmentation, the Willow Tree pipeline and a new bore at Wallabadah. We’ve recommissioned or provided new bores at locations like David Taylor Oval Werris Creek and Quirindi Showground to take the pressure off town supplies for ground maintenance.
“Tenders for the Quipolly Water Project (QWP) close on 30 October and Councillors will decide on a preferred tender during December. This is the largest capital works project Council has ever undertaken. Construction of the new state of the art Water Treatment Plant will facilitate the replacement of existing aged and outdated water supply infrastructure. It will enhance security for the Werris Creek water supply and provide options for the management of the Werris Creek/Quirindi/Willow Tree water supplies though construction of a connecting pipeline. Barring unforeseen circumstances it is anticipated the project will be completed by December 2022.
“While these projects will greatly enhance water security and quality, to return the greatest dividends to the community we must all as individuals reimagine our water usage, get smart and stop unnecessarily wasting this precious resource,” he continued.
“Cutting back on your water use not only saves water, but also saves energy, money and the environment.
“Outdoor water use accounts for 25-50% of the average home’s usage. You can find tips that can save you money and advice on when to water, watering systems, how much to water, mulch and compost, garden design, use of grey water and tanks, car washing and pools and spas at https://www.smartwatermark.org/smartwateradvice/saving-water-garden/.
“Water efficient practices can save businesses money and prevent water wastage. You can find out how to reduce the water consumption of your business at https://www.smartwatermark.org/smartwateradvice/saving-water-business/.
“We use a large amount of water inside the home for washing ourselves, our clothes, brushing our teeth, flushing toilets and cooking. Reduce water use in your home by making some small changes in behaviour and by exploring a range of modern, high quality water efficient technologies. Go to https://www.smartwatermark.org/smartwateradvice/saving-water-home/,” he said.
“As an awareness initiative, Water Night, on Thursday 22 October challenges you not to use taps, showers and running water for the night. You have to make do with one bucket of water only, from 5pm to 5am. Use of water for hand hygiene and religious reasons is exempt.
“If we all discover just how often we reach for our taps and how subconsciously we do it, we can gain a whole new perspective and reimagine our water future. Register now to participate in Water Night at https://waternight.com.au/#register,” Mayor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) applied for, and was successful in gaining, $70,000 through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program to resurface the tennis courts at Warrah Creek Hall. The project has now been completed.
“This is great news for Warrah district residents. Consultation with community members indicated this was a project they’d like to see undertaken, one that will provide them with an upgraded sporting facility they can utilise all year round,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM.
“Council recognises the importance of investing in the Shire’s small rural communities. Warrah Creek hall and the associated tennis courts are the key focal point and the local hub within their community. It is a place where they can get together for any occasion, including community events and the improvements to the tennis courts will compliment local amenity.
“Council has been successful in gaining funding through the Drought Communities Program to deliver 8 community facility infrastructure developments and upgrades around the Shire and is grateful to Federal Member Barnaby Joyce for his support for these projects,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.