Media Releases & Exhibitions
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has extended thanks to the media who have given coverage to the dangers associated with asbestos during November, National Asbestos Awareness Month. At the same time he is urging do it yourself home renovators and tradies carrying out renovations to be mindful of the dangers all year round.
“Why have 100% of Council’s around NSW got behind supporting this campaign? Simply because it is a silent killer. Statistics published last year by the Public Health Research and Practice journal show six out of every 10 mesothelioma sufferers today were involved in major home renovations involving asbestos. We want people to be aware of the dangers and to take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves, their families, others in the community and the environment,” he said.
“With 13 Australians dying of asbestos-related diseases and another 13 being diagnosed with mesothelioma every week it is a time-bomb in our midst. Australia has the second-highest mesothelioma death rate in the world. Once known as an old man's disease, it is now being diagnosed in people in their 40s. More than 10,000 people have succumbed to the disease since the early 1980s. Medical models point to a peak in deaths from mesothelioma between now and 2021. The number of cases in the country is expected to reach 18,000, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. According to cancer experts, an additional 25,000 people are expected to die from it over the coming decades,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said this is how one asbestos victim described his circumstances, first I took aspirin, then I inhaled steam, then my doctor gave me some antibiotics but there was no relief from the pain and the shortness of breath, so one day after I found myself gasping for air, after the exertion of picking up a parcel from the floor, I went for a CAT scan and learnt a new word mesothelioma. I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. The doctor said I might have only six weeks, or I might get lucky and last for two years.
“The occupations with the highest exposure risk include asbestos mining and jobs that produce a lot of dust such as sawing, sanding, drilling, grinding or handling asbestos-contaminated materials. The workers who filed the most compensation claims over recent years included carpenters, electricians, power plant workers, plumbers, metal workers and telecommunication workers. The dangers can be in many occupations and are expected to rise amongst tradies and do it yourself renovators as homes built prior to 1987 are refurbished or demolished,” he said.
“There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres so without knowing what to look for or how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely, homeowners, renovators, tradies and handymen are playing a risky game of Renovation Roulette and putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.
“What we have to remember is, if you understand the dangers of asbestos, you can manage the risk. Before even starting renovations go to www.asbestosawareness.com.au for lots of useful information. The Bernie Banton Foundation website also provides a lot of valuable information www.berniebanton.com.au/ and they also have a 24/7 Support Helpline on freecall 1800 031 731. Whatever you do, make sure you or a loved one don’t become another statistic,” Councillor Hope concluded.
(L to R) – Brent Moffat, WHS Advisor Noel O’Brien, Garry Fechner, Cameron Smith and Joe Robertson provided the recommendations to Council that have vastly improved safety standards and efficiency handling tar at LPSC’s Works Depot. They are pictured at the Emoleum tank along with the new access stairs to the platform where the workplace has been decluttered and electrical systems upgraded.
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has congratulated staff associated with introducing new tar handling and application operations for Council.
“As a result of a risk assessment, undertaken by LPSC’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) section, of the provision of road sealing and patching operations at the Council’s Works Depot, recommendations were put to Council to improve the design and operation of the tar handling plant.
“LPSC WHS and Risk Management Advisor, Noel O’Brien, along with the workplace health and safety committee considered the operations and the requirements to find solutions to streamline the decanting operations. Their work led to improvements in both safety standards and efficiency,” Councillor Hope said.
In a move that paralleled and complimented these works Council has recently taken delivery of a state of the art Paveline tar patcher and resealer.
“This is cutting edge technology that again improves safety for staff and improves efficiency. No more do we have crew with tar pots working out of the back of trucks, at risk on the side of roads. As a sign of this unit’s efficiency, one person achieves more than what three people could achieve under the old methods. Staff estimate it has tripled the speed of operation. Last week it used 58 tonnes of stone and 14,000 litres of emulsion getting its work done,” Councillor Hope said.
“Improved management and safety practices result in efficency increases from the delivery of the tar to the tanks to provisioning of the Paveline through to the application of tar on the roads. This in turn leads to better use of ratepayer funds and better utilisation of human resources and equipment, freeing them up for other important projects,” Councillor Hope concluded.
NOvember is national Asbestos Awareness Month culminating in Asbestos Awareness Day on Friday 24 NOvember when support groups including the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia hold Asbestos Remembrance Day Services. Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) supports all initiatives to make the community aware of the dangers of asbestos and to prevent locals becoming an asbestos statistic.
“The key message is Get to kNOw asbestos this NOvember! Visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn where asbestos might be located in and around homes and how to manage it safely,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Through this website you can view Asbestos In Your Home – The Ultimate Renovators Guide, search Australia’s only online Asbestos Product Database, download Fact Sheets for Homeowners and Renovators on how to manage asbestos safely, download a Healthy House Checklist to help identify and safely manage asbestos products, download Fact Sheets and Checklists for Tradies to learn the locations of asbestos products and what to do to manage asbestos safely and take the 20 Point Safety Check to learn what you need to know about asbestos in homes,” he said.
“Reported exposure statistics from a study by A/Professor Eun-Kee Park into Asbestos exposure during home renovation in NSW showed that exposure to asbestos fibres is common during do-it-yourself (DIY) home renovations with more than 60% of DIY renovators reporting exposure to asbestos dust. The scary thing about exposure to asbestos fibres is that it may be many years before symptoms appear.
“Asbestos is the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma. an incurable asbestos-related cancer. When people don’t know the risks or how to protect themselves or families and release fibres during renovations and maintenance, they put their health and the health of families and bystanders at risk,” he emphasised.
“Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world. Many wrongly believe that ONLY fibro homes contain asbestos. Asbestos can be found in multiple products in ANY home built or renovated before 1987 including brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes, because it was used in multiple products that can still be found in and around many homes today. Asbestos may be found in every room inside as well as outside homes including; under floor coverings such as carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets, dog kennels, chook sheds and backyard sheds. Basically it can be found anywhere,” he said.
“Asbestos removal is one job that’s best done by a licensed professional. Professional removal of asbestos is affordable, you must ask yourself if in the longterm can I afford not to use a professional,” he continued.
Unless homeowners take the warning seriously, the number of Australians diagnosed with mesothelioma is likely to continue to rise. As a community we need to be aware of the dangers of asbestos in and around homes, particularly when renovating or doing maintenance,” Councillor Hope concluded.
In a further development of its Recreational Vehicle (RV) Strategy, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has produced the Liverpool Plains the plains of freedom RV Camping Guide.
The 12 page guide lists and details the Freedom Camping Grounds at Wallabadah, Werris Creek, Currabubula, Willlow Tree, Spring Ridge and Premer with a key to each site providing details of the amenities provided plus local things to see and do. The centre pages provide a map highlighting the camping ground communities and connecting roads around the Shire.
VIC Manager Nikki Robertson, recently attended the caravan, camping, lifestyle expo in Sydney to promote the Shire at the Kamilaroi Highway stand. Over 21,000 people attended the event.
The Shire has seen a steady growth in the number of RVers utilising facilities including overnight stayers who have come back to spend a few days discovering attractions and taking in the rural beauty that stretches from the Great Dividing Range to the bountiful agricultural plains to the west.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is seeking funding through Roads and Maritime Services’ (RMS) Active Transport Program Grants towards extension of two existing shared pathways plus a new pathway to benefit students from Quirindi High School and the new TAFE learning centre.
“The State Government’s Transport Plan encourages greater emphasis on walking and cycling and aligns with Council’s Community Strategic Plan for the provision, maintenance and enhancement of infrastructure that is environmentally friendly and minimises risk to the community. If we can attract some funding it will be a win-win-win for the Government, Council and the Community,” said Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The three projects we are putting forward have been identified within LPSC’s Pedestrian Access, Mobility Plan and Bike Plan which was adopted in 2015 following extensive public consultation,” he said.
“Over the past seven years, Council has constructed some 5kms of shared pathway connecting southern and eastern Quirindi to the town centre. By completing a 520m long section in Duke Street, walkers and cyclists will have a fully paved circuit around town.
“The shared path recently constructed at Hoamm Park Werris Creek has the potential to be extended an additional 560m at its southern end .
“Both projects accord with Council and the State Government’s objective of encouraging a healthy life-style,” he continued.
“The new project recognises a clear demand for an all weather pathway along the frontage of Quirindi High School and connecting across Station Street to the new TAFE learning centre and the High School’s agricultural facility. This proposal entails a length of approximately 275m,” he said.
“If grants can be obtained for these projects they will add to an expanding network of off-road shared pathways providing additional opportunities for recreational cycling, jogging and walking. Such projects provide ideal infrastructure that helps increase the liveability of Liverpool Plains Shire,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The Chair of Namoi Unlimited and Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has welcomed the announcement from the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, along with Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton on the future of joint organisations of councils (JOs).
“The announcement about the future of groups of councils working together is exciting news for the members of Namoi Unlimited. We have been working hard to develop a new model for regional development, collaboration and leadership in Local Government,” Councillor Hope said.
“The Deputy Premier and the Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton announced that the NSW Government will introduce new laws to allow councils in regional NSW to voluntarily create new Joint Organisations in 2018,” he said.
Mr Barilaro said Joint Organisations would transform the way the NSW Government and local councils collaborate, plan, set priorities and deliver important projects in regional NSW.
Councillor Hope said “Namoi Unlimited is clear about its strategic priorities; those priorities are to build the economies, the infrastructure and job opportunities in the Namoi region.”
“We realised early in the pilot process that by working together on strategic opportunities around investment, roads, as well as skills, we can support each others individual goals and deliver on our ambition to be a prosperous region and economy,” he said.
The organisation formerly known as Namoi Councils Joint Organisation is now know as Namoi Unlimited. Councillor Hope said the new brand reflects the vision of the region and their ambitions.
“We have been collaborating with the NSW Government to focus on the issues that matter most to our communities.
“Funding is recognition of the work being undertaken to engage in international markets to attract investment on the right terms, supporting infrastructure that will drive agricultural innovation, and developing the skills of people who work in Local Government and want to work with us,” Councillor Hope concluded..
Namoi Unlimited is a collaboration of seven regional Councils; Gunnedah Shire, Gwydir Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire, Narrabri Shire, Tamworth Regional, Uralla Shire and Walcha Shire. The Councils encompass over 100,000 people in the region across almost 60,000 square kilometres. Namoi Unlimited exists to create scale and capacity to deliver practical and collaborative regional initiatives.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, a plea posted to Council’s Facebook page sums up why Council promotes the annual Asbestos Awareness Month; Everyone needs to take this message seriously...legacy asbestos is contaminating so much of Australia. Sadly many people ignore the dangers to themselves and others and inhale the deadly fibres. There is a third wave of asbestos diseases, so the numbers of people dying a slow painful death is rising. Listen to the message and don’t become one of the sufferers.
“Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world. Unfortunately, people still have the attitude ‘this won’t affect me’ and continue to gamble with a silent killer. With asbestos-related diseases continuing to increase among Australians as a direct result of exposure to asbestos fibres during home renovations and maintenance, the importance of raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos and how best to manage it in and around homes, cannot be overstated!” Councillor Hope said.
“Over the past two weeks, Council’s ‘Get to kNOw Asbestos this NOvember’ messages have focussed on asbestos in rural buildings, advice for tradies and hammering home the message before you take any risks visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn how to protect yourself, family and environment from exposure to dangerous asbestos fibres,” he said.
“It is a myth that only fibro homes contain asbestos. Asbestos products can be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987 including brick, weatherboard and clad homes.
“Most of us can’t tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. Asbestos can be under floor coverings such as carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space insulation, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets and backyard sheds – asbestos can be anywhere,” he warned.
“Through asbestosawareness.com.au you can obtain a Healthy House Checklist to make you much more aware of possible locations where asbestos may be found. It will help you better understand the types of asbestos-containing products that may be in homes, better monitor these products to ensure they remain sealed and in good condition, avoid disturbing products when maintaining or renovating homes and provide tradespeople with a list of possible locations when planning home renovations before work commences to ensure asbestos is managed safely,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said there are a lot of don’ts where asbestos is concerned;
“Remember, the rule is, if you think it might be asbestos, treat it as if it is asbestos and take all the necessary precautions ensuring you manage it safely. There is no ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fibre. Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma. Every exposure to asbestos can cause injury and contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease. Don’t play russian roulette,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has welcomed the formal gazettal of amendment No.4 to the Liverpool Plains Local Environmental Plan (LEP)
“LEP Amendment No.4 rezones a significant amount of land north of Quirindi for rural and environmental living purposes and introduces a rural boundary adjustment clause to permit farm buildings with consent on land zoned R5 Large Lot Residential,” Councillor Hope said.
“The need for an area to cater for this type of development was identified in Council’s economic development strategy. The local business community has also been supportive of the need to provide such life style opportunities,” he said.
“LPSC listened to what the community had to say on this issue and undertook the substantial work required to have the necessary amendments made to the LEP, to allow the proposal to proceed. It speaks highly of the commitment of our Environmental Services Department that it was only at the August Council meeting that the planning proposal was adopted. This allowed our staff to exercise the delegated authority of the NSW Minister of Planning under Section 59 of the Environmental Planning Assessment Act 1979 to make the Plan resulting in Council receiving the final gazettal notice from the State Government on the first day of November.
“The land that has been rezoned caters for a range of lot sizes and choice, is level, close to town and is able to be serviced by town water,” he continued.
“Council has written to landowners involved informing them of the gazettal,” he said.
“There is no doubt that there is a big demand for this type of lifestyle choice and LPS looks forward to welcoming new residents looking to swap the rat race for a quieter, country life style.
“LPSC’s economic development strategy aims to build the population base, encourage businesses, and ensure that we are doing well economically. The Shire is open for business!” Councillor Hope concluded.
Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, is urging tradies who may have worked with asbestos before and not been concerned about managing it safely, to rethink their position and to take the warnings seriously and learn where asbestos might be located on the job and how to manage it.
“Tradespersons, workers and labourers can expect to encounter asbestos-containing materials in their day-to-day work and need to think smart, think safe, think asbestosawarness.com.au, because it’s not worth the risk of playing russian roulette with safety,” Councillor Hope said.
“Without knowing where asbestos-containing products might be located in homes and how to manage asbestos safely, tradies risk disturbing asbestos and releasing fibres that could be inhaled and can cause serious asbestos-related diseases that often don’t manifest themselves until many years into the future,” he said
Councillor Hope pointed out that there are two types of asbestos building materials: ‘non-friable’ and ‘friable’.
“Non-friable asbestos cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry. It doesn’t need to be removed if sealed, in a good, stable condition and left undisturbed, because it’s unlikely to release dangerous fibres posing health risks. However, non-friable asbestos can become friable if damaged, unsealed and exposed to weather.
“Friable Asbestos is any material containing asbestos in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry. Friable asbestos can be found in fire damaged fibro, loose fill insulation, unpainted and exposed asbestos cement sheeting and powdery tilux. ONLY Class A Licenced Asbestos removalists can remove friable asbestos,” he said.
“Before commencing any work, renovations or refurbishments to residential properties, tradies and workers must determine if asbestos containing materials are present to ensure they minimise the risks to their health and the health of colleagues, families and bystanders.
“Only tradies who’ve undergone asbestos training awareness and management training can work with asbestos material. More information regarding training can be found through Safework NSW - http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/media/publications/health-and-safety/fact-sheet-asbestos-awareness-training,” he continued.
“A 20 Point Asbestos Safety Checklist and Residential Asbestos Checklists are available via the web at www.asbestosawarness.com.au or contact your relevant trade association for guidelines. If you’re unsure how to identify asbestos this same link also has an online video, Asbestos In Your Home – The Ultimate Renovators Guide. You can also search the Asbestos Products Database for examples of what to look for,” he said.
“Asbestos personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times when working with asbestos materials. The purpose of wearing PPE when working with asbestos is to create a barrier between you and the fibres. Suitable PPE is made from materials that protect you and your clothes from fibres including coveralls, gloves, safety footwear, shoe covers, gloves and protective eyewear. There should be no tears or breaks in any PPE products. Remember, if products, such as coveralls are damaged or torn, fibres can get in so any damaged or perished PPE must not be used and must be disposed of. Disposable PPE can be used only once then must be disposed of safely just like any asbestos waste. It is recommended that tradies should always keep a PPE kit on hand as part of their regular tool kit in case they come across asbestos materials on the job,” he continued.
“To work safely with asbestos tradies should inform homeowners in advance before commencing work. Homeowners should remove washing from clotheslines and also remove pets and pet bowls from work areas. You should ensure no one else is near the area you are working in unless they’re wearing PPE, close all doors and windows to prevent drafts and turn off all heating or cooling systems including fans and air-conditioning. Cover any surface in the work area that could become contaminated with fibres, dust and debris with plastic sheeting and secure with duct tape. Before starting work wear all your PPE gear then keep asbestos materials wet using a light mist spray. Avoid breaking asbestos materials during work and do not leave the work area once work has commenced. If you must leave while work is underway, you must decontaminate yourself. Remember, think smart, think safe, think asbestosawareness.com.au,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is calling for nominations to eight categories that will be recognised at its Australia Day 2018 Awards Ceremony on 26 January 2018. A new category, the Emergency Services Community Award will recognise the nominee’s contributions to the Emergency Services as well as their contributions to the wider community. Nominations for the eight awards will close on 22 December.
“Council is very pleased to add the Emergency Services Community Award, which seeks to recognise and raise awareness of the extraordinary contributions of everyone involved in the Shire’s emergency services sector. The category is open to all emergency service agency personnel who operate in our local government area,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
The eight categories seeking nominations are;
- Citizen of the Year
- Young Citizen of the Year
- Local Legend
- Sportsperson of the Year
- Junior Sportsperson of the Year
- Marie Maunder Community Service Award
- Emergency Services Community Award
- Community Event of the Year
“The LPSC Australia Day Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals who inspire us through their accomplishments in service to our community, culture and sports,” Councillor Hope said.
“As a community we rely heavily on their commitment and dedication to enriching the fabric of our society and the awards provide an opportunity to say thank you and well done,” he continued.
All nominations must be made using the official nomination form which also contains details regarding criteria and eligibility, the nomination process plus descriptions of the individual award categories.
“Nomination forms are available on Council’s HERE, from Council’s Customer Service Desk at the Administration, by calling 6746 1755 during business hours, or email a request to email@example.com.
Completed forms can be dropped in to the Customer Service Desk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage people to get their nominations in for people and events they consider worthy of recognition,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is one of six NSW Councils invited to participate in the Outdoor Dining Pilot Program being co-ordinated by the State Government’s Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
“This trial will run through until July 2018 and is aimed at streamlining the process for existing restaurants, cafes and other food-based businesses to expand trading on public footpaths,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“As part of the trial process, Council has recently sent letters to businesses in Werris Creek, Quirindi and Willow Tree, that already host outdoor dining, asking them to participate. Application fees will be waived for businesses participating in the interim trial and who obtain a permit during the period of the trial,” he said.
“Simplifying outdoor dining has the potential to improve community life style and vibrancy, generating benefits for businesses plus stimulating employment opportunities and local economies.
“The trial recognises the problem that currently food businesses wanting to offer outdoor dining have to comply with nine pieces of legislation across many government agencies, familiarise themselves with local requirements, and navigate a complex approval process,” he continued.
“LPSC is very pleased to be part of this innovative trial as it is aimed at providing a streamlined and simplified approach for outdoor dining approvals, cutting red tape for both small businesses and Council, providing user-friendly, online assessment and approval and lowering costs and compliance burdens on small business, thus making it much easier for local food businesses to offer outdoor dining to their customers.
There are a number of businesses already licenced to undertake outdoor dining activities and Council would like them to participate in the trial. Application forms, the NSW Outdoor Dining User Guide and Policy are available for download at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-use-public-land-outdoor-dining. Likewise, other businesses that would like to participate are invited to come on board” he said.
“LPSC staff are available to assist with the application process so anyone requiring assistance, or with questions regarding this matter, are invited to contact Council’s Executive Support Officer, Mrs Brooke Stevenson on 6746 1755 during business hours.
“The trial fits nicely with LPSC’s Economic Development Strategy,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has recently supported two State Government initiatives, Shoosh for Kids and Responsible Gambling Awareness, and according to Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope it is important that the messages they convey are heard.
‘The purpose of Shoosh for Kids is to support grassroots sports in providing positive environments for their members, whilst also addressing issues which arise from poor behaviour including abuse to officials, reduced volunteer numbers and reduced participation rates - due to poor experiences/non-enjoyment/a too competitive atmosphere,” Councillor Hope said.
“Junior sport is important in rural and regional areas with activities promoting a fun, inclusive and safe environment for its participants and encouraging a lifelong commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle. Shoosh for Kids is a collaborative effort between the Office of Sport and State Sporting Organisations to promote positive behaviour to their members, clubs and associations,” he said.
The overriding message is, if you can't say anything nice at junior sporting events, don't say anything at all,” he continued.
“Our community invests quite heavily in junior sport and it is important to remember that it only prospers thanks to the willingness of a small group of volunteers who are prepared to make personal sacrifices for the sake of their broader community. So please remember, if your comment is negative then SHOOSH, reward good effort with applause and if you can’t then SHOOSH. Do not direct negative comments at officials or young sports people,” he said.
The second campaign LPSC has supported is Responsible Gambling Awareness.
The impacts of problem gambling can be devastating. It is recognised it can impair family relationships, cause emotional problems and financial difficulties. Sadly, the children of problem gambling parents are at a much higher risk of developing gambling problems than the children of non-problem gambling parents. Additionally, there is consistent evidence of an association between gambling problems and family violence,” Councillor Hope said.
“I urge anyone with a gambling problem or people impacted by a problem gambler to go to www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has hosted an ‘interest day’ for regional water industry operators in conjunction with the Water Industry Operator’s Association (WIOA).
LPSC is very pleased to have been able to facilitate the day as part of a commitment from Council’s in the Namoi Water Alliance to provide ongoing forums for operation’s staff to share ideas, solutions and best practice across their fields. Gunnedah Shire hosted the previous get-together.
Topics covered included LPSC’s Regional Water Supply Scheme design and history, Tamworth Regional Council’s recent filter refurbishment at the Calala water treatment plant, the results of the Bioremediation trial at Werris Creek Sewerage Treatment Plant, WIOA’s operator certification scheme which is a process LPSC is embarking on soon for its operators and pump principles, selection and common faults.
Organisers were pleased to see good networking between operators from the various Councils, one of the main purposes of the event.
Following the presentations, which were made at the Quirindi Jockey Club’s function centre, a site visit was made to Quipolly Dam where participants were able to inspect the award winning works undertaken to upgrade safety and increase capacity as part of LPSC’s visionary Regional Water Supply Strategy.
Presentations were made by LPSC Water Services Manager Rod Batterham (pictured), LPSC’s Water Services Engineer Luke Whitten, Tamworth Regional Council, WIOA and pump suppliers Xylem.
Approximately 30 operators attended from Armidale, Walcha, Gwydir, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains Councils
Since 2012, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has actively promoted and supported the various campaigns held each November to highlight the dangers of asbestos to the community. Council attempts to provide a focus on the dangers related to asbestos and an opportunity to remember the families affected by asbestos-related diseases.
“Unfortunately too many people still aren’t aware enough on the the dangers of asbestos. The fact that in 2016, 100% of the 563 councils across Australia officially registered their participation in Asbestos Awareness Month, the highest number of council participants since the campaign launched in 2012, underscores the importance of the issue. LPSC is proud to have been part of this campaign from the word go,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“LPSC believes its involvement in this campaign has increased awareness across our Shire resulting in benefits to both our organisation and community by making our public and work areas safer as more people become aware of the dangers posed by illegal dumping of asbestos. Additionally, many renovators of older houses start what they consider a minor renovation without any consideration of the materials which they are removing or sanding. Asbestos Awareness Month brings information to the forefront of people’s minds to help curtail and avoid dangerous activities,” he said.
“This year, safe practices for rural and regional homeowners and farmers repairing or removing small amounts of asbestos materials is being highlighted. With every home and property built or renovated before 1987 likely to contain asbestos a large percentage of the population can be at risk.
“If left undisturbed asbestos generally does not pose a health risk. However, when disturbed during renovations and home maintenance, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and when inhaled, cause life-threatening diseases including lung cancer, pleural disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma,” he continued.
“Thousands of different products remain hidden dangers for 1 in every 3 Australian homes including brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes. It could be anywhere! Under floor coverings including carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space insulation, eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels,” Councillor Hope pointed out.
“As a preliminary step it is important to ensure asbestos sheeting such as fibro is in good condition. You can seal asbestos sheeting and corrugated asbestos - walls, fences and roofing - with good quality paint to prevent the release of fibres. You should then check from time to time to ensure the paint is still in good condition.
“People also need to take into account that during construction it was common practice for builders and labourers to bury broken pieces of asbestos materials on building sites which can now be exposed when digging, gardening or redeveloping properties or land.
“In rural regions many farm structures were constructed from fibro as a cost-effective means of housing farm equipment and stock including sheds and barns. It was also widely used to construct ‘sleep-out’ additions to farmhouses, workers accommodation for shearers and farm-hands, outhouses and water tanks. Fibro was also commonly used to build community housing throughout much of regional Australia. It needs to be remembered that abandoned homes and farm structures that may be damaged, neglected and unpainted pose real risks,” he said.
“People working on the land or in rural communities need to be aware that naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) could be uncovered. All asbestos-containing materials are made using this mineral. NOA can typically be found in rock, including serpentinite, sediment, or soil. NOA can be white (chrysotile), brown (actinolite, amosite), blue (anthophyllite, crocidolite), tremolite. NOA can be any size and shape and these variations make it difficult to identify. The only way to confirm if soil or rocks contain NOA is testing by a licensed asbestos assessor or an occupational hygienist.
“Go to http://asbestosawareness.com.au/noa/noa-downloads/ for a NOA Asbestos Management Plan Guide. The link also provides templates designed for use when conducting risk assessments in various parts of properties, to itemise the necessary information when conducting a property risk assessment for NOA and to assist managers in recording and maintaining records of training undertaken by workers in asbestos awareness and NOA. You can also find Fact Sheets about Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and information about the importance of personal and equipment decontamination when working with NOA plus the steps for disposal and transportation of NOA,” he continued.
“There are hefty fines for illegal dumping of asbestos waste. Within the LPSC area only the Quirindi Landfill is licensed to receive it. There is a cap on the amount of asbestos that can be removed and disposed of (10m2) without requiring a license. If you need to dispose of more than this amount, please contact Council for more information on 6746 1755, we are here to help. Please contact Quirindi Landfill on 0427 236 081 to book in disposal of your asbestos waste. 48 hours notice is requested,” he said.
“Before commencing any work around the home visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au for examples of products that might contain asbestos and learn where they might be located in your home and in other structures on your property,” Councillor Hope concluded.
National Asbestos Awareness Month is the initiative of the Asbestos Education Committee working in partnership with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and is supported by the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, the Federal Asbestos Safety & Education Agency and various levels of government, nationally.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is currently undertaking further community engagement in relation to the development of its Industrial Land Use Strategy. Existing industrial areas within LPS zoned for industrial purposes are located within Quirindi and Werris Creek. The strategy will guide the development of vacant industrial land in the Shire and identify the types of industrial development which are desired to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability.
“Staff from our department of Environmental Services and Economic Development have already been consulting with members of the community, for over four months, towards the strategy’s development and we are encouraging our business residents, landowners and ratepayers to continue providing this assistance as we further the project,” LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope said.
“This will include one-on-one conversations with industrial zoned businesses and landowners and correspondence with landowners who don’t actually reside in the Shire. Additionally, a questionnaire is being conducted for these people and the wider community to have their say,” he said.
The direct link to the questionnaire is – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LPSCIndustrial. It is requested that interested parties complete this questionnaire by Monday November 6. Councillor Hope said it will only take a few minutes to complete and will provide invaluable information.
“Decisions to allocate land for industrial use and development should seek to satisfy a wide range of planning and land use criteria and the questionnaire seeks your feedback on issues such as the types of industries LPSC should endeavour to attract to the local government area, what initiatives Council can employ to encourage industrial development in the Shire, the suitability of current locations, how the industrial estate areas can improve support for businesses and what we should consider planning for into the future,” he continued.
All responses will form an important part of the review process and be used to inform the development of, and any changes necessary to, the draft Industrial Land Use Strategy, which when completed will go on public display. Diversity in economic activity and a capacity for adjustment are major determinants in a region’s level of income, the resilience and stability of its economy and its ability to develop and grow. More information is available on Council’s website http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au/ the Liverpool Plains Shire Council Facebook page. I encourage the community to have their say and thank them for their role in the process,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, has announced that applications are now open to eligible community organisations to seek grants through the Council’s Community Funding Program.
“Applications for the program close on Friday December 1,” Councillor Hope said.
Council’s Community Funding Program recognises the vital contributon that community groups and organisations play in the development of our social capital and quality of life,” he said.
“Seed funding aims to encourage the development of new events across the Liverpool Plains Shire by providing not-for-profit organisations with some inital funding, up to $5,000, to help support and launch new, or one-off event activites.
“Growth funding, up to $5,000, is offered to assist event organisers to improve their existing event and to build strategic capacity within their event.
“Local sporting and recreational clubs can apply for assistance for infrastructure improvements, up to $10,000, that will have a lasting impact on the success of an event, or organisation, and provides value for the broader Liverpool Plains Shire community,” he continued.
An organisation applying for community funding from Council must conduct the event within the Shire, be a not-for-profit entity, or have the project auspiced by a not-for-profit entity, hold current and relevant public liability insurance to the value of $20 million, commence the activity or project in the financial year in which the funding is being sought demonstrate environmental, social and economic benefits to the Shire and be financially viable,” he said.
Application forms can be obtained by phoning 6746 1755, downloaded from Council’s website via http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au then click on My Community and then Community Funding, or emailing email@example.com. Completed application forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to PO Box 152 QUIRINDI NSW 2343,” he continued.
If you require further information or explanation please contact Angus or Emily on 6746 1755 during business hours,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Deputy Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins, has welcomed the news that the Pigs ‘n Pines Bike Run and Rally will return to Spring Ridge in 2018, to be held March 16 to 18.
“The Pigs ‘n Pines event is a fundraiser for Kids with Cancer, initiated by Bikers Australia and supported by the Royal Hotel Spring Ridge, Liverpool Plains Shire Council and the Spring Ridge Community,”
“Their inaugural event held in March this year was a huge success raising $11,000 for a really good cause,” he said.
Councillor Hawkins said the planning for the 2018 event is already underway with the organisers expecting the event to grow following the announcement that the Western Ranges Motorcycles and Indian Powersports groups are coming on board.
“A highlight of all bike rallies is The Show and Shine which gives motorbike enthusiasts a chance to show off their pride and joys and often encourages new enthusiasts to follow their dreams and become part of the fun,” Councillor Hawkins said.
“One of the great things about events such as the Pigs ’n Pines Run is that they provide fun and entertainment and are real family affairs, attended by young and old.
“There will be family entertainment all weekend, musical entertainment as well as the fun games that everyone enjoyed so much in 2017,” he continued.
“The Bikers also challenge the local Cricket team for a match. The Bikers won in 2017 but the Spring Ridge team will be looking to even the score in 2018.
“A big part of the atmosphere is the fact that camping is available for the duration of the event allowing families to enjoy the whole weekend. There will be a band and bar facilities, food and market stalls available too,” he said.
“Anyone interested in having a stall at the 2018 event should contact Ceejay at Bikers Australia on 0459 614 274 or email email@example.com for more information or to book a site,” he continued.
“LPSC is proud to support this event and congratulates both Bikers Australia and the Spring Ridge community for their enthusiasm and partnership towards making this event a resounding success,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) adopted a new Workplace Health and Safety policy at its recent Ordinary meeting.
“The Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Act imposes a general duty of care on Council as an employer to protect the health, safety and welfare of its workers,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“LPSC’s objective is to strive for zero harm through the belief that all accidents can be prevented, our operations can be performed with minimal negative impact on the environment and this can be of benefit to the greater community,” he said.
“Council will meet this objective by promoting a positive culture based on strong WHS leadership and effective consultation with staff and relevant external stakeholders. This includes promoting environmental sustainability as part of our culture, ensuring all personnel have clearly defined and understood responsibilities and accountabilities for the effective implementation of its WHS Policy and Management System. As part of this culture we will engage with contractors, industry bodies, equivalent organisations and stakeholders to achieve and improve WHS standards.
“To achieve these standards Council will apply risk management principles to identify, assess and control hazards, work practices and behaviours that can cause incidents, injuries, illness or environmental harm. We will comply with all relevant WHS legal and regulatory requirements, Council policies, standards and procedures. LPSC will provide appropriate information, training, supervision and resources to assist all personnel to implement and maintain the WHS Management Systems that meet our legal obligations and requirements.
“To achieve best practice we’ll manage WHS incidents, close calls and hazardous conditions consistently through early identification, notification, methodical investigation and the sharing of learnings across the organisation. Our policy encourages personnel to maintain a healthy balance between work, family and friends and will inform and educate on the potential impacts of medication, illicit drugs, alcohol, fatigue, stress and other issues relating to their wellbeing and fitness for work. As part of this program Council will provide confidential employee assistance and counselling services for the benefit of all employees,” he continued.
“Consultation regarding this policy was undertaken with Council’s WHS Committee. It is LPSC’s objective to ensure our staff work in a safe, happy and satisfying environment at all times,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Recreation and Swimming Centres has announced that the first round of Learn to Swim classes for the 2017/18 season will commence at Quirindi Pool, on Monday November 6. They will held between the hours of 2 and 6pm, on Monday to Friday. Each lesson is of half hour duration, at a cost of $25 per lesson. Details of a second round of classes in 2018 will be announced at a later date.
According to the Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Councillor Andrew Hope, the most recent figures released by Royal Life Saving Australia, showed nearly 300 people drowned over a 12 month period. He said this should be a wake up call to the importance of ensuring that our children are trained to be competent swimmers so they can safely enjoy a favourite Australian pastime.
“We have a responsibility to commit to the idea that all Australian children have the right to a comprehensive swimming and water safety education. The skills of swimming, survival swimming, and basic rescue are all life savers, yet there are many barriers including cost, distance and the simple awareness that far too many people drown each year that must be recognised and addressed,” Councillor Hope said.
“Thanks to greater awareness and more parents committing to their children’s safety, the number of children aged 0-4 years who drowned in the 12 month period decreased by 30% against the 10 year average of 30 drowning deaths, with a decrease of 38% against the 10 year average recorded for children aged 5-9 years. However, the death of any child that could be prevented by greater care/supervision being exercised and giving a child the skills necessary to be competent around water is one too many,” he said.
“The vast majority of drowning deaths in children under five resulted from a fall into water while 14% drowned while bathing. Swimming and recreating were the most common activity prior to drowning among children aged 5-14 year. This highlights the importance of a basic level of swimming skills and water safety knowledge in this age group.
“Of real concern is the fact that between 2002 and 2015, 83 children under 5 drowned in private swimming pools. These findings serve as an important reminder of the need to supervise and the need to be within arms’ reach of your child. They require all of your attention, all of the time. It is vital to restrict a child’s access to water by installing and maintaining a barrier, such as a pool
fence with a gate which self-closes and self-latches,” he continued.
“Laws in NSW designed to protect children from drowning require even small inflatable pools with a water depth of 30 centimetres to be surrounded by a fence that is 1.2 metres high and fitted with a self-closing and latching gate. Additionally, all private pools must be registered and this can be done on line at - www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.
“You can find more information regarding your responsibilities in regard to swimming pools on Council’s website at http://www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/planning-building/swimming-pools,” he said.
“It may surprise many to know that 83% of drownings are males and that the average age of those who drowned is 43.1 years. Sadly, the largest number of drowning deaths occurred among people aged 25-34 years, with the age group recording a 27% increase against the 10 year average. The 35-44 years age group recorded the second highest number of drowning deaths with an increase of 11% against the 10 year average. Swimming lessons at an early age may well have prevented many of these deaths.
“When you think about those nearly 300 people who lost their lives you need to put it into the reality that each is a story of real people impacted in a most tragic way. It is not just the person who lost their life but also the families they left behind, the rescuers who may have attempted to save their lives, and the communities that are reminded each time they pass the causeway, swimming pool, rock platform, river swimming hole or beach where the tragedy occurred,” he continued.
“Please don’t live to regret a failure to make your child water aware and enrol them for swimming classes to familiarise them with water and to introduce them to water safety rules. Call the REC Centre on 6746 3122 for further details and to book a place,” Councillor Hope concluded.
The NSW Government in collaboration with local councils is working to develop Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) for regions in NSW. The REDS will be used to inform regional development policy and identify actions that can be undertaken to support economic growth in your region. An important component of the REDS is to ensure that regional communities, business and industries have a say.
Sapere Research Group has been engaged by the NSW Government to assist developing the REDS for the Lower North West region which encompasses the Gunnedah Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire and Tamworth Regional council areas. Sapere is conducting this survey to gain a better understanding of the economic development issues and opportunities in the region. The results of this survey will provide valuable inputs into the analysis that forms the basis of the new economic development strategy. Please complete the survey providing as much detail as possible.
The survey should take about 15 minutes. Your responses are strictly confidential and will only be used to determine group responses and specific industry suggestions for improving regional economic development opportunities. Thank you in advance for taking the time. If you have any questions with regard to this survey please contact Richard Tooth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Economic development strategies have historically been developed by councils for individual Local Government Areas (LGAs) using a variety of methods. This approach has not typically allowed comparison between LGAs, and does not often consider the broader region.
In addition, given the cost and resources required to develop economic development strategies, smaller local governments have limited capacity to develop comprehensive plans. Recognising these limitations, the NSW Government is offering to assist local councils to develop Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) based on the concept of a Functional Economic Region (FER), which usually incorporates more than one LGA.
The following frequently asked questions provide additional information. For further information please contact your local Office of Regional Development Regional Director.
Are councils required to participate in developing a REDS under this process?
No. Participating in the development of a REDS, while desirable, is voluntary. However, REDS will be produced for each FER and will be used to guide NSW Government investment decisions. Therefore, councils will best be able to influence REDS content through participation in the process.
Who will develop the REDS?
The NSW Government has engaged a panel of expert contractors to work in collaboration with councils and local stakeholders. These contractors have experience developing REDS in Australia and internationally.
What if a council has recently developed its own economic development strategy?
If requested, an existing strategy can be reviewed by an expert contractor. There is no obligation to amend or update any content of the existing strategy after this review, and its content can be incorporated into the overarching REDS for that FER.
How will the REDS be developed?
Regions are different across NSW and contractors will take a region-specific approach as required. However, the overall methodology will be similar to ensure consistency across regions and that the individual REDS represent best practice.
What is a Functional Economic Region (FER) and how does it relate to the REDS?
Local government boundaries are an artefact of history rather than reflecting the boundaries of regional economies and economic interaction. REDS will be based on FER boundaries, which may include multiple LGAs, to better target investments aimed at growing or establishing regional competitive advantage. The size and nature of the FER will differ across the State and will be informed by economic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Can a REDS be developed for a single LGA?
Only where a FER is comprised of a single LGA, which is uncommon. However, each REDS can contain sections specific to each constituent LGA, with this information contributing to the overall strategy.
Will the NSW Government have influence or control over the REDS?
No, REDS are local government documents and ownership and control of their development will rest with participating councils. However, they must clearly identify the FER’s strengths, articulate a long term economic vision and describe the key priorities and associated enablers that are required to deliver the vision so they can be used to inform NSW Government investment decisions. This minimum content is expected to be developed by stakeholders participating in the REDS process. The NSW Government’s involvement will
be limited to providing advice and support where it is requested.
Who can be involved in developing the REDS?
The REDS should reflect community preferences and their vision for the regional area. A comprehensive consultation process with local stakeholders would typically be undertaken during the development of the REDS. These would include, but may not be limited to, local businesses and peak bodies, community organisations, government bodies and representatives as well as other interested stakeholders.
How will the REDS benefit participating councils?
The REDS will provide a clearly articulated economic development strategy for the region which can be used to inform and guide the economic development activity of councils and business. In addition, the REDS will enable faster access to dedicated State funding, such as the Growing Local Economies Fund, while ensuring compliance with the legislation that governs the NSW Government’s infrastructure investment funds. Further, the strategy may also be used to support other types of grant applications to the NSW and Commonwealth
How much will the REDS cost a participating council?
The NSW Government recognises the importance of regional planning as well as the limited resources available to some local government areas. Therefore, the cost of the contractors made available to help develop the FER-based REDS will be met by the NSW Government.
When will the REDS be completed?
Completion of the REDS will be determined by the timeline of Councils but there is a preference to complete the REDS as soon as practical and by the end of 2017 at the latest. Once commenced, it is hoped that the process can be finalised within 4 – 8 weeks