Media Releases & Exhibitions
“Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has approved assistance of $2,000, from the LPSC Local Heritage Fund, to the Croaker Memorial Church at Caroona, to assist in repairing damage caused by vandalism and problems with rising damp. The decision was made following a recommendation from Council’s Heritage Advisor. Council provides a free heritage advisory service to owners of older buildings. The Heritage Advisor is available to assist with understanding old buildings and to give guidance on how to manage associated issues. Contact our Environmental Services team on 6746 1755 for more details,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“LPSC has adopted a new Smoke Free Policy. Council has an obligation under health and safety legislation to do everything reasonably practicable to provide a safe workplace. Risks to health and accidents are associated with smoking. The policy applies to employees, agents and contractors and outlines no smoking rules. Recognising that some people choose to smoke designated outdoor smoking areas and smoking breaks are outlined. Importantly, Council will provide support to workplace participants wishing to quit smoking through access to Quit programs and subsidising the purchase of products to assist the process,” he said.
“Following a period of public exhibition seeking comments, Council has adopted its new Home Haemodialysis Water Usage Concession Policy. It came into effect for water charges from July 1. There is no clear direction on the application of rebates or concessions available from other government agencies regarding medically derived water usage at home, so our local water utility has had to develop its own policy. Home Haemodialysis Consumers are now charged lower rates for the first 500kL used per annum. This change recognises consumption of a higher magnitude that is incurred through home dialysis, which can account for an additional 50% of a usual household’s usage. Obviously this can be a huge burden for some people so this policy seeks to provide some relief,” he continued.
“Construction work has commenced on Council’s new Animal Welfare Facility. The slab has been completed and the building itself will follow shortly. Many people would be amazed if they knew the numbers of lost and abandoned pets Council has to care for each year whilst seeking their owners or new homes. We wish to do this in the most humane way so welfare of the animals is a priority,” he said.
“I’m asking community members to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police in an attempt to curb vandalism. There have been several incidents lately where public assets have been damaged. These have been wanton acts of stupidity and we have to spend public funding, that could be better used in other areas, to repair the damage,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has welcomed an initiative that will see Healthwise present a Heart Health Awareness event at Werris Creek Library, on Wednesday 16 August, between 11am and 1.30pm.
Guest speakers will include a dietitian, exercise physiologist and primary health care nurse. Healthcare checks will also be available on the day. An RSVP is required by Wednesday August 9. To register your attendance please call Werris Creek Librarian Marilyn Deeks on 6768 7340 during library hours Tuesday to Friday”.
“According to a study by the National Heart Foundation Australians living in regional areas have a much higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, so this is a great opportunity to address the issue,” said LPSC Councillor Virginia Black.
“Risk factors for heart disease include hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, smoking and physical inactivity,” she said.
“Women living in rural areas are also at much greater risk of heart disease. They are 50% more likely to have ischaemic heart disease, 20% more likely to have high cholesterol, 32% more likely to be obese, in fact 16% of women in regional/remote area are severe obese compared to 11% in major cities,” she continued.
“There is obviously a need for greater focus on prevention and management of heart disease in rural Australia. The reality is, if cardiovascular disease rates for Australians living outside capital cities were identical to those of our city cousins, 350,000+ fewer adults would have the disease,” she said.
“Heart related diseases kill one Australian every 12 minutes, the leading cause of death in Australia. Simple early detection and heart health checks by doctors and programs such as this one by Healthwise, can help identify your risk of heart attack or stroke It’s vital, as individuals, we take steps to protect our own health,” Councillor Black concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope has welcomed the latest research showing rapid and continuing market growth, significant economic value and environmental and social benefits through partnerships with the Recreational Vehicle (RV) industry.
“This meshes nicely with our experience across the Shire as we’ve rolled out new and upgraded Freedom Camping areas/caravan park, while partnering with several RV organisations to promote what’s on offer. The Australian Caravan Club (ACC) is focused on good outcomes for its thousands of members https://www.australiancaravanclub.com.au/ and has provided invaluable assistance to Council understanding the requirements of campers,” Councillor Hope said.
“It’s a satisfying feeling and highlights the economic potential when you get a message from the Administrator of the https://www.facebook.com/groups/CountryPubsOzCamping Facebook Page saying on behalf of the group I would like to extend our gratitude for implementing the Freedom Camps within your catchment. We are more than 22,000 members, and grateful for the opportunity to stay over in our RV or tents in a safe and convenient location. I have personally visited Currabubula, Wallabadah, Willow Tree and hope to see more soon. You will be aware that travellers, Grey Nomad or otherwise, make a point of spending money in the townships where they stay. It is this group’s credo to support country pubs and the campsite must be within an easy stroll. The ones I mentioned fit that criteria.
“There is no doubt word of mouth recommendation is priceless! RVers know where they’re made to feel welcome, because travellers talk to fellow travellers. They need to spend their money on the daily essentials and as ACC research shows they return to spend their money at friendly towns and attractions, to support those communities that support them. In fact, RV travellers spend patterns, an ACC survey says just over $100 per day, are more like residents, they spend directly into the community, mainly on day-to-day needs,” he said.
“Figures released by Tourism Research Australia show significant increases in nights spent in both commercial and non-commercial caravan parks and camping ground. They reveal that in the year ending December 2016, caravan parks and commercial camping grounds saw increases of 12% to 33.3 million nights and non-commercial caravan parks and camping grounds increased by 22% to 18.3 million nights.
“The industry is the fastest growing domestic tourism sector in Australia and has been for the past 19 years. It is forecast it will increase rapidly as the Baby Boomer generation commences retirement travel, with this segment identified as a major growth market with a preference for drive holidays. The Australian Caravan Club says there are about 120,000 recreational vehicles on the road at any given time and RV tourists are set to dominate tourism activity in regional Australia,” he continued.
“I’m pleased to see that numerous other Councils are discovering the benefits of catering to the RV market. There’s plenty to go around. Research conducted by the Campervan and Motor Home Club of Australia (CMCA) with 65,000+ members has also shown that the RV market relies on various types of facility. 33% will only stay in a commercial caravan and camping grounds, 16% will only stay in non-commercial RV friendly sites and 51% will stay in a mixture of commercial and non-commercial caravan and camping grounds,” he said.
When you consider the RV tourist spends around 163 days travelling annually, with an estimated 120,000 RVs on the road at any one time and this figure growing at around 9% per year and on average they spend three days at each stop that they make, the potential is enormous. A lot of business is available simply maintaining their replenishment cycle.
“It would be great if we could see them spend as many as possible of their 163 days exploring what the New England / North-West has to offer by way of natural beauty, history, friendly communities and affordable stop overs,” Councillor Hope concluded.
At its June Ordinary Meeting, Liverpool Plains Shire Plains (LPSC) adopted its 2017/18 Budget when it adopted the Community Strategic Plan, Operational Plan, Delivery Program, Long Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Work Health and Safety Strategy.
“The final adoption of these documents followed several months of public consultation, development of the package and a 28 day period of public exhibition. Following this process there were no submissions received by Council. I would like to take this opportunity to thank community members and organisations who participated in the consultation process and the Council Management and staff who developed the plan based on community aspirations and requirements of Fit for the Future. There is only a finite budget but we have attempted to make every dollar go as far as possible,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The result is a balanced budget, with no rate rises apart from those allowed through the rate pegging process, resulting in a $28.5 million operational program for the 2017/18 financial year,” he continued.
“Careful budgeting has allowed us to increase our Community Fund to $50,000. This is in recognition of the vital contribution that our newly constituted Local Advisory Groups (LAG) and organisations play in the development of our social capital and quality of life. Council has a philosophy of partnership and collaboration whereby we provide support to encourage and assist individuals and groups in the community to make a positive and ongoing contribution to its wellbeing, cultural life and resilience,” he said.
“We have also been able to factor in the unfreezing of Financial Assistance Grants (FAG) by the Federal Government meaning more money for our gravel road maintenance program. This budget continues our program to maintain and improve our road network and to address back logs. We have also budgeted to complete the sealing of the Willow Tree - Merriwa Road, within the Shire boundaries, by 2019.
“Money has been provided for the upgrade of facilities at Werris Creek Swimming Pool including adding hot water in the showers and disabled/wheel chair access, completion of the Emergency Services Precinct in Quirindi, the purchase of an inflatable movie screen for use at events around the Shire, particularly for libraries, The REC and swimming facilities plus other Shire attractions,” he sai
“Importantly we’re carrying out a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) Review to investigate zoning specific parcels of land to allow redevelopment and ensuring this vital planning instrument meets community requirements. We will also commence examination of the best way to expand the facilities at Quirindi Library,” he continued.
“Throughout the year we will continue to lobby hard for extra funding towards community amenities such as paths, cycle ways and other infrastructure. Where succesful we will include such projects within the budget. We will also continually monitor opportunities for funds and grants that can enhance our ability to bring projects forward,” he said.
“One of a Councillor's greatest responsibilities is deliberating, approving and regularly monitoring the Shire’s budget that provides the money to implement the community’s visions. Effective financial management will transform our area into a better place to live and work. Members of the community know what services they would like to have in their area and our consultation process endeavours to involve them as much as possible in deciding what should be the spending priorities over coming years.
“If it weren’t for local government, many of the services that we take for granted simply would not be there.It must not be forgotten that a wide range of critical functions, such as planning, waste disposal and infrastructure provision, including roads and footpaths, parks and sporting grounds, sewerage and water, are delivered by local government. LPSC will continue to work closely with its community to deliver the best outcomes into the future. Copies of all the budget papers are available for perusal at the Administration Centre,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, is encouraging all Shire residents to come together and join in local celebrations to mark NAIDOC WEEK 2017 on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 July.
“There will be a special story times at our libraries, Quirindi on Monday 3 at 10.30am and Werris Creek on Tuesday 4 at 11.30am. Both will feature a NAIDOC week theme with Aboriginal children’s stories and books on display from the Central Northern Regional Library’s collection,” Councillor Hope said.
“From 10am – 2pm on Monday 3, a NAIDOC Week Family Fun Day will be held at Longfield Park, Quirindi which will feature a BBQ, activities and prizes, fairy floss, slushies, crafts, games and the Gomeroi Dance Company.
“It would be great to see as many people as possible come along to celebrate our First Australians, the custodians of the land,” he said.
“This event is possible because of collaboration between numerous government and non-government agencies, regional businesses and LPSC. I thank them for supporting the initiative,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said that although not being staged during NAIDOC Week, on Wednesday 9 August, there is an invitation to join the Indigenous Services Librarian from The State Library of NSW in a presentation about The State Library’s resources and other strategies that could be vital for people engaged in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research. It will be held at Quirindi Library beginning at 2pm and run for approximately two hours. More details will be available prior to the date. Interested persons can secure a spot by calling 6746 2350, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Quirindi Library Facebook page.
“NAIDOC Week 2017 will highlight the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and the theme is Our Languages Matter. It has been great to see the great steps taken in recent years to revitalise the Gomeroi language and more people learning their traditional tongue. It helps to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope is encouraging residents to nominate local woman, who work as volunteers within the Shire, for inclusion in the NSW 2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll which acknowledges and celebrates their contributions to NSW rural communities.
“The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll is co-ordinated by the NSW Department of Primary Industries' (DPI) Rural Women’s Network and nominations must be submitted before 28 July 2017,” Councillor Hope said
“Last year three very worthy local women, Linda Fittler, Colleen Wills and Beryl Mannion were honoured and it would be great to see some more local names added to the Roll in 2017,” he said.
“Too often it is taken for granted that many women are the backbone of families and communities. Without their support many groups including charities, emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education and sporting organisations would struggle to survive,” he continued.
“The Hidden Treasures project was initiated to promote and archive the work of these remarkable women. It is not an award program but a public tribute to the vast number of women who give their time and energy to help others across rural, regional and remote regions. All rural women nominated will be included in the Honour Roll
“There are now nearly 700 rural women volunteers recognised and it is a testament to the generosity and hard work of so many that they are publicly appreciated by their community. The Honour Roll improves recognition of the important and diverse roles women volunteers play and hopefully their stories will encourage others to take on volunteering roles,” he said
“Examples of previous Hidden Treasures and the link to make nominations can be found at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/rural-support/rural-womens-network/hidden-treasures. For more information or if you need help with your nomination call 02 6391 3706,” he continued.
“You can nominate a friend, family member, colleague, community worker, any rural woman who you believe makes our community a better place to live. The 2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll will be unveiled at the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering in Narrandera on 28 October,” Councillor Hope concluded.
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, information provided by the Heart Foundation showing three-quarters of local adults are overweight or obese and the rate of smoking is also well above the state average, 23 people/100 population, is an urgent wake up call to residents to go and have regular medical check ups and to consider a fitness program to address issues through the Liverpool Plains Recreation Centre (REC).
“Heart disease is the single biggest killer of both men and women, with more than 20,000 deaths attributed to heart disease in Australia per year. Obesity and tobacco smoking are two important risk factors for heart disease, which greatly increase the risk of heart attack.
“Yet, despite these statistics, awareness is the key and much can be done to reduce the burden of heart disease,” Councillor Hope said.
Ms Penny Milson, Heart Foundation Regional Health Promotion Coordinator for New England said heart disease is largely preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to risk factors like physical inactivity, high blood pressure, smoking and high blood cholesterol. She said nine out of ten Australians have at least one risk factor for heart disease which they can modify to reduce their risk.
“The Heart Foundation is working to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of seeking medical assistance at the earliest possible time. Heart attack warning signs aren’t always what you think – symptoms are not necessarily sudden or severe and some people don’t experience chest pain at all. But if you experience them, it’s important to get help quickly,” Ms Milson added.
Councillor Hope said residents can find more information by calling the Heart Foundation Helpline on 1300 36 27 87 or by visiting www.heartfoundation.org.au.
“As Ms Milson points out, adopting a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to risk factors like physical inactivity are important aspects in addressing heart issues. I encourage people to call in to the REC Centre to discuss their personal requirements with its professional staff.
“The REC Centre provides both group fitness options as well as personal training. Activities can be tailored to an individual’s comfort level and ability,” Councillor Hope said.
“The REC Centre recently introduced Tai Chi courses and these have been well patronised. On July 17, a six week Yoga with Charlie Abra program will commence providing more options. Other programs include Sculpt and Lengthen and the Young at Heart sessions which has replaced Heart Moves,” he said.
“The REC Centre is open 6am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to Midday on Saturdays. Call in, have a look at what is on offer and talk to the staff about programs that may suit your individual needs. They are there to help you feel better in yourself mentally and physically,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is seeking community input towards the formulation of an Industrial Land Use Strategy for the Shire. Interested persons can submit their ideas by either emailing email@example.com/, via the link Industrial Land Use StrategyIndustrial Land Use Strategy or to the Administration Centre. Submissions must be received by close of business Wednesday 28 June 2017.
“The provision of well-located and suitably serviced areas is vital to ensuring land is available for industrial development as required,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“Existing industrial areas within the Liverpool Plains Shire, zoned for industrial purposes, are located within Quirindi and Werris Creek. This 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,” he continued.
Councillor Hope said the rationale of the strategy will be to:
- Understand the pressures affecting industrial zoned land in the LPS local government area;
- Provide an insight into the future outlook for existing industries and industrially zoned land as well as possible new employment related uses; and
- Offer a clear direction to Council and the community about the long term planning, zoning and redevelopment of industrial land within the Shire.
He said that in particular, Council seeks the community’s ideas in relation to;
- The types of industries LPSC should endeavour to attract to the local government area; and
- What initiatives Council can employ to encourage industrial development in the Shire.
“Industrial development is a distinct class of land use activity. Decisions to allocate land for industrial use and development should seek to satisfy a wide range of planning and land use criteria,” he continued.
“This project evolved from a recommendation of Council's recently adopted Economic Development Strategy and will play an important role in assisting local economic outcomes. 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. I encourage the community to make their thoughts known,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, cordially invites members of the media to attend the launch of the newly registered Liverpool Plains Tartan.
“Please join us for the launch and discover how this new design came to life,” Councillor Hope said.
Morning tea will be served following the launch.
Date – Friday June 9 2017
Time – 10am
Location – Visitor Information Centre, New England Highway, Willow Tree.
Event – Crofters Tartan Weavers, Fred and Marie Lawson will officially launch their newly designed and registered Liverpool Plains Tartan.
Nominations have been called for the 2017 NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards and Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope is encouraging the community to nominate a local individual, business or group helping to reshape and inspire the Shire community. Nominations close Wednesday 16 August.
“The NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout regional and rural NSW and the ACT.
The Awards are all about the passion of people who are committed to making regional New South Wales and the ACT a better place to live. If someone has made an impact or difference in your life or has impressed you with their community spirit, why not nominate them?” Councillor Hope said.
Nominations are now open in the following categories:
- NSW Department of Industry, Lands Crown Reserve Trust, Community Manager's Award
- Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
- 1st Choice Rentals Volunteering Award
- NSW Department of Industry, Lands Crown Reserve Trust, Corporate Manager's Award
- Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
- Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
- Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award
“Six category winners will be presented with $2,500 from Commonwealth Bank and a trophy, the other category winner will receive Television exposure on PRIME7 and a trophy,” Councillor Hope said.
“To submit a nomination, simply go online to www.awardsaustralia.com/nswactraca and click Nominate Now,” he continued.
“If you know someone that has provided support and made a real difference in your life or who has made a significant contribution to our community, why not give them a pat on the back and nominate them for an award. It would be great for our community contributors to be showcased in these Awards. For assistance please feel free to call the Awards Office on 1300 735 445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, is cordially inviting members of the community to attend the official launch of the Liverpool Plains Tartan by Crofters Tartan Weavers, Fred and Marie Lawson, at the Visitor Information Centre (VIC), Willow Tree, on Friday June 9, at 10am.
“I never cease to be amazed by the many and varied talents I meet around the Shire, each doing their own amazing things, carving out their niche. Fred and Marie exemplify the type of people who create something special. On behalf of the LP community I thank them for their wonderful gesture,” Councillor Hope said.
“Fred and Marie are hobby crofters who live on their little farm at Spring Ridge. You could be excused for thinking you’ve landed in a little piece of Scotland when you arrive at their home. Crofting is derived from a traditional social system in Scotland defined by small-scale production. They weave a variety of materials including wool, cotton and silk and also breed Clydesdales and Donkeys,” Councillor Hope said.
“Tartan is without a doubt one of the most important symbols of Scotland and Scottish Heritage and has a fascination for many people right around the world. For many thousands of years the Celts are known to have woven chequered or striped cloth and a few of these ancient samples have been found across Europe and Scandinavia. It is believed that the introduction of this form of weaving came to the West of Northern Britain with the Iron age Celtic Scoti (Scots) from Ireland in the 5 – 6th century BC,” he continued.
“Fred and Marie’s Liverpool Plains Tartan design is now finished and registered with the Scottish Tartan Registry. At the official launch Fred will explain how the design came about and what it means.
“There will also be a Tartan Display at the VIC, plus on the day items for sale,” he said.
“Everyone is welcome to attend and the launch will be followed by morning tea,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is inviting community members to have their say on a draft review of the Naming of Council Assets Policy which is on public exhibition and taking submissions, addressed to the GM, until 5pm on Wednesday 28 June 2017.
According to LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, the policy has been reviewed as part of Council’s ongoing policy review process.
“It has been developed to ensure that Council assets are named in a consistent manner that follows guidelines set out by the Geographical Names Board (GNB).
“It is vital to ensure that assets are easily identifiable, name duplication is reduced and that emergency services are able to locate them with ease,” he said.
“Council’s policy for the naming of its public assets recognises the importance of community input to the process,” he continued.
“Council utilises the GNB guidelines for naming public reserves and natural features in the Shire. With regards to assets such as buildings it is at Council’s discretion to select an appropriate name from a list of nominations received from the community.
“Where a public asset is to be named after a person, they must have made a significant contribution to the Liverpool Plains Shire local government area. Generally, assets will not be named after living persons or after persons who’s contribution is as a result of paid work,” he said.
“The draft policy can be viewed at Council’s Administration Building or online at www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au via Council Links/Public Exhibition Documents,” Councillor Hope concluded.
As one of the steps towards achieving NSW Department of Primary Industries Best Practice Water and Sewer Management (BPM) compliance, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) must implement a Liquid Trade Waste Management framework. Council will shortly be sending out relevant information to all Shire businesses to inform them of the need to implement these changes which will be phased in over time.
LPSC is responsible for preventing contaminants entering the sewerage system and ensuring the health and safety of both the community and the environment is protected and meets its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licence requirements. Uncontrolled discharge of liquid trade waste into the sewerage system can cause serious problems to the infrastructure, environment and health and safety of workers.
In some cases, liquid trade waste contains toxic or harmful substances, such as oil, heavy metals, solids, organic solvents and even simple substances such as cooking oils. Uncontrolled or illegal discharge of trade waste causes serious problems in the sewerage system including flooding and overloading, blockages, corrosion, a hazardous work environment and even failure of the sewage treatment process.
The Liquid Trade Waste Management System will be implemented to guarantee compliance with applicable legislation, introducing best practice to protect public health and safety along with that of employees and contractors as well as safeguarding infrastructure and the environment. LPSC is the only Council in the region that is still to implement a liquid trade waste management system for business premises.
To ensure Council is compliant with legislation it must monitor and control liquid trade waste being discharged to the sewer. This will involve a liquid trade waste application/agreement, an inspection and an annual fee relevant to each businesses’ operations.
User pay philosophy requires the framework to involve implemention of Best Practice Pricing, which includes a determination of service and pricing levels based on long term strategic business planning and full cost recovery principles.
LPSC is committed to working with businesses to implement the new Liquid Trade Waste Management System and will keep all stakeholders informed as the process moves forward.
The NSW Government will defer the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) to ensure small to medium businesses do not face an unreasonable burden in their contribution to the State’s fire and emergency services, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced today.
Ms Berejiklian said that in the majority of cases across NSW, fully insured people would be better off under the new system, however it had become clear that some fully insured businesses were facing unintended consequences.
“We are a Government that listens, and we have heard the concerns from the community, and we will take the time to get this right,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“While the new system produces fairer outcomes in the majority of cases, some people – particularly in the commercial and industrial sectors – are worse off by too much under the current model, and that is not what we intended.”
Mr Perrottet said that in a number of cases identified so far, the lived experience has not matched the intention of the reform for commercial and industrial sectors, particularly for small and medium businesses.
“The FESL is a complex reform and we always knew there would be challenges during the transition phase,” Mr Perrottet said.
“It’s not enough for this reform to work on paper – its real-life implementation has real life consequences for families and businesses, and we need to make sure they are not placed under unfair strain.
“We are committed to reducing NSW’s high rates of under insurance and to making the funding of our fire and emergency services fairer – but we want to get this right.”
The NSW Government will work with local government, fire and emergency services, the insurance industry and other stakeholders to find a better and fairer path forward.
The Fire and Emergency Services Levy will continue to be collected via insurance policies until the NSW Government has completed its review of the policy, and the funding requirements of fire and emergency services agencies will be met in full.
The FESL is revenue neutral, raising no more than the amount required to fund the State’s fire and emergency services.
The Insurance Monitor will oversee a smooth continuation of the existing system and ensure insurance companies collect only the amounts necessary to meet fire and emergency services funding requirements.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is urging all Shire residents to examine the draft Strategic Planning Documents that are currently on public exhibition until 4pm Thursday 22 June and for those wishing to make a submission on the documents, to do so by the same time and date.
“The Community Strategic Plan, Operational Plan, Delivery Program, Long Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Work Health and Safety Strategy have been developed following the extensive public consultation process and survey carried out earlier this year,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The Community Strategic Plan represents the highest level of strategic planning undertaken by Council. Public consultation helped us identify the main priorities and aspirations of the community and from them to develop a clear set of strategies to achieve their vision for the future based on the social justice principles of access, equity, participation and rights.
“Now Council would like everyone to have a look at the documents that have evolved through this process and make submissions, if they desire, before the deadline and final consideration for adoption of The Plan and its implementation,” he said.
“The documents can be accessed at the LPSC Administration Office or here on the website”.
“Council feels that the consultation process has allowed for the development of a dynamic, living document that will determine the Shire’s direction well into the future. We thank all who have contributed to the process,” he said.
“Following consideration of public submissions, the Strategic Planning documents will be amended if necessary and formally adopted by Council at a meeting on Wednesday 28 June,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is cordially inviting all Shire residents to come along and celebrate National Reconciliation Week with a flag raising, smoking ceremony and BBQ at the Visitor Information Centre Willow Tree, Friday June 2 at 11am.
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.
“All Australians are invited to participate in our nation’s reconciliation journey. For us on the Liverpool Plains, traditional land of the Kamilaroi people, it is a particularly important journey. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 10.9% of the Shire’s population, a figure three times higher than the national and state averages of 2.5%,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope
“In Australia we are fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate. As we commemorate the significant milestones gained we should all strive to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation journey.
“Importantly, reconciliation must live in the minds, hearts and actions of us all as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, many of whom experience vast differences in health, education, employment, and standards of living compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Understanding these inequalities is the first step to reconciling the differences between us,” he said.
“It may surprise many and is sobering to know that with heart disease the mortality rate for indigenous Australians is 163.4 vs 87.2 others per 1,000 people. For respiratory diseases it is 76.3 vs 25.7, for lung cancer 68.9 vs 32.5, for liver disease 29.3 vs 6.1, for suicide 25.7 vs 9.6 and diabetes 97.9 vs 15.3. The rate for death by assault is 6.7 vs 0.7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a significantly lower life expectancy, up to 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women.
“Only just over 20% complete year 12, unemployment rates are 3.4 times higher than for other Australians, 11% are bullied at school, 25% live in overcrowded housing and the infant mortality rate is 8/1000 live births, double the rate for non-Aboriginal Australians,” he continued.
Understanding these and many other inequalities is the first step to reconciling the differences between us,” he said.
“Please come along to Willow Tree on June 2 to be a part of the process,” Councillor Hope concluded.
In the lead up to Men's Health Week, June 12-18, Liverpool Plains Shire Councillor, Virginia Black, is urging men to make an appointment with their GP for a check-up and to take the time to enjoy the things in life that make them happy. Councillor Black has a long involvement in health issues, including several terms on the local Hunter New England Health committee and she has just been appointed Chair of the Community Drug Action Team.
"Good health happens when we have a sense of balance in our lives and can juggle our obligations, importantly taking time to enjoy family, friends and ourselves. Balancing these challenges means doing things that are nourishing and good. Think about it; your health really is the most important thing in the world. If you don't have your health then the quality and quantity of your life is reduced,” Councillor Black said.
This year’s Men’s Health Week theme HEALTHY BODY – HEALTHY MIND: KEEPING THE BALANCE explores the different ways men and boys are managing to keep healthy, physically and emotionally, in a busy and sometimes challenging world.
“If you take out suicide and reckless death, five men die every hour from a disease that could have been prevented through early detection. Your health not only affects you, but it affects your family, your friends, your work life and an already burdened health care system,” she said.
“Several areas of health continue to be of particular concern for rural men including, mental health management, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, alcohol and other drugs, injury and health literacy. Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women! Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for nearly a third of the elevated male death rates outside major cities. Male death rates from diabetes are 1.3 times as high in regional areas compared to cities. The incidence of head, neck and lip cancers, two groups of cancers associated with increased smoking and alcohol consumption, are higher. Sadly, men in regional/rural areas are 22% less likely than men in major cities to possess an adequate level of health literacy,” she continued.
“Being healthy is more than exercising and eating well. It's also about making the time to pursue the activities you enjoy, whether that's sharing precious time with family, playing and watching sport, connecting with mates or going to the park with the dog. Taking time to pursue simple activities that bring you joy is crucial in modern life, and Men's Health Week 2017 is urging men to take the time to think about how they're managing the different areas of their lives,” she said.
“Although men are getting much better at accessing health services today, there are still many that think that to be male, you wait until an arm or a leg drops off before you go and get medical care,” she continued.
It takes more courage to take ownership of your health than ignoring symptoms and burying your head in the sand. Don't become another statistic, book a check-up with your GP now – it might just save your life,” Councillor Black concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope is reminding community members they have until Wednesday 31 May if they wish to examine the draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan which is on public exhibition until that date.
“Following public consultation, the draft plan has been developed to assist in improving the lives of people with disabilities within the LPSC area. Residents can view the draft at Council’s Administration Centre, at Werris Creek and Quirindi libraries and the Home Support Services in Werris Creek, Quirindi and Willow Tree plus on Council’s website www.lpsc.nsw.gov.au,” Councillor Hope said.
“Members of the community can respond to the draft, via written submission addressed to the General Manager LPSC, up until 4.30pm on Wednesday 31,” he said.
Councillor Hope said local organisations, across the spectrum, were often looking for funding for projects which were outside the parameters of Council’s Community Initiative Program. He said Council is regularly posting information on its Facebook page of opportunities through other funding streams that may be of assistance.
“Some examples are; the Eco Schools Grants Program which closes on June 19 and educators and school communities are encouraged to apply for grants to ignite and nurture their students’ passion to learn about the environment - www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/schools.htm
“NIB Foundation's Community Grant program closes May 31 and supports community initiatives which will make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of Australian communities, with a focus on the health of young people, and carers - http://www.nibfoundation.com.au/Funding/.
“The Aboriginal Benefits Foundation Grants has ongoing rounds with $500 - $5,000 available to Aboriginal communities and individuals for projects in line with the Foundation’s goals - http://www.aboriginal.org.au/grants.htm.
“The Flying Start Programme has multiple rounds closing 30 Sep 2017 and 31 Mar 2018 with up to $30,000 available for not-for-profit community groups and organisations for projects building or enhancing their local community - http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/flyingstart.
“The Cadbury Fundraiser Community Grants have multiple rounds closing 30 Jun, 15 Sep, 30 Nov with up to $500 available to not-for-profits and schools for community projects in the realm of social inclusion and community engagement - https://www.fundraising.com.au/community-grants.
“Applications for the $50,000 Rural Hero grant can be made until May 31, providing charities the opportunity to pitch their innovative solution to an issue impacting country Australia, using the power of social media - http://www.aussiefarmersfoundation.org.au/…/aussie-farmers…/,” he said.
“Information such as this is posted regularly on Council’s Facebook Page – Liverpool Plains Shire Council - along with other community based material, as we become aware of it,” Councillor Hope concluded.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has decided to utilise $320,000 of outstanding Government payments following completion of the Quipolly Dam Safety Upgrade Project, towards achievement of NSW Department of Primary Industries Best Practice Water and Sewer Management (BPM) compliance.
“NSW local water utilities (LWU) are being strongly urged to conform to the NSW BPM. It is the key driver for reform of planning and management and for continuing performance improvement. There are 19 requirements of the framework which involve Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM), strategic business planning, regulation and pricing of water supply, sewerage and liquid trade waste. It also includes, developer charges and other considerations such as water conservation, drought management and performance monitoring,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“To achieve BPM, Council needs to complete the IWCM, including a 30 year Strategic Business Plan (SBP) and 30-year Total Asset Management Plan (TAMP) which helps LPSC to review and update its long term financial planning. This plan must allow for the provision of appropriate, affordable and cost effective water supply and sewerage services to meet community needs, while protecting public health and the environment” he said.
“These plans and processes also involve the implemention of Best Practice Pricing, which include a determination of service and pricing levels based on long term strategic business planning and full cost recovery principles. This is a significant responsibility, it means changes to the way things have operated in the past and ensuring water supply security through infrastructure provision, demand management and integrated water cycle management.
“There is a cost to meeting all these requirements, but the catch is probably a bigger cost if we fail to implement them as soon as possible. Compliance with the NSW BPM framework is a prerequisite for payment of this $320,000 as well as an 'efficiency dividend' from any surplus of a utility's water supply or sewerage business to the Council's general revenue,” he continued.
“Compliance with the framework is also a requirement for receiving financial assistance from the NSW Government towards the capital cost of future water service infrastructure,” he added.
“These changes to pricing will not increase Council’s overall water income by more than CPI, however they will have an impact on the costs to individual water users, depending on their water usage. Generally low water users will be paying less and higher water users face a cost increase. Revised pricing structures will be implemented from July 1 2017.
“Council has determined a four year strategy to implement all the required changes for BPM and the necessary pricing structure to ensure compliance with all State Government requirements,” he said
“It is vital we keep these utilities under local control and not give cause or allow them to be swallowed up as has happened to electricity assets in recent years,” Councillor Hope concluded.