Council meeting update - 24 March, 2020

Tuesday 24 March, 2020

Here is an overview of outcomes from tonight’s Ordinary Meeting of Tamworth Regional Council:

  • Councillors tonight supported a proposal from Mayor Col Murray to reduce the number of Council meetings scheduled for the next three months. The move, outlined in a Mayoral Minute, is aimed at reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and slowing its spread in the local community. They agreed with the suggestions for meetings scheduled on 14 April, 12 May and 9 June to be cancelled “to limit the contact between Councillors, Council Executive and the public” to minimise the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. A recommendation to encourage members of the public who are not speaking in the community consultation part of the meeting to watch the proceedings using the new live streaming of the meeting instead of attending in person was also supported.
  • Councillors also supported a second Mayoral Minute which effectively provides a Delegation to the Mayor as part of a contingency arrangement for decision making outside of Meetings of Council to be in place until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. Cr Murray told the meeting he put the items forward “to give us flexibility to respond in emergency circumstances’’. In the tabled Mayoral Minute, Cr Murray explained how agility in dealing with critical decisions around securing and deploying resources is paramount in the current environment. “Council is now facing increased risks around civic governance and resource decision making that are central to ensuring delivery of core services without seriously compromising the health and wellbeing of the community and staff,” he wrote.
  • Council showed its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability in deciding to sponsor the Sustainable North West Committee’s Amazing Enviro Race at a cost of $6,000 year for three years. The sponsorships will ensure the remains a free youth-focused activity targeting high school students ages 12-18 years. The 2020 event is scheduled to be held during National Recycling Week which runs from 9-15 November.
  • The success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was highlighted in a report tabled tonight and Councillors voted to allocate $70,000 from the Youth Services Reserve towards funding it for another year. The Tamworth Imagination Library has 690 enrolments with about 90 children being enrolled each month. It is a program aimed at improving early childhood literacy and has now been running for 12 months. The initiative gives enrolled children a high quality, age appropriate book each month until they turn five. United Way Australia is licenced to manage the program Australia-wide. All donations from the Tamworth region are held by United Way and used only for books for children in the Tamworth Regional Council area. The success in Tamworth is attributed to a unique partnership with the State Wide Infant Screening Hearing (SWISH) Nurses at the maternity ward at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital. Since their involvement in the latter part of 2019, every baby born in the Tamworth local government area has enrolled in the program.

    For more information, see the full reports at

    Watch the video report here

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