Council meeting update - 22 September, 2020

Here is an overview of outcomes from tonight’s Ordinary Meeting of Tamworth Regional Council:
  • Tamworth City BMX Club riders will have free access to the Tamworth Regional Cycling Centre until the asbestos contamination Marius Street track is remediated. Councillors agreed to waive hire fees and charges for the cycling centre provide the club with a site where they can train. They will use the velodrome at the centre for training and sprinting activities as well as two club nights a week. Council has been investigating options for remediating the BMX track and work is expected to start soon.
  • An alternate non-potable water supply has been secured for residents of Duri who continue to be impacted by the contamination of groundwater from a leaking underground fuel storage tank at the Duri General Store. Councillors supported a recommendation to approve access to the Marius Street Bore in Tamworth for the Duri residents who need an alternate short term non-potable water supply. A report tabled at the meeting said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Water (DPIE Water) is about to issue a restriction on the use of bores in the immediate vicinity. The restriction is expected to apply to households within a 500m radius of the store. A total of 12 households in that zone have internal plumbing of bore water for non-potable uses and need an alternate non-potable supply until such time as the homes can be connected to rainwater supplies. Councillors agreed to give Duri residents access to the Marius Street bore for “no more than 12 months” or until such time that household plumbing can be connected to a rainwater supply. Council will receive funding from DPIE Water under an Emergency Relief for Town Water Supply grant to cover the cost of approved water carters delivering water from the bore to the Duri homes. Under the grant, Council will pay for the first $1.90 per kilolitre of water delivered to homes and DPIE Water will pay the remainder. The volumes of water expected to be needed are less than 6 kilolitres a day which equates to less than $12 a day - or $4,500 a year - to be paid for by Council and will be funded from the Compliance Division budget. The cost of delivery is additional. Councillors also agreed for the Marius Street bore to be accessed by other residents of Duri (using approved water carters) who have bores on their properties who want to buy water for garden, stock and pet watering during the period the restriction is on place for bores in the village. 
  • Councillors have agreed to form a new Tamworth Regional Aviation Strategic Development Working Group. All councillors will be appointed to the group with the mayor of the day as the chair. The group will replace the existing Tamworth Regional Aviation Strategic Development Committee. The move will provide greater flexibility and allow for more industry input and is seen as much needed due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Tamworth Regional Airport. A report tabled at the meeting said passenger numbers from March to August this year were only 15 per cent of the volume they were for the same time last year. Airport revenue for April to June this year was down 50 percent compared to the previous year, the report

    said. A working group arrangement is expected to provide the ability to convene meetings quickly and more regularly to deal with important matters and also involve external consultants and industry representatives in roundtable discussions. Tamworth Regional Airport is a significant Council asset and has huge potential to support future growth of the local aviation industry.

  • After more than 10 years of service, volunteers have decided to disband the Friends of Marsupial Park. Councillors tonight gave their “reluctant” support to a recommendation in the Place Management and Section 355 Committee Update report to take the formal steps to disband the group, a sub-committee of the Victoria Park Section 355 Committee. They also agreed for $11,660.80 held in the group’s bank account to be used toward an upgrade of the barbecue area in Fern Gully at the park. The report highlighted plans which are in progress for a “suitable acknowledgement” of the Friends’ efforts. A number of Councillors paid tribute to the successful projects the Friends of Marsupial Park have completed to enhance Tamworth Marsupial Park, one of the region’s most popular destinations.
  • Councillors tonight agreed to provide a financial contribution of $10,000 annually for up to 10 years for the Water Security Cooperative Research Centre should it gain funding approval from the Commonwealth Government’s Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program. This proposed research centre includes representatives from Griffith University, Monash University, Water Sensitive Cities Institute and The University of Queensland and will deliver innovative water security solutions for cities, towns and communities that optimise water-related benefits for people and economic activities, sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems and protect against growing environmental challenges. The Water Security CRC is closely aligned with Council’s present issues of additional water security for towns and villages. A report endorsed by Councillors noted that the potential outcomes of the CRC’s work could have far reaching positive benefits for Council and its community.
  • Councillors formally adopted the Draft Tamworth Regional Museums Collection Policy. The policy  provides guidelines to ensure the region’s museum collections tell the story of Tamworth as the First City of Light; its recognition as a Music City, its history of mining and minerals, its cultural identity in film, photography and sound; and its social history.

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