Council meeting update - 27 April 2021

Tuesday 27 April, 2021

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

 Councillors tonight continued the process of preparing for the next financial year with their decision to place the Draft 2021/22 Delivery Program, Annual Operational Plan and Revenue Policy on public exhibition. In May, Councillors and staff will visit locations across the region with community information stands to give residents the chance to find out more about the projects, services and activities Council proposes to deliver in the year ahead. Community members will be encouraged to give their feedback about the draft documents which includes the budget. Public notices published on Council’s website will inform the community about the details of the consultation. A further report to Council will be submitted after the public exhibition for Council’s consideration and final adoption in June. The draft documents show Council proposes to spend a total of $251 million across its general, water and sewerage funds in 2021-22 while collecting $76.4 million in income from rates and annual charges and delivering $106.4 million in capital works to improve local facilities and infrastructure. The overall income from Ordinary Rates will increased by 2 per cent in 2021/22 which is the maximum increase set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. The Draft 2021-22 Annual Operational Plan has a strong focus on delivering the objectives set by Blueprint 100, a future-focused strategy that will help us to develop our infrastructure and build our services to cater for a growing community. Key programs funded in the draft budget include: Sealed roads - $21,348,779; Unsealed roads - $5,126,917; Bridges - $3,821,762; Quality parks, gardens, reserves, showgrounds and open spaces - $4,797,015; Active sporting facilities and grounds - $4,025694; Plan construct, maintain and manage wastewater infrastructure - $18,026,654; Waste management and resource recovery - $17,810,580; and, Plan construct, maintain and manage water infrastructure - $21,294,363. The documents will be published on MyTRC Online Community.

 A striking sculpture “Taking Flight” has been chosen as the preferred design for the centre of the roundabout being constructed at the intersection of the Oxley Highway and Country Road at Westdale after Councillors approved the design. A report tabled at last night’s meeting explained how eight artists or companies submitted concepts through an expression of interest process. A working group including independent arts representatives assessed the submissions against agreed criteria and determined “Taking Flight” from Everlon & Co Pty Ltd was the preferred concept because of “its linkages with aviation, the region’s natural landscapes and innovation”. It is expected to be installed by the end of this year while the roundabout is still under construction. The roundabout will be a key entry to the Tamworth Global Gateway Park.

 Encouraged by a report showing positive trends in reading time and frequency for local children taking part in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Councillors have agreed to allocate $70,00 year from the Youth Services reserve to assist in funding it for the next three years. The initiative gifts every child in the Tamworth region born from 1 January 2019, a high quality, age-appropriate book each month until they turn five. In the Tamworth LGA, as at 10 March 2021, there were 1,415 children registered on the program, with approximately 60-70 additional enrolments each month. It costs $9 eachchild per month to administer the program. United Way Australia is licenced to manage the program Australia-wide, and all donations from the Tamworth region are held by United Way Australia to be used only for books for children in the Tamworth Regional Council Local Government Area. Community groups including Rotary, Lions and Lioness clubs have supported the program along with local businesses. In 2019, a total of $50,125 was donated to the program and in 2020, a total of $50,364 was donated from external organisations. The Tamworth program has also been fortunate enough to partner with a philanthropic organisation who has donated a total of $43,000 to date.

 Councillors received and noted a report which gave a summary of findings from the Pre-Drought Management Plan Review community survey. The survey of 500 residents, conducted in January 2021, will help inform the review of the Drought Management Plan 2015, which is underway. The survey responses give a picture of the community’s behaviours and motivators during drought, the impact of the drought on residents and water quality, attitudes to water use and conversation, awareness and communications, and, perceptions of Council’s drought management performance. All responses collected through the survey will be considered as part of the review of the current Drought Management Plan. The plan will become known as the Water Management Plan and Councillors will review the draft in June. The community will also be asked to provide feedback before a final draft is presented to the new Council in October this year.

For more information, see the full reports at
Watch the video report here

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