Council meeting update - 9 February 2021

Tuesday 9 February, 2021

 Councillors tonight agreed to make a submission about the proposed Hills of Gold Wind Farm at Hanging Rock explaining how Council is “unable to support the proposal in its current form”. The nine-page submission will detail how while Council “supports renewable energy initiatives” it questions “whether the proposed location is suitable for the proposed development”. The development is a State Significant Development Application and will be determined the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces or the Independent Planning Commission. The proposed wind farm includes up to 70 turbines, a battery energy storage system, transmission line, grid connection and associated infrastructure with a capital in investment value of more than $30 million.

 Councillors have agreed to fund the completion of the Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Paper which will progress Council through steps one to seven of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s IWCM Check List by July 2021. All local water utilities are required to develop an IWCM Strategy to ensure all aspects of water availability and wastewater treatment are considered when planning for the future. The provision of water and waste water services are critical and a 30-year IWCM Strategy ensures that these services can be planned for and met in the long term. Regular review of the strategy is undertaken every eight years on a four-year rotation with Council’s Strategic Business Plan. Council has an IWCM Strategy however it does not meet DPIE requirements in its current form, prompting the recommendation to undertake a review process. A further report will be presented to Council before undertaking the remaining tasks on the Check List and finalising the IWCM Strategy.

 In further progress with the Namoi River Crossing Project, Councillors have formally approved the dedication of part of Council-owned land for a new road. New public road reserves are required to be created to allow the access roads to the new river crossing to be constructed. The new bridge is being constructed off Arthur Street.

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