Council Meeting Update - 13 December 2022
Tuesday 13 December 2022
Here is an overview of outcomes from tonight’s Ordinary Meeting:
- Tonight Councillors agreed to allocate $250,000 from the Roadworks Reserve (Financial Assistance Grants roads component) to undertake urgent repairs to a substantial natural erosion issue between Jewry Street and the Peel River at Taminda. During the recent series of floods, the headcut has moved quickly upstream with progress of about 70 metres in the last two months. The headcut is now about 40 metres wide and five metres deep and it is likely to impact on Jewry Street within the next few flood events. Councillors also agreed to seek funding support for the proposed repair from the NSW and Australian governments through Natural Disaster Arrangements.
- A step towards establishment of the proposed Tamworth Organic Recycling Facility at Gidley was taken tonight with Council approving modifications to the development application. The changes included increasing the size of the Biofilter, removal of a dividing road within the maturation pad and inclusion of an additional hardstand area, increase in the height of the receivals shed, addition of a staff training room adjacent to the approved office, addition of a gatehouse adjacent to the approved office and reduction in the size of an equipment shed and the inclusion of a laboratory space in the shed. A report considered by Councillors said an independent consultant was engaged to assess the modified application and the modified development was seen to be “substantially the same” as that previously approved by the Northern Regional Planning Panel in September 2020. “The proposed increase in the biofilter results in an improved environmental outcome and the increase in height of the receivals shed is considered to be of negligible impact based on the approved setbacks and distance of the works from surrounding properties,” the report said. The report said a total of 22 public submissions objecting to the application were received with all but two being duplicate letters signed by different residents. The report explained how the concerns raised by the objectors had been adequately addressed by mitigating measures included in the design of the proposed facility. The Tamworth Organic Recycling facility, to be built on a 117.5ha site, will have the capacity to process up to 35,000 tonnes a year of food organics, garden organics and category 3 organics materials using a tunnel composting system within an enclosed facility. Council has $3 million in funding from the NSW Environment Trust for the project and is seeking additional funding from the NSW Government.
- Councillors adopted the Draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2026. Council’s sustainability team will now work closely with stakeholders across all internal directorates to integrate sustainability across the organisation as well as the Local Government Area in way that successfully addresses the communities’ priorities and challenges, while complying with legislative requirements. The plan was prepared through extensive community consultation using data from internal and external surveys, interviews and workshops to develop the themes, targets, objectives and actions. The eight key themes identified through the external engagement include water, waste, energy, circular economy, natural environment, transportation and mobility, sustainable governance and climate change mitigation and adaption. A further report will be prepared and presented to Councillors to suggest how the $220,000 needed to deliver the 2022-2023 actions of the strategy may be sourced.
- Councillors have tonight supported a recommendation to renew alcohol free zones in Kootingal, Robert Street, Bridge Street, Coledale and the central business districts of Tamworth, Manilla and Barraba for a further four years until 29 December 2026. The zones, established in 1994, have been effective in discouraging the consumption of alcohol on public roads, footpaths and car parks within the CBD, and creating safer public spaces around our region, the report said. For more information visit https://haveyoursay.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/alcohol-free-zones
- After significant community consultation, the Communications Strategy was adopted by the Councillors at the meeting tonight. The Strategy includes an action plan to be rolled out in early 2023. The action plan includes actions for the whole of Council as well as the Communications team. The Strategy will leverage existing communication channels such as direct mail, face-to-face, media, social media and build on new communication methods such as trialling a regular monthly Council newsletter.
- This evening Councillors adopted new designs for the Kootingal Library and Hall redevelopment and made provisions of $300,000 in the 2023/24 financial year to supplement the total budget for the project. The design changes have been made to better cater for the needs of the community and to best utilise the facility moving forward. The report states that the additional funds are “due to significant market volatility in recent months in relation to material costs and subcontractor/ consultant contract prices.”
Prior to the additional funds being allocated, the project budget of $1.53 million consisted of:
• LRCI Phase 3 grant funding - $1.2 million;
• State Library grant funding - $200,000;
• Council’s Building Services Special Rate Variation (SRV) - Kootingal Hall redevelopment allocation - $80,000; and
• Council’s Buildings Services budget - Kootingal Hall toilet renewal allocation - $50,000.
For more information, see the full reports at www.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/business-papers