Council meeting update - 26 July 2022
Tuesday 26 July, 2022
Councillors tonight unanimously endorsed a Notice of Motion from Councillor Marc Sutherland requesting that Tamworth Regional Council commit the necessary resources to develop a comprehensive Closing the Gap Strategy and Implementation Plan that aligns with the National Strategy to overcome inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. All Councillors spoke in support of the motion, and the importance of improving outcomes for members of the Indigenous community living in the Tamworth region. Tamworth is currently one of only two towns where activated Place Based arrangements are being coordinated by a Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations, providing an opportunity for Council to develop the strategy in partnership with Tamworth’s local Indigenous community. Councillors agreed to prioritise the five Priority Reforms in the National Agreement developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally. The decision means Tamworth Regional Council is leading the way in NSW as the only local government in NSW to decide to formally resolve to develop its own Closing the Gap strategy in partnership with its local community.
Councillors tonight agreed to hand over ownership of the new road and bridge constructed in Manilla as part of the Namoi River Crossing Project to the NSW Government. This decision to approve the gazettal as the new alignment for State Road MR63 follows a Memorandum of Understanding established between Council and Transport for NSW in 2019 prior to the construction of the new Namoi River Crossing bridge and associated roadworks. As part of this agreement, sections of the original MR63 will convert to Local Roads subject to agreement for compensation for Council. Compensation will be paid to Council for the acquisition of the sections of the original MR63, based on amount equivalent to 10 years of maintenance costs for those assets. Other existing nearby roads will also be reclassified as Regional Roads as a result of this change to ensure connectivity of existing Regional Roads to the State Road.
A fee waiver for the NSW Touch Association Junior State Cup Northern Conference was supported by Councillors under Council’s Sports Event Subsidisation Policy. The event, which has been held at Port Macquarie for the past four years, will to be held in February 2023 at the Plain Street and Riverside sporting complexes. The sporting event is expected to attract over 5000 visitors to Tamworth from over 75 different areas across NSW, and will bring a total economic benefit of $3.4 million to the local economy.
Council has resolved to start the required process towards selling properties by public auction where rates have not been paid for more than five years. This will enable Council to recover outstanding rates and charges which currently total $706,779.32. Council will follow a lengthy process, as set out in the Local Government Act 1993, which will mean the properties are unlikely to go under the hammer until late 2022. The process provides owners with further opportunities to prevent property sales. It was determined that any owner wishing to avoid the proposed sale must pay 50% of the overdue amount and enter into a payment arrangement before the date fixed for sale of their property. Council previously under took this process back in 2018.