Council Meeting Update - 23 May 2023

Tuesday 23 May 2023

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

Councillors resolved to write to the Treasurer, the Minister for Emergency Services, the Minister for Local Government and the local State Member, along with the State Members from Barwon, Murray, Orange, Wollondilly, Lismore and Monaro to voice Council’s strong opposition to the NSW Government’s “enormous” Emergency Services Levy cost increase on councils for 2023/2024. In his Mayoral Minute, Councillor Russell Webb said the NSW Government’s “last minute decision” to scrap the Emergency Services Levy subsidy for councils was “imposed on all councils without warning for the 2023/24 financial year. Cr Webb said the move came “at a time after Council has publicly advertised its Operational Plan and annual budget to the community”. He explained, the increase for Tamworth Regional Council in 2023/24 will equate to $734,410, bringing the total contribution to $1,862,854. Going forward this will mean a decline in the services and service levels Council’s General Fund is able to provide to the community. Councillors also resolved to write about the issue to the chair of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and the President of Local Government NSW.

Councillors tonight agreed to support the State Heritage Listing of the Manilla Railway Viaduct and Underbridge. However, they also will clarify to the Heritage Council of NSW that “its support does not extend to Council accepting ownership or responsibility for the Viaduct and Underbridge in the future”. A report said Council does not have the resources and/or budget to complete the urgent works required on the structure which dates back to 1908 and is the only curved timber railway viaduct in the southern hemisphere.

Councillors approved the request for support from the Tamworth Mountain Bikers Club through providing it with a $6,000 ride on mower to help maintain the Tamworth Mountain Bike Park on Forest Road, North Tamworth. Council is happy to support the efforts of this very committed group of volunteers who are proactive at managing a great community asset and have undertaken substantial developments of the tracks and significant infrastructure improvements. The efforts of this hard-working group have allowed the facility to host regionally significant events which benefits the whole community.

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