At the Annual General Meeting of Bingara and District Vision 2020 out-going President Rick Hutton reported on a dynamic year for the organisation, and the Bingara community.
“2011 has been a year of signifcant progress for our group,” he said. “We have seen the completion of 80% of the Junction Riverside Park and the commencement of the Australian Centre for Regenerative Agriculture – A Living Classroom, both projects initiated and promoted by V2020.”
“We have seen the reputation of Bingara as a progressive, “can-do” community enhanced, and set the foundations for some exciting developments in the years ahead.” Rick said. “At the recent northern region Community Economic Development Forum held in Lennox Head I was pleased to accept the Community Regenerator Award on behalf of V2020 and our community.”
Cr Peter Pankhurst conducted the election of office bearers for 2012. Rick Hutton was returned as President, Erik Ozols as Vice-President, Garry McDouall as Secretary and Frances Young as Treasurer. The Committee members for 2012 are Philippa Morris, Jill Herring and Alec Lucke.
Rick thanked all members for their support and made particular mention of the outgoing committee. Special reference was made to the efforts of Garry McDouall who, in his role as Chairman of the Living Classroom Steering Committee, had worked tirelessly to engage and explain the project to the local community and beyond.
“Garry has presented the Living Classroom story to Gwydir Shire Councillors, the Border Rivers – Gwydir and Namoi Catchment Management Boards, the Bingara Garden Club Mini Expo, the Hatchery Committee, the students of Bingara Central School, the Bingara Commoners, and others, in order to help people understand the potential of the project.”
Following on from the “Our Place – Country Town Living 2025” Forum of February 2010, V2020 had undertaken to complete an economic development plan for Bingara. This plan was completed during 2011 and presented to the NSW Department of Industry and Investment (now Trade and Industry), GSC and V2020.
It sees the ACRA – a Living Class-room project as having the best single prospect to “regenerate” the Bingara economy and create an active and diverse community through the next twenty years.
“Vision 2020 will be promoting the re-printing of the IMAGINE tourist brochure early in 2012” Rick Hutton said. “This will up-date the local offers and opportunities for visitors and will give businesses the chance to promote themselves.”
“Agriculture, Tourism, Education and Regional Conferencing remain our focus industries.” Rick said.
“I thank the Gwydir Shire Councillors, management and staff for their efforts in leadership and partnership, to steer our community forward. Membership renewal forms and invoices, with a reduced fee for individual and family membership, will be posted out shortly.”