Mayoral Christmas Message

January 5, 2008

The Christmas New Year period is a good opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and the achievements of the Council.

The year 2007 has been a period of further consolidation of the amalgamated area and the implementation of the Council’s Management Plan. During the year significant progress has been made on many of the Council’s longer term projects.

At Bingara the Council has taken direct responsibility for the Medical Centre with a significant saving to Council over the previous arrangement, the Council continues to work with the community to plan for the riverside park improvements at the end of Maitland Street along with other projects and the finalization of the main street landscaping and traffic management plan.

The proposed improvements to the Bingara water supply are progressing and hopefully will be expedited once the Council’s additional funding request has been determined by the State Government.

At Warialda, once again as part of its longer term plans, the Council has moved forward on the extensions to the Warialda Medical Centre, which the Council bought during the year, and the Naroo Aged Care facility. In both these cases the projects were tendered out and are being evaluated.

The other major project being developed at Warialda is the refurbishment of the former ‘Lowes’ Service Station site into the new tourist information centre for Warialda. The Council is in the process of purchasing the property. This building will also house the Warialda RSL Sub-Branch memorabilia collection. The refurbishment will be designed in consultation with the various stakeholder groups.

The Warialda Focus Group is finalizing the Community Development Plan and this, coupled with the master landscaping plan to be developed during February 2008, will assist the Council to develop a comprehensive plan for the enhancement of Warialda.

In the rural areas the Council has continued its program of road sealing and maintenance and, in particular, the Council successfully negotiated a grant to seal the remaining section of the Bingara to Narrabri Road and this work is progressing well.

The Council’s other construction works cover various areas of our rural road network. This work is undertaken in priority order depending upon the usage and other objective criteria.

The Shire’s roads, except for a limited number of exclusion areas, are now open to B-Doubles with the on-going savings that this will represent to our agricultural sector.

In our various village areas the Council continues to provide, we believe, a high level of service. For example the North Star water filtration system is about to become operational and the Council has also agreed to assist the North Star Sporting Club to constrict a new Amenities Block.

The Upper Horton Recreation Ground, similarly, will also have new Amenities before Christmas.

I pass on the thanks of my fellow Councillors to all the staff for this very successful year and also our best wishes for an enjoyable, safe and peaceful holiday period to all the Shire’s residents.