Vision 2020 Letter to the Editor

August 7, 2009

I welcome the opportunity to bring your readers up to date with the activities of Bingara and District VISION 20/20. Now in its fifth year, this organization was formed at the time of the local government amalgamation to form Gwydir Shire.

Our main purpose was to continue and expand community discussion and input into projects and policies to progress Bingara and District. Our major achievements to date include: The Bingara tourist brochure “imagine”, the Bingara web-site, the Regenerative Energy for Rural Communities Forum, the Discover Gwydir Forum, and the concept development for “The Living Classroom” (Bingara Farm Gardens) and the Bingara Riverscape Project.

We have sought to support the efforts of Gwydir Shire Council and other community groups. The Motorhome and Campervan Rally, the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns Awards, and the Bingara Orange Festival are among these. In the last year we have liaised with the Warialda Chamber of Commerce and the Warialda Tourism Committee to give support and emphasis to the projects of those organizations.

V2020 is pleased that GSC is to proceed with the Bingara Riverscape Project. The enhancement of the Gwydir riverbank area at the northern end of Maitland Street, was a project strongly supported by the community in our 2005 Survey. With the support of the community, V2020 held two on-site public meetings and conducted an interactive design session at Bingara Central School to draft a plan for the site.

Those meetings identified the provision of public amenities, subtle landscaping engaging the beauty of the Gwydir River, restriction of horses and cattle from the site, the planting of trees and shrubs, and the harnessing of storm water, as the main components of the Project.

GSC concurred with the draft submission and engaged John Mongard and Associates Landscape Architects, to design the works. V2020 have asked to be involved in the ongoing development of the Project . We have sought to keep the costs low, to see the plans fixed into manageable stages, to seek and support funding from sources other than ratepayers e.g. the CMA and UGLA, and to involve community working bees wherever possible. We continue to offer our involvement and hope that the Project will proceed under these conditions.

V2020 has entered Bingara into the Tidy Towns Competition for 2009. Our entry is for the Overall category for towns between 1200 and 4000 population and in the specific category for Community Heritage where we have entered the Discover Gwydir Project. The assessor will be in town on August 18 and 19. I am sure that Bingara will put on its best show for the assessment.

Next week, I will report on the progress of the Regenerative Energy for Rural Communities and some exciting prospects for our community in this project.

Yours Sincerely,

Rick Hutton – President. Ph:0428 255380