I am very pleased to report that Council’s projects are progressing well. The skatepark at Boorowa is on schedule and the Murrimboola Creek project at Harden is getting closer to commencing. I spoke to the foreman at the Young Aquatic Centre on Friday who reported that despite the rain, the project is still on track and due for completion prior to the start of the 2020-21 swimming season. This is great news.
On Monday, I attended the official opening of the refurbished Koorawatha Police Station and residence and welcomed Senior Constable Andrew Campbell to his role at the station. This is fantastic news for the Koorawatha community and has been very well received by residents.
At an Extra Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 31 July, our 2020-21 budget was endorsed. This was a long process with lots of consideration required by Councillors over the past few months. I am pleased that we progressed the budget and met our statutory requirements. There is still some way to go to get to where we need to be and improvements that must be made but I believe we are on the right track to becoming a more efficient Council.
The comprehensive Hilltops Local Environmental Plan (LEP) has commenced. With the difficult circumstances of COVID-19, Council are working on safe and interactive ways to consult with the community. Further information on the community engagement strategy as part of the LEP will be finalised shortly and shared with the Hilltops community in late 2020 in preparation for public consultation in early 2021.
In line with extensions made available for Councils under COVID-19 provisions in NSW Local Government Legislation and Regulation, Hilltops Council adopted its Operational Plan, Revenue Policy and Budget later than it has in previous years, on 31 July 2020. This has caused a delay in the first quarter Rates Instalment Notices being issued. These Notices will be sent to ratepayers during August 2020, with the instalment due for payment on 30 September 2020. The remaining instalment due dates for the 2020-2021 financial year will not change compared to the previous year, falling due on 30 November 2020, 28 February 2021 and 31 May 2021 respectively.
A reminder that the Draft Murrumburrah Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan is on public exhibition until Tuesday 1 September. The Draft Study and Plan will assist Council to plan and manage the risks the community faces from flooding having identified areas that are prone to flooding and include recommendations about how Council will manage flood prone areas in the Murrumburrah-Harden Catchment. Please visit Council’s website to view the study and plan and make a submission.
The Hilltops has been deemed an eligible area for drought relief funding from the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society. $3000 one off payments to drought affected farmers, abattoir workers and others struggling financially are available. To apply for this payment, visit: https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/FindHelp/droughtassistance/ or call 1300 846 643.
– Mayor Brian Ingram
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