As we progress through March, many local residents and others in Rural and Regional NSW would again prefer March to be excluded from daylight saving time. My views on this, which is to finish daylight saving at the end of February are well-known. Hopefully this will become a State election issue for candidates in next March’s election.
As our estimates considerations and meetings approach again for 2018/19, Councils Annual Village Tour will be held on the April 11. Councillors and managers will be at Coolabah (9am), Girilambone (11.00am) and Hermidale (1.30pm). All residents are welcome to come and hear the latest information from council, discuss village issues or any project they think should be included in next year’s budget. Our pre-estimates Road Tour will be on May 3. One of the projects to be funded from the state government’s first round of community grants was to install irrigation pipes between the holes on the golf course to water the fairways. This project needs to be started very soon, however, as yet the necessary slow process of council signing off on the project and funds coming from the state government will delay the start.
A meeting of the Orana Regional Organisation of Councils (OROC) will be held in Dubbo this Friday with forming Joint Organisations the main topic. The State Government wants joint organisation of councils (JOC) to replace the Regional Organisations of Councils by June this year. The government believes JOs will help regional strategic planning and priority setting, provide inter-government collaboration and provide better regional leadership and advocacy. The 12 councils in OROC (including Bogan Shire Council) have functioned very well over many years with Dubbo as the central hub. Council resolved to join a JO provided all the other councils in OROC join as well, which would retain the OROC structure with a changed name. Already some of the other councils have indicated they may not continue in the new JO, which will be unfortunate as smaller numbers of councils in a JO will lose their ability to negotiate with state governments.
WATER SECURITY ON AGENDA
At our last council meeting a number of state government water consultants and bureaucrats attended to further discuss the piping of the Albert Priest Channel. We were provided with more information on the water pricing framework by the projects technical advisors, and will have these figures reviewed by our financial consultants and auditors. Our earlier resolution still stands about this project, and that is we won’t support the piping of the channel if it will lead to increased water charges for our consumers. We still believe that the construction of the two 700mg/off river storages south of Nyngan alongside the Tottenham Road (one is nearly completed), is the best long term solution to the water security needs of Bogan and Cobar Shire Council.