Even though a lot of the Shire has received some scattered storms, the badly needed good general falls for all have unfortunately not yet come.
Hopefully, we have seen the end of the really hot days. Surely the large amounts of rain up in Queensland, particularly along the coast will again ignite serious discussions about the necessary infrastructure needed to divert some of this water inland.
The extra extraction from inland rivers in NSW, be it for environmental, high security, agriculture / irrigation, stock and domestic, mining or general security needs, is unlikely to be reliably met unless more water is acquired, stored and then transferred into these rivers when needed.
Plans are available for the Federal Government to take bipartisan major infrastructure action that future users and generations will thank them for rather than listen to political blame, hear more Royal Commissions and revisit inadequate water management plans.
Recent advice from the Federal Minister for Local Government, Senator Bridget McKenzie, indicated that the seven projects we submitted totalling $1 million from the Drought Communities Program had all been approved.
These were the Façade and Amenities Refurbishment Project at the Pool and a Water Play Area.
This will improve the appearance of the front entrance, upgrade the dressing sheds and provide more water play equipment at the Swimming Pool.
A major upgrade to the Larkin Oval Canteen.
Cementing the floor of the photography and art/painting area of the Wye Pavilion at the Showground.
An upgrade of our CBD in Pangee Street offering painting to the shop awnings and shop fronts.
Renovations to the Coolabah Hall and revitalising the Historic Chinese portion of the Cemetery with better protection of the burner and a protective fence around the graves.
Bogan Shire Council certainly appreciated being one of the 64 Councils to receive this $1 million funding and will do our best to have all these projects completed by the current required finishing date of June 30, 2019.
The criteria and guidelines set for these projects stipulated that Councils could not do the work and projects had to be other than ones Councils are responsible for (eg not roadworks).
This meant we had to get quotes from local contractors to submit the projects for approval and now call tenders for these works.
The commendable intent of this funding was to provide employment and work for people adversely effected by the drought and no harvest, and some extra purchase of materials for local businesses.
However as residents are aware, in small rural centres like ours, we don’t have a lot of local contractors and those we have are flat out.
Our local Federal member has been approached to get the deadline to finish these projects extended.
The petition to slow down train speeds through town is now available at IGA, Foodworks and the Post Office. We hope to meet with the Minister in Sydney in early March to further discuss this safety issue.