It was good to welcome ten students and three teachers from No 15 Middle School, Tongling China to Nyngan last week for their exchange visit. Sadly their main memory will probably be of dust, however, I am sure they enjoyed the hospitality of the Nyngan High School students, and visits to many of our special areas. They enjoyed a large morning tea with Councillors and Staff last Thursday. The new SES building was officially opened by David Monk, Western SES Zone Commander, last Saturday. With new premises, a brand new vehicle and boat and with about eight SES members joining Trish Orchard, local Commander, our town has now added security of another well-equipped emergency service unit to response weather damage.
We also enjoyed a Deb Ball last Saturday night where eleven young ladies, accompanied by partners, flower girls and page boys made their debut. A proud time for many family members and many thanks to Leonie Farlow and her helpers who organised such a special night. Worthy of complimentary comment from Pat and Clyde Cook, who trained the debs, was that they were the most courteous and co-operative group the Cooks had ever trained. A few other functions including a Group CWA meeting, Council meeting and Show Committee Christmas gathering made it a busy week for Nyngan.
NSW Government State Cabinet wandered through here early last week on their way to Bourke. General Manager, Derek Francis and myself met with three Ministers trying to raise their awareness to the ongoing devastating effects of the drought and the need for some form of rate relief for ratepayers and small businesses. We also tried to get an earlier approval time instead of February next year for the third round of the Stronger Country Communities funding so we can commence work on our new Community Centre and get flashing lights on the Hoskins Street Railway Crossing.
We were able to present Col and Jan Davison with a Certificate of Appreciation at lunch last week as they move to Dubbo to retire. Council acknowledges the long period of dedicated service they both provided at the Nyngan Post Office. A constructor will shortly be appointed to carry out the necessary repairs to the 700 megalitre emergency water storage. We have received Government funding ($4 million) for this and over $8 million to construct the second storage. We have received a Repair Grant to construct and seal two kms on Cockies Road, and extra $455,762 from the Roads to Recovery Program (mainly for gravel resheeting) and contributed 24 per cent ($372,000) towards some major works on Yarrandale, Pangee and Colane Roads from the Government Fixing Local Roads Program.
The generosity of many people and organisations in other parts of the state to help drought effected communities like ours is certainly appreciated, Council has tried to realign the efforts of a group on the Central Coast, who initially put some very incorrect information about Nyngan on Facebook. Our situation here is very similar to many other towns and families affected by the drought. The best way to help any area is to raise funds that can be converted to vouchers that can support local businesses and local residents, and not send commodities that could be purchased locally.