Unclassified

$10 MILLION FOR MURRAY RIVER COUNCIL COMMUNITY PROJECTS

STRONGER COMMUNITIES FUND
STRONGER COMMUNITIES FUND

THE STRONGER COMMUNITIES FUND has been established by the NSW Government so recently merged councils can kick-start community projects. Murray River Council will be provided $10 million to spend on priority community initiatives.

Murray River Council’s $10 million is to be delivered through two programs:

  1. COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM - allocating up to $1 million in grants of up to $50,000 to incorporated not-for-profit community groups, for projects that build more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive local communities. Projects may include upgrades of club facilities, funding of sporting equipment, or providing tools and equipment to improve the delivery of community services.
  2. MAJOR PROJECTS PROGRAM - allocating all remaining funding to larger scale priority infrastructure and services projects that deliver long term economic and social benefits to communities.

 

COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM CRITERIA

Council will provide grants to incorporated not-for-profit community groups for projects identified and assessed using an open call for applications.

To be successful for funding, community projects must meet the following criteria:

  • deliver social, cultural, economic or environmental benefits to local communities
  • address an identified community priority
  • be well defined with a clear budget
  • demonstrate that any ongoing or recurrent costs of the project can be met by the community group once grant funding has been expensed
  • the organisation must demonstrate the capacity to manage funds and deliver the project.

 

MAJOR PROJECTS PROGRAM CRITERIA

Council will fund projects that deliver new or improved infrastructure or services to the community.

Projects to be prioritised for funding must meet the following criteria:

  • have been through a community consultation process
  • demonstrate social and/or economic benefits to the community
  • consider issues of sustainability and equity across the broader community
  • demonstrate project feasibility and value for money, including full lifecycle costs;
  • did not have funds allocated by the former councils
  • give consideration to the processes and procedures outlined in the capital expenditure review guidelines issued by the Office of Local Government.

 

Council will establish a Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel with responsibility to assess projects and make recommendations to council for funding.

Council will ensure the community and local stakeholders are adequately consulted and provided an opportunity to put forward ideas for funding.

Further information regarding consultation opportunities and how community groups can apply for funding will be available shortly.

In the meantime, please contact our Economic Development and Tourism Unit on 03 5453 3200 if you would like to dicsuss this further.

Historical First Meeting for MURRAY RIVER COUNCIL

Historical First Meeting for MURRAY RIVER COUNCIL

The inaugural meeting of the new Murray River Council was held on Monday 23 May. The Extraordinary Meeting was held in the former Wakool Shire Council’s Barham Branch Office.

The meeting, with Administrator, David Shaw, at the helm, dealt mostly with legislative requirements for the formal establishment of the new amalgamated entity. They included the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW, Code of Meeting Practice and Delegations of Authority Policy.

Dates, times and venues for future meetings of the Council were also determined with Council’s Ordinary Meetings to be held on the third Tuesday of the month, commencing at 1:00pm (unless otherwise advertised) with the venues rotating between Barham, Mathoura, Moulamein and Moama.

Council has advised that guidelines for the State Government’s $10M allocation for community projects, such as junior sporting facilities, playgrounds, libraries or pool upgrades will soon be released. There are two streams of funding available, with $1M for community-based projects valued below $50,000 and the remaining $9M for infrastructure projects to be agreed to by the Council and the community. Council will commence the process of identifying community-based projects shortly.

Details of the community consultation framework will also be available soon and will give the communities in the new Council area a clear understanding of how it can have its say in the formation of, and transition to, the new Council.

The new Council area covers 11,865 square kilometres, with a population of 11,456. It will comprise three wards, Moama, Greater Murray and Greater Wakool. Each ward will be represented by three councillors.

Monday’s Council meeting was attended by a gallery which included a number of former councillors from both the Murray and Wakool Shires, as well as interested community members. A second meeting was held today at Mathoura.

Since Monday’s meeting, Administrator Shaw and Interim General Manager, Margot Stork, have dedicated much of their time to meeting with former Wakool Shire Council staff and community members.

Administrator Shaw and Ms Stork will be attending a further briefing next Friday in Sydney concerning the merger transition.

Further comment:
David Shaw, Administrator, Murray River Council
Margot Stork, Interim General Manager, Murray River Council
Phone: 03 5884 3302

26 May 2016

Hectic Start for New Council

Murray River Council
Murray River Council

The May 12th proclamation of the new Murray River Council has prompted a hectic start for the organisation.

Along with all interim general managers of the amalgamated councils, Murray River Council’s Interim General Manager, Ms Margot Stork, was summoned to Sydney on Friday for an intense two-day weekend workshop on planning and development of the new entity, from the first week to the first election of the new councils on 9 September 2017. Once back, she hit the ground running and has clocked up more than 700 kilometres visiting staff of both the former Murray and Wakool Shires, discussing transition issues and planning for the development of the new Murray River Council.

Ms Stork has been quick to assure all staff that their jobs are secure for three years, and that while things are currently stressful – and may be for a while – there is light at the end of the tunnel. The welfare of staff will be a priority of the new council, with the intention to issue a staff newsletter on a weekly basis to ensure they are kept in the loop. In addition, staff will be consulted on transition issues as project plans are developed.

The location of Murray River Council’s main administrative office has not been considered at this stage. The priority has been dealing with the myriad of issues associated with bringing the operations of two dissolved entities together. Customer Service Centres will continue in their current locations across the new council area. Murray River Council’s Administrator, Mr David Shaw, and Ms Stork will work out of all current office locations as required, and staff at all existing locations will be available to handle enquiries as usual.

It is proposed that meetings of the Murray River Council will be held on a monthly basis and that the venue will alternate between Barham, Mathoura, Moulamein and Moama. Consideration will also be given over time to holding council meetings at other towns within the Murray River Council area. The first, is an Extraordinary Meeting to be held on Monday 23 May 2016, commencing at 1:00pm at the Riverside Reception Centre, 15 Murray Street, Barham. A second Extraordinary Meeting is planned for Mathoura on Thursday 26 May 2016 at 1:00pm.

The Council wants to ensure its communities can readily identify their new council and have their say on issues which affect them. Consequently, a priority will be the establishment of both a Local Representation Committee (LRC) and an Implementation Advisory Group (IAG), as required under the terms of the amalgamation.

The role of a LRC, to be appointed by Mr Shaw, will be to provide input to the Council’s operational plans 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, advising on the communication and engagement plan for the community, providing input to the statement of vision and priorities and assisting to engage communities and partners in planning for the new Council. The LRC will comprise of councillors of the former Murray Shire and Wakool Shire Councils who have demonstrated a commitment to the success of the new Council. Mr Shaw may also appoint other community representatives, where appropriate. The LRC will meet at least monthly, with additional meetings as needed.

The IAG will provide advice to Mr Shaw on implementing the new Council by providing input into the preparation of the Implementation Plan and monitoring its delivery. Membership, to be determined by Mr Shaw, could comprise of up to two members of each Local Representation Group.

In the interim, Murray River Council plans to issue regular media releases to keep its communities up to date with progress on its establishment as it happens.

 

 

 

PROCLAMATION ANNOUNCED FOR MURRAY RIVER COUNCIL

New Muuray River Council Website

 

New MuuraThe Baird government has created 19 new councils across Sydney and NSW.

The Minister for Local Government, The Hon Paul Toole MP, has announced that he will proceed with the merger of Murray Shire Council and Wakool Shire Council, to become Murray River Council, effective 12 May 2016.

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/regulations/2016-242.pdf

https://www.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au/new-councils/murray-river-council/

Don't Flush Your Wet Wipes!

This kind of convenience comes at a high price
This kind of convenience comes at a high price

Wet wipes are a major cause of sewer blockages. Please, don’t flush them.

They’re cheap to buy and there’s now a wipe for every conceivable use. But this kind of convenience comes at a high price.

The number of wipes that are bought and flushed every year in Australia has rocketed. The result has cost householders to fix blocked drains and clogged pipes. And the problem is getting much worse.

While toilet paper starts breaking down almost immediately, the woven fabric of wet wipes doesn’t. As they move through the system they collect fat, grease and other food debris. Eventually they bind together creating blockages in household pipes and sewer mains resulting in overflows to the surrounding environment.

Wakool Shire, along with other Australian Water authorities, think it’s time to encourage everyone to re-think how wipes are used and, more importantly, how they are disposed.

Although some wipes are labelled ‘flushable’ it doesn’t mean that they should be flushed. Really the only thing that should go down the toilet is human waste and toilet paper. Anything else should go in the bin.

Wet wipes. Please, don’t flush them.

Don't Flush Wet Wipes!

Wet wipes are a major cause of sewer blockages. Please, don’t flush them.

They’re cheap to buy and there’s now a wipe for every conceivable use. But this kind of convenience comes at a high price.

The number of wipes that are bought and flushed every year in Australia has rocketed. The result has cost householders to fix blocked drains and clogged pipes. And the problem is getting much worse.

While toilet paper starts breaking down almost immediately, the woven fabric of wet wipes doesn’t. As they move through the system they collect fat, grease and other food debris. Eventually they bind together creating blockages in household pipes and sewer mains resulting in overflows to the surrounding environment.

Wakool Shire, along with other Australian Water authorities, think it’s time to encourage everyone to re-think how wipes are used and, more importantly, how they are disposed.

Although some wipes are labelled ‘flushable’ it doesn’t mean that they should be flushed. Really the only thing that should go down the toilet is human waste and toilet paper. Anything else should go in the bin.

Wet wipes. Please, don’t flush them.

 

Basin Research Project: Water Community Workshops

Community workshops will be held in each town
Community workshops will be held in each town

Wakool Shire Council is partaking in a Murray-Darling Basin Authority research project being facilitated by Dr Michael Fortunato from Sam Houston State University in Texas. The Shire has been selected along with only three other communities (St George/Dirranbandi, QLD, Coleambally and Warren NSW) to take part in this research project.

Dr Fortunato is undertaking a project aimed at improving community adaptability to water management changes through effective community driven engagement and planning. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is facilitating this work by brining Dr Fortunato to Australia to conduct a series of workshops with community and industry leaders in the Basin.

This involves structured workshops with community and industry to discuss the challenges and changes facing rural towns. The workshops will provide an opportunity for people from different sectors to share knowledge and work together on a plan to adapt to and manage the change that is occurring, including reduced water availability as a result of climate change, drought and water reform.

At the initial workshop sessions, the researcher will also conduct face-to-face interviews and brief focus groups to investigate changes in participant attitudes, participant assessments of culture and capacity, feedback on the process, and confidence of participants on key innovation metrics.

In the second follow-up workshops there will be a focus on overcoming barriers, managing ongoing conflicts, and building continued community collaboration into the future.

Community workshops will be held in each town – Barham, Moulamein, Wakool, Murray Downs and Tooleybuc as detailed below:

 

Barham/Wakool

Mon 9th May, 6pm

cluBarham Auditorium and;

Mon 23rd May, 6pm

Wakool Memorial Services Club

 

Tooleybuc

Wed 11th and Thurs 26th May, 6pm

Tooleybuc Sporting Club

 

Murray Downs

Thurs 12th and Wed 25th May, 6pm

Murray Downs Golf and Country Club

 

Moulamein

Fri 13th and Tues 24th May, 6pm

Moulamein Bowling Club

 

For further information or to register your interest in attending these workshops please contact the Moulamein Office of Wakool Shire on 03 5887 5007.

Post Billpay now available to ratepayers

Australia Post’s Post Billpay service is now available
Australia Post’s Post Billpay service is now available

 Ratepayers of Wakool Shire will now be able to use Australia Post’s Post Billpay service to pay their rates. 

The payment method will come into effect for fourth quarterly rates instalment, which is due at the end of May. Rate notices for the instalment will be sent out on 1st May 2016. 

Post Billpay will enable ratepayers to pay their rates online, via mobile or tablet, in person at Australia Post offices or via phone.  

Wakool Shire Council Director Corporate Services Peter Arthur said the introduction of the payment method provided another convenient way to pay Council rates.  

“As detailed on rate notices, there are now several payment options including in person at Council or Australia Post and via BPAY ” Mr Arthur said.  

“The introduction of the Post Billpay service from Australia Post offers another flexible and secure payment option for ratepayers.”  

For more information regarding Post Billpay visit the Australia Post website (auspost.com.au), call 13 76 78 or ask at Australia Post or Council offices.  

For more information regarding your rates notice, including concessions or any difficulties making a rates payment, please contact Council’s Rates Officer on 5887 5007.