5 outcomes from monthly meeting held 22 November

Clarence Valley Council held its monthly Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday, 22 November at Grafton Council Chambers. One Mayoral Minute and two Notices of Motion were discussed, followed by 18 of 31 items debated and the other 14 adopted by consent in a meeting which lasted four and a half hours.

MAYORAL MINUTE: Declaration of State-wide Road Emergency

Major funding updates for Regional Aquatic Centre

>> WATCH RECORDING OF NOVEMBER 2022 CLARENCE VALLEY COUNCIL MEETING HERE

  • 2021/22 Annual Report
  • Onsite construction of manufactured homes to boost economy and jobs
  • Tenders approved for multiple bridge projects
  • Darts players benefit from Cultural and Sports Trust Fund
  • Voluntary House Raising Policy revised in line with new guidelines

2021/22 Annual Report

The 2021/22 Annual Report was noted by councillors and is now available to the community on Council’s website.

The Annual Report is one of the key points of accountability between Council and the community. It outlines the achievements in meeting statutory compliance requirements throughout the 2021/22 financial year. Due to an extension granted by the Office of Local Government it does not yet include the audited financial reports, which will be added once completed.

View the 2021/22 Annual Report here.

Onsite construction of manufactured homes to boost economy and jobs

The decision to allow onsite construction of a Manufactured Homes Estate at Gulmarrad will provide a major economic and employment boost to the Clarence Valley, according to Mayor Ian Tiley.

“The 250 homes to be built over the next five to ten years are going to be constructed on site by local employees, and not by crews from outside the valley,” Mayor Tiley said.

“That’s a whole lot of employment and training for young tradies and will be great for our economy.”

Council originally refused onsite construction in line with Manufactured Home Estate state regulations in August, defeating the modification 5-4. However, the developers sought a review, with additional conditions imposed by Council, which this time was supported 6-3. Cr Steve Pickering was one councillor who changed their vote and noted the deputations prior to Tuesday’s meeting which showed the appearance and accessibility of the final product of onsite construction compared to offsite construction influenced his decision.

“I originally voted against this modification and looking at the changes that have been made to it, I am now going to be voting for this,” Cr Pickering said. “The information supplied by the applicant showing the actual construction and design is definitely an improvement, and I think this will be a great boost to our economy.”

Tenders approved for multiple bridge projects

Ark Construction Group has been awarded the tender for the restoration of Wilcox Bridge on Four Mile Lane at Swan Creek, which was badly damaged in the March 2022 flood and has since been out of service.

The $3,259,798 cost of the project will be funded by the joint Commonwealth and State government funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), subject to receiving the agreed funding schedule from Transport for NSW.

The new reinforced concrete bridge will have a 100-year design life and provide complete replacement of the flood damaged structure.

The tender to reconstruct three more bridges has been approved, with $971,755.64 funded under the Fixing Country Bridges program and a Council contribution of $57,000. Fulton Hogan Industries will deliver the Design and Construct Replacement of Billys Creek Bridge on Armidale Road, Dundoo Flood Bridge on Kungala Road and Wintervale Creek Bridge on Old Glen Innes Road.

Fixing Country Bridges is also administered by Transport for NSW, and provides funding for the demolition and replacement of timber bridges with stronger, safer and more durable concrete bridges.

Darts players benefit from Cultural and Sports Trust Fund

Two young darts players are the latest beneficiaries of Clarence Valley Council’s Cultural and Sports Trust Fund.

Grafton’s Brock and Hollie Harrison each received $300 to assist with costs associated with competing at the 2023 Darts Australia Junior National Championships in Brisbane from 11-17 January, 2023.

Council’s 2022/23 Budget has $5,000 reserved for Cultural and Sports Trust Fund donations up to $300 for individuals to attend National level events and $550 for international level events. Click here for information on how to apply.

Voluntary House Raising Policy revised in line with new guidelines

On 28 October the Prime Minister announced an additional $800 million for Voluntary House Raising (VHR), Voluntary House Purchase (VHP) and other flood-related recovery actions to be administered through the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRCC).

Council has subsequently resolved to revise its VHR Policy to include VHP in line with NSW Government guidelines.

Under the VHR Scheme, the NSW Government provides 67 per cent (up to $60,000) of the funding to raise the floor level of a dwelling, and the property owner is required to provide the 33 per cent balance.

In February this year Council was awarded a total of $810,000 across three years under the NSW Government 2021-22 Floodplain Management Program, which the Mayor noted was only sufficient for raising two to three dwellings per year, and presented a Minute to Council in May seek to secure “more appropriate levels of funding”.

“Around 25 property owners have expressed interest to date,” the Mayor said at the time. “Given the likely further applications for house raising, and the present low rate of State Government funding support, it will likely be many years before most eligible dwellings would be raised.”

Council has now received about 70 VHR expressions of interest since the February/March floods. Some of these properties, while ineligible for VHR, do meet the criteria for VHP which Council currently does not have a policy for.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.