Council meting update 12 October

Here is an overview of outcomes from tonight’s Ordinary Meeting:

 Councillors tonight considered a number of reports related to the Tamworth Global Gateway Park, including three items in closed council. One report gave a detailed update on the progress of the infrastructure projects being constructed at the Tamworth Global Gateway Park. Of note, the reactivation of the rail line was completed by John Holland Rail at the end of last month and the Mahony Avenue pedestrian rail crossing was permanently closed to ensure community safety. The report explained John Holland Rail still have works to complete in relation to the commissioning of the automatic controls of the level crossings at Gunnedah Road, Dampier Street and Evans Street. Council will continue to carry out roadworks at these level crossing as part of the safety upgrades associated with reactivation of the rail line. Additionally, Councillors agreed for Council to enter into a future contract for the relocation of existing electrical infrastructure to facilitate train access into the Park.

The report revealed land sales continue to progress well, with 83% of Stage One lots under contract or on-hold. The Park has also attracted strong enquiries for Stage Two lots, the report said. In the part of the meeting closed to the public, tenders were awarded for future landscaping works at the Park and the development of the first stage of the Business Park.

 Council will cover the increased costs for bulk water this financial year. The decision was made tonight after Councillors considered a report about IPART’s final determination regarding Water NSW’s and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation’s Bulk Water Charges which will result in a $308,547 – or 32.5% – increase in the annual cost for Council to provide water to homes and businesses across the Tamworth region. The increase came into effect on 1 October and will remain in place until 30 June 2025. Councillors will decide during 2022/2023 budget deliberations whether or not the price increase should be passed on to residents and businesses next year. If Council does decide to pass on the additional costs it would result in a $12.67 increase to the average cost of water rates.

 Councillors tonight approved the allocation of $41,000 from the Heritage Assistance Fund, which will go towards a number of heritage and restoration works across the region. A total of $41,000 will be invested across 13 different projects in Tamworth, Barraba, Manilla, Duri, Piallamore and Bendemeer. This includes residential, commercial, and community buildings. Each application was assessed by the Tamworth Region Heritage Assistance Working Group, which includes members of the community, Council staff, and Councillors. To reaffirm Council’s commitment towards preserving the region’s built heritage, an increase to the amount of money available through the fund will be considered during next year’s Budget discussions.

 A total of 16 community groups will share close to $45,500 through the 2021/2022 Annual Donations Program. This year support is being given to groups supporting their community at Barraba, Manilla, Nundle and Tamworth ranging in amounts from $500 to $7000. The Annual Donations Program is one of the ways Council gives a helping hand to local organisations, many of which rely on volunteers.

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