March Meeting Wrap-Up

Armidale Regional Council

Architect and former Armidale mayor Tony Deakin awarded highest honour of Keys to the City

Council will grant the highest honour that a city can confer on an individual or an organisation, which is known as ‘the Keys to the City’, to former mayor and architect, Antony (Tony) Deakin OAM. This honour is in recognition of his connection to Armidale and the outstanding contribution he has made to the architecture of Armidale. Mr Deakin was also Mayor in 1987 and in 2000 he was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia General Division for Services to the community, particularly in the field of architecture. Mr Deakin has also been a Rotarian and has volunteered his time and expertise over decades to the community.

Mr Deakin’s major architectural projects include; The Armidale Apex Lookout, The Armidale School including the Fisher Wing and Michael Hoskins Centre, Catholic Church Office in Armidale, The Armidale Mall (the original Mall and redesign in 1988), Hanna’s Arcade, New England Regional Art Museum, The Aboriginal Culture Centre and Keeping Place, Poll Hereford Society Offices, Lindsay House, the Parish Hall of St Peter’s Cathedral, the Guyra Showground Pavilion and Guyra Bowling Club.

The Keys to the City will be presented by the Mayor at an official ceremony to acknowledge this outstanding contribution to the community.

The Australian Transport Museum

Local car enthusiasts created The Australian Transport Museum which is part of Armidale’s history and heritage. The group are intending to lease Council-owned land at Armidale Airside and intend to build a museum to house the vintage vehicles. As well as it being an important part of our heritage, it also has great potential for the region with tourism.

Council has been involved with the company since its formation, to help establish the entity in 2008. Now that the Museum has reached a stage of maturity and direct involvement in the Museum as a member it is no longer required. As the Museum are now intending to lease Council-owned land, it is important that there is no potential conflict of interest on behalf of Board members or members. Therefore, Council will provide written notice that it will cease its involvement with the Australian Transport Museum.

Access to Trove National Archive in our libraries

The Trove is an expansive public digital archive which is a resource used by people of all ages, for education and training, local and family history as well as life-long learning and development. The importance of Trove is demonstrated by nearly 20 million visits per year. This has been a free resource for the public available in public libraries.

Unfortunately the National Library of Australia plans to charge increased subscription fees to Council run public libraries. Council has agreed to lobby the Federal government over these plans so that it can continue to provide access to the Trove National Archive in our public libraries for free.

Collaborative community approach to find solutions to health service issues

The Key Pillar Working Group the Enriched Region of Council is working with the community to strengthen the relationships with the health providers and proactively take opportunities to lobby local and state representatives to raise health service issues.

Given the current GP shortages in the Hunter New England Health District, Council is supportive of any initiative to attract GPs to our region. At the Council meeting it was agreed that Council will write a letter to the New England Health District in support of a pilot of the Single Employer Model GP Scheme (also known as the Murrumbidgee GP Scheme). This model has proved to work in Wagga Wagga hospital and while the NSW Government is seeking it to be rolled across regional NSW, the Federal Government have not yet given clear notice that they will choose Armidale as the site of the next pilot program.

Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection Program

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires every council to develop a Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection Program policy which details how they intend to proactively inspect swimming pools in their local government area. Council has endorsed a draft policy which relates to both outdoor and indoor pools that are situated on premises on which a residential building, a moveable dwelling or tourist and visitor accommodation is located.

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