The Northern Grampians Shire Council held the July council meeting on Monday, 6 July 2020 in the Entertainment Centre, Stawell Town Hall at 12:30pm and resolved to accept the following recommendations.
2020-21 council budget
Council adopted in principle the 2020-21 Draft Budget which is now available for public viewing and consultation on council’s website and at the municipal offices in Stawell and St Arnaud. The budget includes a $13.4 million capital works program, a two per cent rate rise, no increases in waste and recycling kerbside collection charges, and no changes to the Farm Rate Differential Policy in this financial year. Council did agree to review a reduction in the farm rate differential from 53% to 50% during 2020-21. See the full, budget document and provide feedback at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/budget.
Grampians Camel Rides
Council approved a planning permit for a camel riding business in Halls Gap to operate between the hours of 10am and 5pm during public holidays, school holidays and weekends. The permit allows for three camels on the land at 12 Heath Street and 7 Valley Drive Halls Gap during business hours with the animals and associated equipment removed and stored at a different location at other times. During the public notification period, six letters of objection were received and taken into consideration when applying the permit conditions which Councillors are satisfied address the concerns raised.
Halls Gap Flood Plan
Council has kicked off the process to prepare an amendment to the Northern Grampians Shire Planning Scheme in order to add flood overlays in the Halls Gap area upon the request of Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (CMA) based on their studies. To start this amendment, the planning department requires approval from the council to seek authorisation from the Minister as a fresh and complete implementation of flood studies undertaken by Wimmera CMA. A public meeting was held on 30 October 2019 at the Halls Gap Community Hub to explain the changes to the flood overlays as a result of the remodelling. All the residents living around Tandara Road were invited. No objections were raised to the changes made.
Activate 2020-2030 Strategic Plan
Council has officially endorsed the Activate 2020-2030 Strategic Plan, a partnership between Northern Grampians Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council, City of Ballarat, Golden Plains Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council, and Pyrenees Shire Council, that aims to increase participation in sport and active recreation for livability, health and wellbeing of the
Central Highlands and Grampians Pyrenees region.
The plan will help each municipality to work together to understand the current active lifestyles approaches in each area and how they can be strengthened with a collaborative approach to cross-council partnerships.
Queen Mary Gardens Committee of Management status change
The new Local Government Act 2020 has prompted councils to consider the form of their committees and whether or not any appointed special or delegated committee continues to exercise the powers, duties and functions delegated by Council or is re-established in a different form.
Council agreed to the Queen Mary Botanic Gardens Committee being re-established as an advisory committee instead of its current status as a special committee. Advisory Groups provide advice to Council, but any final decision for action or expenditure is taken by Council in a Council meeting.
The Queen Mary Botanic Gardens committee members have been consulted about the proposed change to form an advisory group and are supportive of the changes. Council appreciates the contribution of this group of volunteers and the change of status will take away the current onerous reporting and compliance requirements.
Central Grampians LLEN – Councillor Appointment
Council has endorsed the nomination of Cr Karen Hyslop as the Northern Grampians Shire Council’s representative to the Central Grampians LLEN Board of Management and her appointment to the Board in the category of Local Governments for a one year term from 20 May 2020. The Central Grampians LLEN is one of 13 LLENs funded by the Victorian State Department of Education and Training and led by a volunteer Board of Management drawn from a wide range of sectors. It assists in the delivery of structured workplace learning, training, mentorship, hands-on activities, youth-friendly events and other important skills development initiatives.
The complete council meeting agenda and minutes are available for public viewing at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/minutes-agendas.