Mayoral Column - 22 July 2009
I was pleased to attend a luncheon celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cowra / Grenfell Meals on Wheels on 11 July. This organisation, like many others, makes an enormous contribution to our community, with 27,000 meals provided each year to just under 200 people. Meals on Wheels relies on the generous donation of time from tireless volunteers. On behalf of the community, I would like to thank all 175 Meals on Wheels volunteers, including a number of Council staff who I know donate their time on a monthly basis. It was special too to note that Mrs Doreen Cameron, one of the original committee members, was in attendance at the lunch to celebrate the organisationís 50th Anniversary.
Congratulations to the Cowra Picnic Race Committee on the extremely successful 2009 event. The Committee should be commended on their ability to work with various authorities to secure an event outcome beneficial for all involved. I believe that the 2009 Picnic Races was an event that the whole community can be proud of and I look forward to similar success in coming years.
I attended a reception for the occasion of Japan Self-Defense Forces Day on Friday 3 July with a number of others from Cowra. The event was held at the Japanese Embassy and I was pleased to be able to represent Council and show our support for such events. I was also delighted to attend the 49th Annual Lions Club changeover dinner on the 27th of June. Congratulations to Dick Bell, the new President and thank you to outgoing President Tony Smith for his service to the community. It is worthy to note that over 1000 hours of community service has been provided by the Lions Club in the last year, a significant contribution to the community.
The National General Assembly of Local Government was held in Canberra on the 22nd of June. The event was interesting and enlightening with a considerable amount of discussion, rightly or wrongly, on climate change. Following this event was the Australian Council of Local Government meeting where the Federal Government hosts Mayors from across the nation. I am pleased to say that it appears the Federal Government is engaging in genuine dialogue with Local Government, thus the event is extremely worthwhile. The Breakout Session I attended dealt with regional infrastructure and was very valuable. It is also pleasing that the Federal Government has continued its infrastructure program funding and while the $174,000 received by Cowra is less than last year, in the current economic climate, any funding is very welcome.
Whilst it has been a slow process and again taken longer than Council had hoped, an announcement on the public exhibition of the Land-use Strategy is anticipated in the very near future. The Strategy has been worked on very well and hard by all concerned and will be placed on public exhibition once completed. I encourage interested residents and community groups to keep an eye out for the launch event which will be advertised shortly and to submit their comments on the Strategy to Council during the exhibition period.
I am looking forward to the annual Sportsperson of the Year Awards (SOTY) dinner to be held on the 25th of July. This event is an excellent celebration of the immense sporting talent in our community. However, it is unfortunate that SOTY clashes with the Wine Show this year, as I would have enjoyed attending both of these prominent annual Cowra events.
A Mayoral Roundtable will be hosted by Bland Shire Council tomorrow and while I believe I will be unable to attend due to my farming commitments, Cr Ray Walsh will attend in my place. On that note, I would like to thank my colleagues and senior Council staff for their support as I undertake shearing duties on my farm. I very much appreciate their support and assistance which ensures that all continues to run smoothly. I would also apologise to organisations such as Red Cross whose important functions I have had to miss.