Mayoral Column - 3 February 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed the Australia Day celebrations last week, particularly the truly delightful Gabrielle Clark, Cowra’s Australia Day Ambassador. Gabrielle completely impressed everyone in attendance with her inspirational and heartfelt speech, and I feel lucky to have met such a remarkable person. During the day, I attended a number of enjoyable events, including the View Club Australia Day Luncheon. Congratulations to all of the community groups involved in making this year’s Australia Day so special. Thank you particularly to the View Club, Rotary, Inner Wheel, Cowra Bowling Club, Cowra Golf Club, Cowra Japanese Garden and the Cowra Aquatic Centre for your contribution to the program.
I have been very pleased this month to hear a number of reports of good behaviour at the Skate Park. This facility is used by young people of all ages and with a variety of skill levels and as such, there is potential for conflict to develop. I was very glad to hear examples of skate park users cooperating and helping each other, teaching each other new skills and sharing the facility in a mature and respectable way. Congratulations to all those that this applies to, I hope to see this behaviour continue indefinitely.
While I’m on the topic, I would like to thank the staff at the Cowra Hospital. Having had cause recently to visit the Hospital with a broken collarbone, I can say first hand that the staff there are attentive and professional and that the facility really is brilliant. For reasons beyond the control of staff in Cowra, the hospital facility has received some bad publicity in recent months and I would like to reiterate what many in the community already know – we are very lucky to have a good facility with such dedicated staff.
I recently attended the Cowra Jockey Club Dinner, an absolutely wonderful event with yet another impressive speaker. Many in the community would know Kurt Fearnley, an extremely talented, charming and enthusiastic individual. Kurt certainly didn’t disappoint at the Jockey Club Dinner, regaling us with tales of his wide and varied life experiences and his epic Kakoda trip. Congratulations to the Jockey Club on the success of this event and the enduring success of the Cowra Japan Cup race meet.
I spent yesterday meeting with NSW Water Minister, Phil Costa as part of a delegation of the Centroc Executive. We travelled to Sydney to formally present Minister Costa with the Centroc Water Security Study and to discuss various other issues. As always, this meeting was productive and worthwhile and I look forward to working with the Minister and his department in the future.
Work is also continuing on the Environmental Management Plan and Masterplan for the Cowra Peace Precinct. The consultants preparing the documents will be holding a progress meeting for interested stakeholders next Wednesday 10 February from 6:00pm in the Council Chambers. I will be attending a Village Meeting in Billimari at this time, however I do encourage interested community members to attend the meeting if possible. It is anticipated that these plans will be formally presented to Council to be placed on public exhibition. Residents unable to attend the meeting on 10 February are encouraged to submit their feedback during the public exhibition process.