Mayoral Column - 28 April 2010
Welcome back from the Easter holiday, I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable break. Council has settled back, commencing work on the draft Management Plan and Budget for 2010/11. We currently anticipate that the draft document will be on public exhibition in mid to late May. I would encourage individuals and community groups to read the document and make comment, not only on the budget for the 10/11 year, but also on the projected budget for the coming financial years. It is important that we have a responsible budget and management plan for the current year but also that we look to the future and plan ahead to ensure appropriate funding is allocated and funding is sought from other sources if required.
I am pleased to again acknowledge the support and assistance of the Hon David Campbell, Minister for Transport and Roads and the Rail Infrastructure Corporation (RIC) in securing an acceptable licence fee for the rail corridor from Holmwood to Woodstock. This was necessary to allow work to proceed on the Emergency Water Supply pipeline between Cowra and Central Tablelands Water. The swift conclusion to the licence fee issue has enabled the project to proceed without delay. Residents would probably be aware that the piping has now been laid out and Council expects the trencher to commence work in the very near future. Moving forward with this important project will allow water to be transferred between Cowra Council and Central Tablelands Water in emergency water situations.
Council was delighted to host an afternoon tea for members of the Youth Committee during Youth Week in Cowra from 10 to 18 April. It was an enjoyable afternoon and I believe those in attendance had an opportunity to learn a great deal about Council processes, lobbying and local government in general. I would also like to congratulate those students who participated in the Youth Week photographic competition. The incredible photos are currently being displayed in the foyer of the Customer Service Centre and I urge all residents to stop by and have a look. Congratulations to Jamie Hibberson, the winner of the Homegrown Music Festival, who along with Jordan Core was extremely impressive at the High School Anzac Day ceremony last Friday. I would also like to congratulate runner up, To Be Decided and Reece Downing who took out third place. It was pleasing this year to partner with the Cowra Health Club on the Sportsperson Challenge. The challenge was a great success and congratulations are due to all participants. We have a wonderful young community in Cowra and a wealth of talent. It perhaps is important we recognise this throughout the remainder of the year and not just during youth week.
Councillors and senior staff have recently been busy with visits to each of the Shire’s villages, having attended Greenethorpe and Wyangala most recently. The final meeting in our 2009/10 Community Meeting Program will be held tonight in the Morongla Hall from 6pm. Residents of Morongla and surrounds are welcome to attend and raise any issues with Councillors and senior staff.
Anzac Day is an opportunity for the nation to reflect on the contribution our servicemen and women have made and continue to make to our community. As Churchill said during WWII, never have so many owed so much to so few. This is no less true today than it was when he said it. This ANZAC Day, it is also important that we remember to acknowledge the contribution of those currently serving. From Council perspective, it is pleasing to see the community gain a greater appreciation for the contribution of those who made the supreme sacrifice and those who did and still put their lives in danger. The wonderful way of life we enjoy in Australia can be credited to the bravery and sacrifice of our troops.