Mayoral Column - 14 October 2009
This yearís Cowra Spring Show was an outstanding success and is a credit to the Show Society and the many unsung people that work behind the scenes to present such an event to showcase the district and one which I was honoured to be asked to open.
The Archibald Exhibition currently showing at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery is truly a wonderful sight. Along with a large crowd I was able to attend the opening and I encourage anyone who has not yet seen the exhibit to take the opportunity to view what is a world class attraction in our Gallery.
The Peace Bell Committee was kind enough to invite me to welcome guests to the World Peace Day celebrations on 22nd September. I was particularly impressed with the standard of the offerings from some of our youth who were standout performers and should give us great confidence that the themes of peace and reconciliation that Cowra is a leader in promoting will continue to prosper into the future and that we have future leaders in promoting peace and harmony within our shire and the broader community.
I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Cowra Neighbourhood Centre as guest speaker on September 24th. The range of activities that operate out of the Centre is quite remarkable and as a community we owe a debt of gratitude to the board and those who work to sustain the essential services delivered.
Despite the inclement weather and nobody is unhappy to see rain, the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival was once again very successful. The weekend culminated with a gala dinner which was well supported by the community.
I had the pleasure of opening the NSW Department of State and Regional Developmentís Community Economic Development Forum hosted by Cowra on 29-30th September. The conference brought together numerous small business operators and entrepreneurs from across the region to share their experiences with each other and the staff from participating Councils. Congratulations to Cowra Business Officer Mike Foster firstly for winning the right to host the conference and the professional manner in which it was conducted.
Along with fellow councillors and staff I attended a few weeks ago in Parkes a meeting of councils situated on or receiving water supplies from the Lachlan River. The meeting was convened by State Water and provided information on their plans to manage dwindling water supply in Wyangala Dam. Council is acutely aware of this issue and at a meeting this week called for the urgent completion of the emergency water supply pipeline linking Cowra to the Central Tablelands system. Whilst we hope it will not be needed it is critical that Council has in place contingency plans to ensure the supply of water to the community. All going well it is expected that this line will be operational by April 2010. Further, it is Councilís thinking to take a strategic view in regard to future possible droughts and water shortages as well.
Finally, on a sad note I attended the funeral of the late Robert Wilson OAM former Mayor of Parkes. Robert was a man of enormous standing not only in the Parkes community but across the region not to mention state and federal political circles and his presence will be sorely missed however his contribution will not be forgotten. I offer my condolences and that of our shire to his family and the Parkes community.