The NSW Association of Caravan Clubsí 2011 State Caravan Rally Caravan rally being held in Cowra from Thursday 3 March to Sunday 6 March is an opportunity for local business and tourist operators to be part of the expected boost to the local economy. The rally will see an additional 300 people in town over that weekend and the benefits to local shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses are obvious. There are opportunities to take part in a Market Night and Trade Day at the Showground where the Rally will be based. I congratulate Joedy Lee and the Show Society for the great work theyíve done in attracting the Rally to Cowra. I urge the local community to get behind the Rally and the opportunities it presents for the Cowra community.
Our saleyards have been the scene recently of record prices for lamb sales. The national record for lamb prices was broken twice within days of each other with top price at $240 a head. These record sales are not only a boost for Cowra but also for the reputation of the saleyards themselves. As the owner and operator of the saleyards, Council together with the Saleyards Committee and the saleyard community have been working hard for some time now in making the facility one of the best in the country. The record sales are a fitting reward for all the hard work that has gone into this effort and is a testament to the quality of the livestock..
The decision by the Wyangala and District Residents Association to accept the building of a bridge linking Darbys Falls Road with Trout Farm Road follows a period of debate which saw opposition to the plan from some quarters of the community. Approaches made to Cowra and Boorowa councils, NSW State Water and the Minister for Water by those opposed to the plan were all part of the democratic process available to individuals and communities in this country. But now the wider Wyangala community has spoken and the route will go ahead.
I recently accepted a cheque for $1,700 raised from the Cowra Cares Community Concert for flood affected Australians. Concert organiser Lawrance Ryan presented me with the cheque and I took the opportunity to thank him personally and on behalf of Council and to pass on my congratulations to all those involved behind the scenes as well as the local entertainers on stage. Of course a big pat on the back goes to the local community which turned out in good numbers to support the concert with their attendance and donations. At the organiserís request the money raised will go towards both the Queensland Premierís Appeal and flood appeals in Victoria.
Not only did Council support the Cowra Cares Community Concert in kind by providing the Civic Centre venue free of charge and assistance with publicity it has also decided to provide $4,000 also to the Queensland Premierís Appeal and flood appeals in Victoria. The natural disasters we have witnessed in states around Australia over the past few months, while devastating to infrastructure and the economy, have had a much greater impact on the lives of individuals and communities hit hardest. We should also not lose sight that there are significant issues in our own area too. But such tragedies bring out the best in the Australian character of helping fellow Australians through the tough times. I thank everyone who has helped out in any way during this time.
Speaking of helping out and volunteering time and effort, I think itís a wonderful occasion for the Cowra Tennis Club to be celebrating their centenary. The Tennis Club manages a brilliant facility all through the hard work of many volunteers. Well done to all the volunteers, officer bearers and other supporters who have worked so hard over the years to provide such a well-supported recreation and sporting facility for the town.
A number of conferences have been taking attention at the moment. Cowra hosted the conference for E Division councils of the Shires Association of NSW. Issues discussed included water reform, emergency services funding, the State election in March and modernisation of local government. Motions from this meeting will be forwarded to the Local Government and Shires Association to be included on the Agenda for the Annual meeting in June. This week Councilís General Manager and I will be attending the Shires Associationís Special One Association Conference in Sydney. The purpose of this conference will be to discuss the formation of one association to represent Local Government in NSW. Also this week, but closer to home, we will be attending the monthly Centroc meeting in Harden.
Finally it is with great anticipation that Councillors all look forward to the first meeting of our newly formed Youth Council on 28 February. Eleven young people from our Shire will come together to discuss the future direction of Councilís youth programs. The signs are promising that our future is in good hands.