Published on 09 February 2023
Elected representatives of the community, Councillors, come together to represent the views of the community and make strategic decisions on behalf of the community.
They are responsible for ensuring the Council operates in accordance with legislation, is financially responsible and delivering to the needs of the community within the means of the budget.
They meet regularly to make determinations on matters that impact on you and your community.
Following each meeting we provide a snapshot of the decisions that are made and the information that is tabled.
For a full outline of the meeting and the discussion points, please refer to the agenda and business papers, or listen to a recording of the meeting – that can be found here.
For full details of all reports please see the agenda for the meeting which can be found here.
Decisions of interest
Support for cease to log calls for the Bulga Forest
Councillors unanimously supported a notice of motion to advocate to NSW Forestry and National Parks for a cease to logging in compartments 41 and 43 of the Bulga Forest and transition these compartments to National Parks, and advocate to the NSW Government to develop a plan for the transition of Forestry’s native forest sector to ecologically sustainable plantations.
Council will now make representations to a range of Members of Parliament, State Ministers and Shadow Ministers. Council notes the concerns of many MidCoast residents for better management of State Forests to support nature-based tourism, recreation, threatened species habitat protection and carbon sequestration.
MidCoast advocacy plan
Councillors endorsed a list of projects they wish Council to advocate on, and this will form the basis of a Council Advocacy Plan.
This targeted advocacy plan will assist Council to ensure Government funding is directed to projects which are both Council and community priorities and is used in correspondence and discussions with State and Federal MPs, Ministers, Shadow Ministers and candidates as they arise.
This list included the transfer of priority regional roads to State roads, upgrading of local roads to regional road status, the transfer to the State (for maintenance funding) of a number of regional roads, a list of road and drainage projects, beautification and upgrade of a number of parks, beaches, pools, cycleways and sporting amenities, sewer projects and our business transformation program along with others.
The plan will also indicate our advocacy for improvements to regional health services, housing options for the community, improved telecommunications and utilities and funding for mobility networks.
Community Conversations program
A report provided an update on the most recent Community Conversations program, held during September-November 2022 in 15 locations and attracting 459 participants. A revised format, which included presentations from each of the Directors focusing on the items of interest to the particular community, was well received by those who attended.
It is planned to deliver the program again during 2023 and the next program timetable is currently being developed.
Trial film screening
The Taree Film Society will have a trial film screening in the new Beryl Jane Flett studio at the MEC during March at no cost.
This will provide Council with the opportunity to assess not only the resourcing required to screen films at the studio, but also the best method for ticket sales. Having a good understanding of both will play an important role in administering the current fees and charges and setting new fees and charges for 2023-24.
Wellness Centre approval
Approval was provided for alterations and additions to the heritagelisted former Manning River Times building in Manning Street, Taree. It is proposed the site will include a ‘wellness centre’, including individual treatment rooms, occupy the site, along with a retail space, event space and café.
2024 Local Government elections
Council will enter into a contract with the NSW Electoral Commissioner to run the 2024 Local Government election.
Council allocates $225,000 in each year’s budget to cover the election costs. The cost of conducting the 2021 election was $706,891.
The meeting also adopted an Election Candidate Campaign Signage Policy following a public exhibition period.
This policy ensures election candidate campaign signage is managed in accordance with legislative requirements, public expectations and in a consistent manner.