HAVE YOUR SAY ON DUNGOG’S FUTURE
Following endorsement at this week’s council meeting, the draft Policy Directions Paper, prepared by consultants GHD as part of the Rural Lands Strategy, is now on public exhibition for a period of 28 days.
The Rural Lands Strategy has widespread community impacts, as it will serve to underpin the shire’s upcoming review of the Local Environmental Plan (LEP), which is the primary planning document used to guide land use and inform all planning decisions.
The draft Policy Directions Paper will be on public exhibition from 16 July – 12 August. Residents are encouraged to make written submissions during this time via firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 4995 7777 for postal details.
Find out more at dungog.nsw.gov.au/rural-land-strategy
COUNCILLORS SAY NO TO PAY RISE
Councillors at Dungog Shire Council have voted not to increase Mayoral and Councillor fees for the new financial year, in accordance with advice handed down from the Local Government Remuneration Tribunals.
The Tribunal is required to determine the remuneration categories of councils and mayoral offices at least once every three years under section 239 of the Local Government Act 1993. The Tribunal last undertook a significant review of the categories in 2017 and has undertaken a review as part of its 2020 determination.
Several councils were reclassified to meet new criteria resulting from the review, with Dungog Shire classified as a Rural Council.
FIXING LOCAL ROADS
Following the recent announcement that Dungog was one of 83 regional councils successful in receiving funding under the NSW Government’s Fixing Local Roads program, council has approved budget modifications to contribute an additional 25% to each of the eligible projects.
Under the program, council was successful in receiving funding for local rehabilitation projects including:
1. Paterson River Road north of Coulston Bridge Stage 1 ($1.65M)
2. Summer Hill Road west of Bruxner Bridge Stage 1 ($1.257M)
3. Salisbury Road north of Underbank Stage 1 ($1.568M)
With council contributing $1.5M, this provides a total spend of $6M for these critical local roads.
Council has further granted additional funding of $132,650 to the Lord Street rehabilitation, allocating over $366,000 in total to this priority project.
POTENTIAL CLEAN ENERGY PARTNERSHIP
As an active member of the Hunter Joint Organisation (Hunter JO), council is considering participation in the Cities Power Partnership -- Australia’s largest local government climate network, made up of 123 councils from across the country and representing almost 11 million Australians.
The Partnership provides resources to councils and communities to transform their energy usage and encourages pledges in areas including renewable energy, efficiency, transport and partnerships to tackle climate change.
Membership is aimed at benefiting the wider community through addressing the impacts of climate change through councils’ energy usage activities.
Dungog would be joining other neighbouring councils including Upper Hunter Shire, City of Newcastle, Muswellbrook, Mid-Coast and Central Coast in membership to the Partnership to prioritise clean energy.
POLICY FOR ENCROACHMENTS ON COUNCIL ROAD RESERVES
Council has endorsed the public exhibition of its draft policy for Managing Encroachments on Council Road Reserves for a period of 28 days.
The draft policy maintains that encroachments will be managed to ensure there is no loss of public amenity or safety, any future plans for road realignment or footpaths are not compromised, and that stormwater drainage is not impeded.
Encroachments will be evaluated for removal or possible retention according to their impact on community interest. Any proposed retention will require the encroaching owner to enter into a suitable formal agreement for continued occupation. Residents are invited to make submissions via: email@example.com