Dungog Shire Council Meeting Highlights: 20 October 2021

DUNGOG SHIRE COUNCIL MEETING - Wednesday 20 October 2021, 6pm 

Dungog Shire Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month from February – December. 

Meetings are livestreamed via council’s Facebook page and meeting agendas and minutes can be found on council’s website. 

Please find following a selection of highlights from this month’s meeting: 

 

12.2 DUNGOG LIBRARY ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS - DESIGN AND FUNDING APPROVAL

Dungog Shire Council has endorsed updated Concept Design B for alterations and additions to the Dungog Library. As this design involves removal of the existing public amenities, council has also approved additional funding for a new amenities facility in the Bruyn Park/Jubilee Park precinct, with an exact location to be determined following further community consultation.

Funding for these improved amenities consists of a $75,000 Hunter Water grant and $55,000 from Round 3 of the Australian Government’s Local Roads & Community Infrastructure (LRCI) funding.

The Dungog Library project aims to expand and modernise the existing library facility to provide a broader range of services and programs, creating a contemporary library hub. The project is funded by a $500,000 NSW State Library Public Library Infrastructure Grant, $330,000 LRCI Round 2 funding and a $250,000 council contribution.

It is important to note that the parameters of the original NSW State Library grant stipulate the existing available floor space for the facility must be retained and the design has been developed within these parameters.


12.3 $25M SPECIAL PURPOSE GRANT - DRAFT PROGRAM

As a result of Dungog Shire Council’s extensive lobbying during this year’s Upper Hunter by-election, council received a $25M Special Purpose Grant from the NSW Government to improve the condition of the shire’s local road network.

Council has adopted a draft program of rehabilitation works across its local rural, regional and urban road network under this funding, and will now present this to Transport for NSW for review and approval.

As little detail has been provided regarding the split of grant funding, council has been working with Transport for NSW to develop criteria for the distribution of funds across its road network.

The draft program for SPG funding road rehabilitation works includes:

Draft regional local roads program

Draft rural local roads program

Draft urban local roads program

Total draft program cost = $25,001,750.
 

12.1 WORKS PROGRESS REPORT

During September 2021, Dungog Shire Council undertook significant road and infrastructure construction and maintenance works across the shire. These include:

Road and Bridge Construction

  • Safety barrier upgrade works undertaken at Stroud Hill Road. These works are one out of three sites funded by $1.79M from the NSW Government’s Road Safety program to help create safer roads in the shire.
     
  • Paterson River Road and Salisbury Road - Drainage and pavement works undertaken. These works are funded by council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV).
     
  • Flat Tops Road - Drainage works undertaken. These works are also funded by council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV).
     
  • Archinals Bridge - Side track pre-construction works ongoing, in preparation for the Archinals Bridge replacement, the first of 23 bridge replacements scheduled across the shire under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program.

Building and Other Construction Works

  • Clarence Town Sporting Facility – Drainage and carpark construction works on this $2M sporting and recreational asset are nearing completion.

Funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), the facility provides new change rooms, amenities, kiosks, referee facilities and first aid rooms for use by local sporting teams and community user groups.

  • Coronation Park – This $108,000 playground upgrade including the installation of new play equipment, fencing, paths and shade sails, is continuing. These works are largely funded by the Australian Government’s Local Road and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program.

Sealed and unsealed road maintenance including patching, grading, gravel sheeting and drainage works were also undertaken on roads across the shire. These works are in addition to the regular maintenance, repair, slashing and mowing carried out across all council facilities.

We ask all residents and road users to please take extra care when traveling in works and construction zones by adhering to the changed traffic conditions.


14.1 DELIVERY PROGRAM - QUARTERLY UPDATE

Dungog Shire Council has received its quarterly progress report on Council’s Delivery Program for the period 1 April 2021 -- 30 June 2021. Council has noted the significant volume of works completed and commenced during this period. Highlights include:

  • Successfully advocating for $25M in much-needed road funding through the development of council’s Advocacy Agenda and Critical Infrastructure Priorities List, during the Upper Hunter By-election.
     
  • Effectively supporting one of the shire’s most significant regional and tourism assets, Dungog Common, by working with multiple government and community stakeholders.
     
  • Restructuring council’s Operational Plan to enable $31.5M worth of funded capital works to take place in Dungog Shire in 2021-22.
     
  • Facilitating endorsement of Dungog Regional Tourism’s Destination Management Plan to grow tourism, economic development and regional prosperity.
     
  • Undertaking Organisational and Planning Service Reviews to establish a framework of continuous internal improvement to meet or exceed community expectations.
     
  • Completion of several notable infrastructure projects including Coulston, Spooner, Summer Hill and Tillegra bridges, construction of a new amenities facility at Williams River Holiday Park, lighting works at Dungog Showground, Reg Ford Oval and Clarence Town Reserve, construction of Dungog Netball Courts including lighting, commencement of the $2M Clarence Town Sporting Facility, various park and playground upgrades, and multiple road reconstruction projects.
     
  • Completion and adoption of Council’s Annual Financial Budget 2021-2022, undertaking a major upgrade of council’s core IT infrastructure and network design, and council’s investment portfolio strongly outperforming the bank bill index for the quarter by .56%.
     
  • Completion and adoption of the Dungog Shire Flying Fox Management Plan and completion of a comprehensive Kerbside Waste Audit in preparation for review of the Dungog Waste Strategy.
     
  • Completion of the Micromex Customer Satisfaction Survey and commencement of the independent Planning Service Review, ongoing service improvements to facilitate e-planning, and assessment of the modified State Significant Development Application for Martins Creek Quarry.

For a full list of quarterly highlights view council’s October Meeting Agenda.


14.2 SCULPTURE ON THE FARM - ACQUISITIVE PRIZE 2021

Sculpture on the Farm’s Acquisitive Prize for 2021 to be donated to Dungog Shire Council is ‘Kelpie’ by Jimmy Rix.

Council congratulates the artist on this successful submission and thanks SOTF for this generous donation. Council also expresses its appreciation to former Maitland Regional Art Gallery Director, Ms Brigette Uren, for volunteering her leadership and valuable artistic and technical expertise to council’s selection panel.

Kelpie will be located in the blister hedging outside the Visitors Information Centre, at the corner of Brown and Dowling Streets, Dungog. The sculpture will be arranged on a sandstone plinth at hedge height to give the impression the sculpture is sitting on the hedge itself. Kelpie is a playful and inviting piece, which will create interest and enjoyment across all age groups.

This year, SOTF moved to an online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details and images can be found on the Sculpture on the Farm website.


14.3 LORD'S PILLAR CROWN ROAD

A 25km section of Crown Road on top of Williams Range, also known as Lord’s Pillar, presents a unique opportunity for Dungog Shire to better connect its communities to the Barrington Tops.

Dungog Shire Council has resolved to provide a letter of support for the development of this multi-use trail project by Ride Dungog and also support their License of Occupation to occur directly with Crown Lands, rather than this trail becoming a council asset.

Council is supportive of the development of this asset to the benefit of all users, visitors and shire stakeholders, but needs to focus its expenditure and resources on the maintenance of its existing assets.

 

14.9 ROAD CLASSIFICATION REVIEW AND TRANSFER OF REGIONAL ROADS - NSW GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PRIORITY ROUND RECOMMENDATIONS

Following the disappointing news that Dungog Shire Council was unsuccessful in having any of its regional roads transferred to the NSW Government in the Road Reclassification Review’s Priority Round, council has resolved to take further action on this front.

This news was especially disappointing given that Dungog Shire was advised as a ‘priority application’, being the only local government area in NSW not to have any of its 700km+ road network without any state-managed roads. This impacts significantly on council’s ability to fund and maintain this extensive road network, particularly given its comparatively small ratepayer base.

Dungog Shire will now work with adjoining councils to resubmit applications for consideration in the full round of the NSW Government’s Road Classification Review: Regional Roads.

To support these applications, council will submit further data, as well as highlight its strong support to enter into Road Maintenance Council Contract arrangements with the NSW Government for reclassified state roads.

Council will also urgently write to Member for Upper Hunter, David Layzell MP, seeking his written support for council’s road classification applications and reconfirming the previous local member’s election commitment on this issue.

 

15.1 NOTICE OF MOTION - DRAFT RURAL LANDS STRATEGY

Councillor Digby Rayward has successfully moved a Notice of Motion to have three current rezoning applications for Clarence Town sites: Fords Road, Woerdens Road and Clarence Town Road, proceed through their respective assessment stages, without having to wait for a determination of the Rural Lands Strategy.

This has been done largely to avoid any lengthy delays to these applications, which will all need to demonstrate strategic merit to proceed past the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Gateway Determination process.

In response to community feedback, council has previously resolved to further extend the public exhibition period for the draft Rural Lands Strategy until 31 March 2022. Further details can be found on council's website.

 

CLOSED COUNCIL

18.1 TENDER 08/2021 CLARENCE TOWN ROAD SEGMENT 2

The $716,874 tender for the Reconstruction of Clarence Town Road Segment 2 (1.63km to 2.40km North of Wallarobba Brookfield Road), has been awarded to Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd.

The $25M Clarence Town Road – Raymond Terrace to Dungog project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $20M, and the NSW Government committing $5M.

The project will deliver upgrades to 22 sections of the road, improving road safety and access for all road users, and is being delivered by Dungog Shire Council and Port Stephens Council.

 

18.3 TENDER 12/2021 - PURCHASE OF NEW WATERCART

Dungog Shire Council has accepted the tender from Gilbert and Roach (Newcastle), for the supply and delivery of one 2022 Isuzu FXZ 240-350 MWB Auto Watercart, inclusive of a Poly Water Tank.

This is council’s second water cart and while efficiently managing water use on construction projects, this purchase highlights the large volume of major infrastructure upgrades currently occurring across the shire, to warrant the use of two such vehicles.