John Medcalf

Council Dumps Tip Fees for domestic waste

Council resolved to scrap tip fees for domestic waste for a 6 month trial starting July.

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire residents will no longer have to pay tip fees for domestic waste from 1st  July.
Lachlan Shire Council will waive tip fees for residential users at the gate for all tips for a six-month trial period. Commercial fees will still apply.
The decision follows a motion put forth by Councillor Melissa Rees at the May Council meeting. It was seconded by Councillor Peter Harris, and unanimously supported by all other Councillors.
“A trial period of six months has been determined to assess if the community will work with Council to improve recycling, show correct waste disposal behaviour in designated areas and keep the tip areas clean and tidy,” Lachlan Shire Mayor, John Medcalf explained.
“Lachlan Shire Council recognises the importance of providing effective waste service in delivering positive public health, environmental and economic outcomes for the community.”
Tip fees still apply to commercial/industrial/agricultural waste. This includes waste collection contractors, commercial volumes of waste; for example, a demolished house or large volumes like agricultural waste or grain tarps.
Domestic waste is defined as waste that is generated as a result of ordinary day-to-day use of a domestic premise and either: 1. Taken from the premises by, or on behalf of, the person who generated the waste; or; 2. Collected by, or on behalf of, a local government as part of a waste collection and disposal system.
Commercial Waste is generated by businesses, industries, schools, hospitals, other institutions and government offices.
“We are seeking community support to prevent rubbish and litter dumping and help Council to maintain our landfill areas in a clean and tidy condition,” Mr Medcalf concluded.

New Highway Service Centre proposed

Lachlan Shire calls for expressions of interest for a new Highway Service Centre on the Gipps Way just out of Condobolin.

Media Release
Lachlan Shire Council’s announcement last week that it is calling Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a 24 hour Fuel Service Centre at Condobolin has largely been welcomed by the community.
The EOI is for the construction of a 24 hour Fuel Service Centre on The Gipps Way catering for large trucks.
The area will be known as a Tourism Precinct with a visitor information centre and cafeteria and will also be the site of the popular “Utes in the Paddock” outdoor gallery as well as the National Jockeys Memorial.
Lachlan Shire Council Mayor, John Medcalf, said while there have been some detractors the response to the precinct has been largely very positive.
“Council is working hard in its economic development efforts and it’s through projects such as these that we will be able to increase the number of people coming to Condobolin which in turn will have a flow on effect to our local businesses and our local economy,” he explained.
“It’s important also to make sure our approach roads look good and our main street looks attractive as the improvement of the main street of a country town can be a cost effective way of encouraging economic development.
“Our aim is to attract people here and provide them with a pleasant stay even if it’s only for a couple of hours or a few days. If they have a good experience they will tell others who will come here and so on.
“During the past week I’ve had some enquiries that the 24 Hour Service Centre will be bad for local businesses and why are we doing work on this and the main street instead of on our roads.
“I hope some of the queries people might have will be answered with the following questions and answers.” See below.

Answering questions on the proposed highway service station for Condobolin
How will the 24 hour Fuel Service Centre affect local businesses?
While another fuel service station and cafeteria may affect businesses already supplying these services the entire tourism precinct is expected to attract many more visitors to the Shire which will have a flow-on effect for existing businesses. The entire shire will benefit by having a dedicated visitor information centre located with the cafeteria which will provide information about other attractions in the shire.
Are local businesses invited/encouraged to apply to the EOI tender?
Yes local Fuel service stations have been provided with a copy of the EOI and are encouraged to consider applying. The cafeteria is proposed to be leased to a private operator and locals can apply to operate that part of the business.
Where can the expression of interested documents be found?
Copies can be obtained from Council or the Tenderlink website www.tenderlink.com/lachlan
Where is the Tourism Precinct proposed to be located?
The site is opposite the South Forbes road as it intersects with the Gipps Way and is some 25 acres in area.
Who is paying for the service centre/ tourism precinct?
The 24 hour Fuel Service Centre will be fully funded by the successful tenderer. Council will be using grant funds and ratepayers’ funds to relocate the utes and construct the new National Jockeys Memorial.
Why isn’t the money proposed for this development being used to upgrade existing roads?
Council has a dedicated roads budget along with budgets for many other services provided by Council. The tourism budget will pay for the tourist attractions. Roads leading to the Tourism Precinct are currently being assessed and estimates provided to upgrade The Gipps Way, The Murie, etc to ensure they are passable in future flood events.
What happened to the funding received for the 2016 floods and why have the roads not been fixed?
Council obtains Federal and State road grants which must be spent by June 30th otherwise Council has to give them back. The flood grants have to be spent within 18 months so Council is focusing on completing the current roads program which was delayed significantly due to the flooding. Flood money will be spent in the second half of this year and next year.
Wouldn’t the money be better spent on improving existing businesses in town?
The money for the service station will be privately funded. The tourist attractions are needed to promote Condobolin and increase economic development in the Shire. Council is fortunate to receive the Utes in the Paddock which is already an iconic attraction.
Has flooding around the area of the proposed site been considered?
Yes it will be part of a detailed development application process. The ground level for buildings will be built up above flood levels and fuel tanks will be installed above ground.
What will it do for employment in the local region?
The service station will create jobs along with the cafeteria. The Visitor Information Centre will also require staffing. The total attraction is expected to increase employment in the shire due to the benefits of increased numbers of tourists spending locally.
Why isn’t the Council trying to get a store to replace Country Target?
Council has made enquiries with a number of stores selling similar products to the former Country Target Store. Unfortunately all have minimum population catchment areas of 7,500 or greater and will not open a store here. Council is continuing its enquiries and will be calling for Expressions of Interest from interested retailers in the near future.

 

Medcalf is CENTROC Chair

• Former Centroc chair Bill West, newly elected chair Cr John Medcalf and parliamentary secretary for Western NSW the Honourable Rick Colless. Cont

By Melissa Blewitt

 

Lachlan Shire Mayor, John Medcalf, has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Central Organisation of Councils (Centroc).

The announcement was made as Centroc met in Sydney with NSW Government representatives last week.

Cr Medcalf believes he has taken on the role at an exciting time for local government.

He has been an elected member of Lachlan Shire for 26 years, has been acting in the role of Centroc chair since February and will serve as chair until the regular elections in November.

Bathurst Council general manager David Shirley continues as the organisation’s secretary.

Cr Medcalf is looking forward to the months ahead.

“It’s an exciting time,” he said.

“The State Government is telling us there’s buckets of money for regional Australia. The NSW Budget is coming up soon and they indicated to us that regional Australia would be very happy with it.”

Water and inland rail were also high on the agenda, for Mr Medcalf and Centroc.

“The inland rail announcement is a game-changer for the central west,” he explained.

 

Condobolin Retirement Village taking new residents

Consultant Patrick Herd, Lachlan Shire General Manager Robert Hunt, RSL LifeCare Deputy Chief Executive Carolyn Kwok and Mayor John Medcalf. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

The Condobolin Retirement Village will take new residents during the transition phase between RSL LifeCare, Whiddon and Lachlan Shire Council (LSC).

RSL LifeCare Deputy Chief Executive Carolyn Kwok gave assurances that the organisation would be taking new residents at the facility at two public meetings held last Tuesday.

She also said RSL LifeCare along with Whiddon, would facilitate a plan to help local families, who had to source appropriate care for their loved ones in another location during the negotiation process, to find a place in the Condobolin Retirement Village, if that is what they wanted.

Consultant Patrick Herd gave an overview of what had led to this point and what stage the process was up to now.

“After the community meeting in May, the Council then launched a formal expressions of interest process,” he stated.

“We then contacted over 20 aged care organisations in and around the NSW region. Seven organisations showed interest and some visited the site for inspection.

“From that two lodged formal expressions of interest and LSC voted to accept the proposal from RSL LifeCare.”

Ms Kwok said RSL LifeCare had 27 nursing homes throughout the state and the ACT.

“We look after around 3,500 people and the majority of those are in country NSW,” she said.

“Our smallest facility is in Eden (27 beds) and our biggest is Narrabeen (800 beds).

“We are committed to being part of the Condobolin community. We have a policy of dealing locally if at all possible.

“Not much will change at Condobolin as all contracts between residents and the Whiddon Group will transfer over to us. Visiting doctors will also remain the same.”

Retention of staff was a more complicated matter, as LSC and Whiddon had to resolve their issues before contracts could be moved across to RSL LifeCare.  “We all want what is in the best interest of the community,” Ms Kwok said.

Valmai rewarded for her excellent efforts

Top. Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf, Valmai Coe, State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries and Condobolin High School’s Matt Heffernan; BOTTOM LEFT: Valmai Coe (centre) with her grandmother Sandra Ritchie and her mother Isabel Coe; BOTTOM RIGHT: Valmai Coe with her tutor Amy Jacometti. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

 

Condobolin’s Valmai Coe has been announced as the inaugural 2016 Aboriginal Student of the Year for Barwon.

The Aboriginal Student of the Year is a new annual award recognising young people who demonstrate leadership within their school and local community.

Valmai’s mother, Isabel Coe, said her daughter was determined to lead by example at school and in the community.

“We are just so proud of her,” she said. “She has done so well and worked really hard for her success.”

State Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, presented the award to Valmai at a special presentation at Condobolin High School last Wednesday.

“I was pleased to nominate Valmai and thrilled when she received this award,” he said.

“Valmai is a wonderful representative for both indigenous and non-indigenous youth in the Barwon Electorate.

“By volunteering her time to those around her she quietly promotes cohesion and leads by example.

“Students like Valmai are the leaders of tomorrow and it makes me very happy to see such encouraging young adults coming through.”

As recognition of her achievements, Mr Humphries presented Valmai with a certificate and a gift voucher. He also invited her to attend the Emerging Leaders Forum in Sydney in August, where she will meet with Aboriginal, business and Government leaders.

Condobolin Retirement Village lease in jeopardy

Commercial in-confidence material used as a political point scoring exercise.

 

By Melissa Blewitt

Negotiations between Whiddon Homes and Lachlan Shire Council for the extension of a two-year lease are in jeopardy, following an article published in a local newspaper.

It was resolved at an Extra Ordinary meeting on 23 March, during a confidential closed session, that Council grant a two-year extension of the current agreement with Whiddon Homes, and that the Mayor and General Manager be delegated authority to sign the extension agreement.

Councillors Ridley, Frankel, Medcalf, Manwaring and Nelson voted for the resolution and Councillors Phillips, Scott, Brady and Saunders against.

An article printed on the front page of The Lachlander, last Friday, contained commercial in confidence material that unfortunately has “been used as an apparent political point scoring exercise,” according to LSC Mayor John Medcalf.

“I am very concerned with the unnecessary angst that the article has placed on residents, their families and staff at the Condobolin Retirement Village and on our negotiations with Whiddon Homes for a two-year Management Agreement extension,” he said.

“I want to assure staff, residents and their families of Council’s commitment to continuing the provision of this service. Council has great confidence in Whiddon Homes and the good service they are providing the community.

“It is unfortunate that this story involving our aged, frail and most vulnerable members within our community, has been used as an apparent political point scoring exercise by Councillors Scott, Brady, Saunders and Phillips.

“This is not the way Council does business. We are still in negotiations with Whiddon and I hope that this hasn’t harmed the good relationship between Council and Whiddon Homes.”

On the same day, another article was published, in relation to Council providing space for Rural and Remote Medical Services (RaRMS) to open a medical practice.

At the Extraordinary Meeting on 23 March during a confidential closed session, it was resolved that Council agree to lease rooms within the Condobolin District Retirement Village to RaRMS for a two year period.

Any modifications to the rooms would be undertaken at the expense of RaRMS, and would be subject to Council approval. A market rental would also be charged as determined by an independent qualified valuer.

Again Councillors Ridley, Frankel, Medcalf, Manwaring and Nelson voted for the resolution and Councillors Phillips, Scott, Brady and Saunders against.

“I am also concerned with this article published regarding negotiations for a lease of three rooms in the Retirement Village for a new medical centre to be operated by RaRMS, when these negotiations were still not complete and were confidential,” Mr Medcalf said.

“This medical centre would be an additional service to Ochre Health which operates out of the Council owned Melrose Street Medical Centre.

“Council is very appreciative and pleased with the services provided by Ochre Health and had nothing to do with it losing a tender to RaRMS for the provision of Visiting Medical Officers to the hospital. NSW Health is responsible for awarding VMO rights not Council.”

“I fail to see why anyone would not want additional General Practitioners in Condobolin and especially at the Retirement Village where residents have the greatest need for quick access to medical professionals.”

“Council have acted fairly to both medical organisations and only want the best and optimum medical services for the community.

“I sincerely hope that the article has not harmed our negotiations with RaRMS.”

Rates to rise with special variation

• Rate comparison for 2015/16. Cont

Rates in the Lachlan Shire look set to rise after Council began the community consultative process last week. Three community meetings were held in Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham. The Council outlined their application for a special rate variation, which will be put to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) by the end of this month. Council is seeking a 32.31 per cent rate rise over the next four years, which would see around $1 million returned to the bottom line. The rate increase is seen as an imperative part of Council’s bid to ‘stand alone’.

By Melissa Blewitt

Rates will rise in the Lachlan Shire if an application for a special variation is approved by the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART).

A proposed 32.31 per cent rate increase over four years will see Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) attempt to meet several financial, infrastructure and efficiency targets.

According to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt for LSC to become ‘Fit for the Future’ hard decisions had to be made.

“Following a thorough review of our operations, we reduced expenditure, cut staff, raised some user fees and charges, looked at increasing productivity, borrowed money, reviewed service levels and proposed a rate increase of 32.31 per cent to be staged over four years,” he said.

“LSC then met all the targets with the exception of scale and capacity which IPART stated was due to our population being under 10,000, however the Government believes some Councils do have scale and capacity and LSC is awaiting advice on this.”

LSC has twice previously engaged Micromex Pty Ltd to independently survey 250 community members on whether they would support a 33 per cent rate increase to enable LSC to be financially fit for the future and the majority of those surveyed indicated they would support a rate increase, Mr Hunt added.

“LSC is now making an application to IPART to approve a 32.31% increase over 4 years and part of that application process is to ensure the community is aware of the proposed rate increase and its financial impacts on residents,” he said.

“Of the 32.31 per cent increase, 9.31 per cent is represented by rate peg increases which would normally be payable over the four year period. LSC is basically seeking a five per cent per annum increase above the rate peg increase in each of the four years and this increase is to remain permanent.

“The usual rate peg increases will then resume in 2020/21.”

This means the cumulative impact on average residential rates at the end of the four year period will be $2.80 per week or $145 per annum.

For Non Urban Residential Rates it will be a cumulative increase of $3.54 per week or $184 per annum.

Businesses will be looking at $3.20 per week extra, or $166 per annum.

Farmland rates will increase $16.63 per week or $865 per annum.

Mr Hunt said the additional rate income would help LSC in maintaining council assets.

“LSC will allocate the additional rate income to increasing maintenance of council assets such as buildings and roads and renewal of infrastructure,” he said.

“This will ensure we attain and continue to meet the Government’s performance targets in relation to the level of maintenance and asset renewal.”

“Council also has a hardship policy should any ratepayer find it difficult to pay their rates and residents should contact Council’s Chief financial Officer Mr John Chapman for a confidential discussion” he added.

LSC met with interested community members at a series of public meetings at Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham.

 

Festive Fiesta

An estimated $20,000 was injected into the Condobolin economy as a result of the Lachlan Christmas Fiesta.

Sean Ritchie and Alicia Davis with their daughter Sophie Ritchie with Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf at the official turning on of the Community Christmas Tree lights in Renown Park. Sophie had the honour of turning on the lights last Friday night. MB

Lachlan Shire Council Tourism Officer Amy Strudwick and LSC Director Community Services and Governance Gordon Thompson along with Jaren, Rubie and Arabella took their chance to have a photograph with Santa at the Fiesta. MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Melissa Blewitt

An estimated $20,000 was injected into the Condobolin economy as a result of the Lachlan Christmas Fiesta.

The event, held last Friday night, attracted a large crowd, who took advantage of late night shopping and the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

Young Condobolin resident Sophie Ritchie had the honour of turning on the Community Christmas Tree lights in Renown Park, which was followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

The Fiesta was held over a four hour period in Bathurst Street, to encourage locals to shop locally for Christmas and provided a wonderful opportunity for local retailers to showcase their product range.

To encourage shopping local, a passport incentive was implemented where shoppers received a stamp for every $10 spent at participating stores. When five stamps were collected, the passport was submitted to the barrel and great prizes were up for grabs every hour during the Fiesta with over $3,000 worth of prizes donated by local businesses.

Lachlan Shire Council Mayor, Councillor John Medcalf, said the Fiesta was a great success.

“Congratulations to all involved in the 2015 Lachlan Christmas Fiesta. It was a great evening out for family and friends and it really emphasised the importance of shopping local,” he said.

“Condobolin is a strong community, like all of the communities in the Shire, and the benefits of shopping local cannot be stressed enough if we are to maintain our business communities and local jobs,” he added.

Committed to Lachlan-Staff forego $2 million in benefits to ‘Keep Lachlan Local’

Robert Hunt, General Manager of Lachlan Shire, is committed to keeping Lachlan Shire from amalgamation.

Lachlan shire Mayor, John Medcalf,  is standing up for the Lachlan Shire to ‘stand alone’ into the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council staff have chosen to forego $2 million in benefits in a bid to keep Lachlan local.

Employees agreed to forego a significant benefit in their Enterprise Agreement, worth $2 million over eight years, in a final attempt to demonstrate to the State Government that the Lachlan Shire should stand alone.

In the recent Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) report LSC was deemed not “fit for the future” due to scale and capacity as it has a projected population of less than 10,000.

This is despite LSC meeting the various other financial, infrastructure and efficiency criteria.

The Report also questioned Council’s ability to provide cost effective services with such a small population.

“Council staff should be congratulated on making this decision to ensure LSC does provide cost effective services and to enable additional funding from these savings to be allocated to new infrastructure for the benefit of the community,” Mayor John Medcalf said.

“Staff have supported this reduction in working conditions knowing that in a recent independent community survey over 68 per cent of the community supported a 33 per cent rate rise over four years, commencing next financial year.

“This clearly demonstrates to the NSW Minister for Local Government the commitment and dedication that local people have to keeping “Lachlan Local” and not merging with another council area.

“LSC should not be compared to city or regional centres. We are a rural and remote Local Government area servicing a highly productive agricultural region and providing services to our communities above and beyond what is usually expected of a council, including maintenance of the largest road network of any council in NSW, a mobile long day care service to remote villages, medical centre facilities, a retirement village/nursing home, indoor sports centre and home and community care services.

“Council provides these services as this is what our locals require to ensure their needs, or the needs of their family, are met.”

Council will formulate a response to the IPART report findings and submit that response to the Office of Local Government on Wednesday, 18 November. LSC expects a final decision from the NSW State Government before Christmas.

Amalgamation an “insult” to Lachlan Shire

Forcing Lachlan Shire Council to amalgamate is an “insult” according to State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.

• State Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries told the Argus, a forced amalgamation would be an “insult” to Lachlan Shire Council. He is pictured here with LSC Deputy Mayor Des Manwaring on a visit to Condobolin earlier this year. More on the KEEP LACHLAN LOCAL campaign on page 7.

By Melissa Blewitt

Forcing Lachlan Shire Council to amalgamate is an “insult” according to State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.

“Forcing Lachlan Shire Council based on this (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal‘s Fit for the Future) report is an absolute insult to them,” he said.

“Out of all the councils in my electorate, Lachlan is one of the best. Lachlan Shire Council is doing a good job, and they have the right to fight for their community.

“Lachlan Shire does not support amalgamation and neither do I. I will not be supporting any forced amalgamation within my electorate.

“Lachlan Shire Council wants to stand alone and I fully support that decision. I will fight for Lachlan’s right to stand alone.

“It’s a case of why bother, if no economic case has been made for amalgamations and certainly no advantages of the decision explained to communities.

“My position is that I support Lachlan Shire and I will not support any forced amalgamations, and I will be taking my concerns to the Minster for Local Government Paul Toole during the next two sitting weeks of Parliament.”

Mr Humphries said he understood Barwon had “interests that were too broad” and many councils in his electorate would not benefit from amalgamations.

“We need to keep local interests alive and councils working together can achieve great outcomes for their communities.”

Mr Humphries added he felt the emphasis should be more on supporting and empowering Joint Organisations (JO’s).

“I think this whole process has gone in the wrong direction. There should be more emphasis on creating a stronger Regional Organisation of Councils such as Central NSW Councils (CENTROC), which Lachlan is a part of,” he said.

“I think this [the IPART assessments] is the wrong path and we need to look at giving local councils a bigger role in a JO, so they can act as a direct conduit to the State Government.

“This is not to say that those who believe amalgamating will bring benefits, should not go ahead.

“All councils can look at strategic planning and working more efficiently, and I do support that.”

Mr Humphries said he will not be in Condobolin until December, but he has made his feelings clear to both Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf and Deputy Mayor Des Manwaring.

“I spoke to John [Mayor Medcalf] two weeks ago and I made by position clear to him. I do not support forced amalgamations,” he said. “He knows how I feel and I will support Lachlan’s right to fight this decision.”

Danger Zone

Lachlan Shire Council is in danger of being merged with a larger entity, after it was deemed unfit to stand alone by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Fit for the Future assessments.

: IPART’s map of part of the state, showing ‘fit’ councils in green and ‘unfit’ councils in orange. The blue would be considered ‘fit’ with a merger process. More on IPART’s decision plus an editorial on page 4. Cont

By Melissa Blewitt

 

Lachlan Shire Council is in danger of being merged with a larger entity, after it was deemed unfit to stand alone by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Fit for the Future assessments.

The report, released by the State Government last Tuesday, found Lachlan Shire “unfit” due to a forecast declining population over the next 20 years.

Lachlan Shire Council’s Fit for the Future proposal was one of 87 out of 139 proposals assessed to be unfit, with only three of 12 councils in the central west found fit to stand alone.

IPART has suggested a merger with Parkes would be the most beneficial course of action, but Lachlan Shire Council’s preference is to remain a stand alone Council within a Joint Organisation (JO).

Parkes failed to satisfy one crucial criterion – efficiency – but was still deemed “fit” by the IPART report.

Lachlan failed to meet the scale and capacity criteria (population under 10,000), but satisfied the financial criteria overall including sustainability, infrastructure and service management.

Lachlan’s population stands at 6,700 and is predicted by the NSW Department of Planning to fall to 5,500 by 2031. If merged with Parkes, the new entity would have a projected population of 21,000 by 2031.

According to General Manager Robert Hunt, Council is committed to standing alone.

“Lachlan Shire only fails to meet one criterion and that is scale and capacity. Councils had not been told beforehand that there was a minimum population of 10,000 which had to be met and that has been very disappointing after all the work that went into the submission,” he said.

Lachlan’s TCorp Financial Sustainability Rating (FSR) was assessed as moderate and they were given a negative outlook.

“This [the FSR] was completed a few years ago and the negative outlook is based on projections – we have since made many changes and we will be sustainable after the rate increase next year and we will have a positive outlook based on this.”

Mr Hunt added that after a discussion with Parkes General Manager, Kent Boyd, both Councils preferred to stand alone however, further meetings with neighbouring councils will be held.

In the meantime an independent telephone survey of residents will also be undertaken by Micromex Pty Ltd to see if ratepayers want to take the $15m incentive on offer to the merged entity by the State Government or remain an independent Council.

Council has until 18 November to respond to the findings.

 

 

Humphries offers guarded support for standalone councils

By Lara Pearce

The ‘Fit for the Future’ program was a hot issue at last week’s Annual Western Division Conference, igniting lively debate in the Wiradjuri Centre conference room.

The NSW Government initiative aims to make local councils more economical, proposing that some amalgamate or become a rural council – a new form of council with fewer councillors and less red tape.

Western Division councillors were keen to seek the assurance of Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, that they would not be forced into amalgamating.

While Mr Humphries said that he did not support amalgamation for councils in Western NSW, he stopped short of promising the Government’s support.

“You’re not going to get a response out of the Government until everybody has really had their say,” he said.

“In some parts of the state you will see people combining.”

“It is about giving local communities and Councils the option to participate. They want the capacity to expand and to set up infrastructure as well.”

Both Lachlan Shire Council’s Mayor, Des Manwaring, and the Acting General Manager, Alan McCormack, have previously voiced their support for remaining a standalone council in spite of the Fit for the Future panel’s recommendation to amalgamate with Parkes.

“Our position is clear,” the Mayor stated. “We want the boundaries of Lachlan Shire Council to stay as they are.”

All local councils in New South Wales will have to submit a Fit for the Future report to the NSW Government outlining their plans for long-term economic sustainability by 30 June.

Mayor and Deputy re-elected

Councillors Des Manwaring and John Medcalf have both been re-elected to their positions as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Lachlan Shire Council.

• Clr Des Manwaring was been re-elected as Mayor of the Lachlan Shire for the ninth time in a row. KP

Councillors Des Manwaring and John Medcalf have both been re-elected to their positions as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Lachlan Shire Council.

• Clr John Medcalf will also continue in his role as Deputy Mayor. KP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lara Pearce

Councillors Des Manwaring and John Medcalf have both been re-elected to their positions as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Lachlan Shire Council.

Councillors voted at their September meeting held last Wednesday 17 September. Clr Manwaring defeated Clr Graham Scott in the ballot for mayor, while Clr Medcalf defeated Clr Dennis Brady.

These positions go up for election annually. Clr Manwaring of “Wylona”, Condobolin, has been on the council for 29 years and this is his ninth election as Mayor.

Clr Medcalf is a farmer from Tottenham and has been on the council since he was first elected in 1991.

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