Lachlan Shire

Lachlan Shire garbage tender awarded

Compiled by Anne Coffey

Lachlan Shire Council considered tenders for waste collection services at its October 2016 meeting and have awarded the tender to JR Richards & Sons.  JR Richards & Sons is an Australian owned and operated company and offers over fifty years of experience in the waste industry.

The Mayor John Medcalf advised that the appointment of JR Richards & Sons to undertake the kerbside waste collection services will provide Lachlan Shire Council with a reliable, high quality and well-resourced service.”

A number of community residents have expressed their unhappiness with the tender going out of town and General Manager Robert Hunt responded.

“Although we are aware there has been some concern raised that we awarded the tender to someone from out of town we looked at a number of factors in awarding the successful tender. Our determination was based on, apart from price, current and previous experience, quality management and WH&S, staffing and financial capacity and response to plant breakdown. “

“In the case of price, Council has a buy local policy which allows a discount factor of 5% for locals up to a maximum of $15,000 difference in price. The panel making the selection advised that no local tender came close to this amount. In fact the closest tender was more than $50,000 per annum dearer which would make it difficult to argue value for ratepayers who have already been hit with higher rates” Mr Hunt said.

Mr Hunt continued that “under the new ‘Fit for the Future’ expectations we have to be providing an efficient and cost effective service to ratepayers – JR Richards will enable us to achieve that.  Also JR Richards has advised that they have engaged the current local driver and that they will source fuel and tyres locally, however due to the new high technology trucks they will be introducing, maintenance will be undertaken at their base in Dubbo.”

Mayor Medcalf then added “The use of local staff and businesses highlights JR Richards commitment to being part of, and supporting, the community they operate in.”

“General waste services will commence 1 December 2016 along with an introduction of a recycling service in April 2017. The introduction of recycling is an exciting addition to this service as residents will have the opportunity to recycle valuable materials and divert waste from landfill. The collection of organic material will continue in Condobolin only, with the use of existing bins. Preparations are now well underway with new waste and recycling bins to be delivered in March 2017” stated Mayor Medcalf.

JR Richards & Sons services other surrounding councils, including Dubbo, Orange, Parkes, Forbes and Griffith, their success in the industry is a reflection of their commitment.

An information pack will be delivered with your new bins containing more details about how and when to use your new service as well as information on how and when to place your old bins out to be collected and recycled.

For more information contact Lachlan Waste Services on 1800 316 598.

 

Community fruit and veg garden for Condobolin

 

 

Condobolin has formed its very own Community Fruit & Vege Growing Group. They will meet weekly at 3.30pm on Wednesdays at St Joseph’s Parish Condobolin. MB

Community Garden for Condobolin

Last Wednesday a group of 10 locals keen and excited to help the community and learn all about producing food in their own garden met at St Joseph’s Primary School.

Condobolin & Districts Landcare Coordinator Libby Roesner organised the meeting to bring together like-minded individuals to learn, work and produce fruit and vegies in the Condo community.

“At this stage, we’ve made a commitment to meet weekly at 3:30pm on Wednesdays at the Catholic primary school to work on establishing a spring vegetable garden there.

This is a great starting point for the group who are a mixture of keen experienced gardeners and those who just want to help and learn so they can try and produce their own food at home.

Teacher Mrs Jennifer Brady at the catholic school is eager to invigorate the vege gardens that she has established at the school with the help of the community group.

Understanding how to grow food is such a fundamental skill and it is dying-out with so much of the food-chain now being industrialised.

Growing food organically and eating it directly from the garden is such a wholesome experience. It’s great for children to learn where food comes from and experience cooking and eating what they’ve produced.

Any community members who are interested are welcome to come along and share or help-out.

Bring your gardening clothes, gloves and tools and a keen sense of learning /sharing.  Anyone who has any seeds/seedlings/mulch or equipment they’d like to donate or share we would appreciate your support as we have no budget at this stage.

We have established strong connections with the Council and High School who are also keen to contribute and see this project succeed.  There is so much potential for sharing of knowledge and skills.

After the school gardens are well established we are keen to move-on to other gardens in the community.

If you have any suggestions, questions or would like to help or donate, either turn-up on Wednesdays or contact Libby Roesner on 0499 199 018 or at condobolin@lachlandcare.org.au

Contributed

TK takes on new role

 

 

• Tekohi Rivera, who is fine with being known as TK, is the new Director of Infrastructure Services at Lachlan Shire Council. MB

 

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) has a new Director of Infrastructure Services.

He has replaced Phil King, who left in June this year.

Tekohi Rivera, is no stranger to Condobolin, having previously worked for the LSC in 2009 in a temporary role (maternity relief) as acting operations manager.

Tekohi, who is fine with being known as TK, is excited to be back in a place where he formed fond memories and friendships.

“I remember many people from my time here and they remember me, so I am very happy to be back,” he said.

Prior to commencing work in his new position, TK worked as Project Manager for the Roads and Maritime Services at Parkes in their Infrastructure Development and Delivery section.

Before that he had an overseas posting on the island nation of Nauru, working for their government leading its phosphate mining and land rehabilitation operations.

TK said he has worked in various parts of Australia, including five years in the Pilbara region during the recent resource sector boom. There he gained valuable experience in the project management of a range of engineering works in remote locations. However, TK was quick to add, that he has always kept a close eye on the Lachlan Shire.

“I have been watching the Lachlan Shire for the past eight years, as to how it has been travelling through the drought and most recently the NSW Government amalgamation process,” he explained.

“They [LSC] have faced significant challenges. They have always proved themselves to be resilient in the tough times.

“I am very grateful that the opportunity has come up now and that I was in the area where I could take up the position.

“My wife and three children are also looking forward to living in Condobolin.” As soon as he finds suitable accommodation in the Shire, TK said he will relocate his family.

TK believes LSC has a strong future, and he is looking forward to being part of a leadership team that grows and develops with the community.

Lachlan Shire rate rise approved by IPART

By Melissa Blewitt

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved Lachlan Shire Council’s (LSC) application for a special rate variation of 32.31 per cent.

The rate rise will happen over the next four years.

LSC applied for an increase of 6.8 per cent in 2016-17 and 7.4 per cent in each of the next three years, 2017-18 to 2019-20, including the rate peg, to be retained permanently in the rate base.

The rate increase was seen as an imperative part of Council’s bid to ‘stand alone’, and help them meet several financial, infrastructure and efficiency targets.

“Council is very pleased that its submission has been approved in full as the increase is essential for Council to meet the Fit for the Future targets set by the NSW Government and allows Lachlan Shire Council to be a stand-alone Council in the future,” LSC General Manager Robert Hunt said.

“Council received great community support for its Keep Lachlan Local campaign and for the special rate variation application and these two factors proved the difference in Lachlan Shire Council either remaining autonomous or being merged, as was the case recently with many other councils across the state.

“On behalf of Council I can assure you that the increased funds raised from the special rate variation ($260,000 in 2016/17) will see an increase in maintenance and construction throughout the Shire over the coming years.”

“Based on Lachlan Shire Council’s application, in 2016-17 the average residential rate would increase by $31, the average business rate by $35, and the average farmland rate by $182,” IPART Chairman Peter Boxall said.

Dr Boxall said the council’s application was assessed against the NSW Government’s published criteria. All submissions received from ratepayers, community groups and other stakeholders were also considered.

“Lachlan Shire Council was able to meet the criteria for approval of the special variation by demonstrating a clear need for the additional revenue, and that it is taking steps to improve productivity and contain costs,” he explained.

In approving the council’s application, IPART has imposed conditions requiring the additional income be used for the purposes outlined in the application, and that the council report to the community, in its Annual Report each year until 2025-26, on the outcomes achieved.

 

 

Lachlan Shire letter to residents of the Condobolin Retirement Village

Water to be interrupted in Condobolin

 

Condobolin Water Supply to be interrupted in Condobolin on the 1st May.

 

by Melissa Blewitt

There will be a complete loss of water supply to 30 Streets in Condobolin on 1 May.

The interruption will happen between 8am and 7pm, as Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) undertakes planned valve replacement works in Denison and Orange Streets.

“The interruption is to allow Council to undertake critical maintenance works prior to upgrading water mains in Denison Street,” LSC Director of Infrastructure Services Phil King said.

“Residents in the affected areas are requested to open an outside tap (preferably the closest tap to your meter) once loss of supply has commenced.

“This will assist with pressure and discolouration. Council advises that taps be left open for three minutes following water supply being reinstated.”

“You can direct this water through a sprinkler, so that it doesn’t go to waste” Mr King said.

The streets that will be affected are: Madline Street (far eastern end); Maitland Street (east of Leifermann St); Jones Lane; Browns Lane; Worthingtons Lane; Willis Lane; Burnett Street; May Street; Parkes Road; Station Street; Rogers Street; Kurrajong Street; Honan Street; Mooney Street; Goobang Street; Gordon Street; Denison Street; North Forbes Road; Willow Bend Village; Willow Bend Road; Oxley Street; Marsden Street; Evans Street; Bathurst Street (east of William St); Lachlan Street (east of William St); Orange Street (east of Melrose St); Molong Street (east of Melrose St); William Street (Molong St to Bathurst St); Napier Street (south of Molong St); and McDonnell Street (south of Molong St).

Residents in all other streets of Condobolin may experience reduced pressure and water discolouration, although it is not expected that complete loss of water supply will occur in other streets.

“All consumers are advised they may experience some further discoloration of the supply in the 24 to 48 hours following the works,” Mr King said.

“Residents in the affected areas are requested to ensure they have ample water in reserve to cover their requirements during the interruption to service.”

A letter and a map, outlining all of the affected streets, will also be sent to residents, Mr King said.

Residents who have a special water need, should contact LSC immediately for service arrangements to be made.

For further information contact Lachlan Shire Council’s Manager Utilities Chris Perry, during office hours on 02 6895 1900.

New home to attract Shire staff

8 McGregor Street, one of the older and smaller homes to be sold to purchase better quality homes for staff.

 

By Melissa Blewitt

 

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) has purchased an executive home to be rented by its General Manager, Robert Hunt.

A decision to purchase the home was made after Councillors decided to sell two of LSC’s other older residential properties to offset the cost of the upgraded dwelling.

Councillors, at an Extraordinary  Meeting held on the 3rd February, voted largely in favour of purchasing the residence, with Manwaring, Scott, Ridley, Nelson, Hall, Phillips and Frankel voting for the motion, while Brady and Saunders voted against.

Mr Hunt will pay full market rent back to Council, and the decision to purchase was seen as a way of enhancing Council’s prospects of retaining and attracting future senior staff to the Shire.

LSC was advised in a report by Rural Recruitment Consultant Terrey Kiss with Blackadder Associates, that “reality must be faced and it should be understood that Local Government in the current era is different to that of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Staff are not willing to relocate to rural areas for career advancement.”

The report went on to say, “Potential applicants will not wish to lower their living standards to relocate, nor will they want to purchase or build in a country town in the early stages of employment.

“Council should consider building modern residences for the staff they are wishing to recruit. Rental is a matter of negotiation, however, it should be subsidised to a certain degree.”

The report also urged LSC to ensure they provided a competitive-plus salary component, and more attractive ancillary benefits, such as performance bonuses and vehicle usage.

Providing modern accommodation for staff forms part of many NSW Council’s employment practices.

For instance, at Tenterfield Shire Council, they recently offered an attractive four-bedroom residence with a large yard at a highly subsidised rental, as part of their employment package for the General Manager’s position. A Toyota Prado vehicle was also part of the deal.

LSC Mayor John Medcalf said he understood there may be some concern in the community about purchasing residential properties for use by staff, however many other rural councils provide residential properties for senior staff and it was imperative that LSC was able to compete with those other councils in attracting and retaining experienced and qualified professional staff.

Improving animal welfare in Shire

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) Ranger Willy Cunningham and LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns (back) together with Monique O’Reilly, Gemma Ma, Dr Ann-Margret Withers, Jess Pooley, Narelle Maxwell and Darci Bradford of RSPCA NSW, at the makeshift veterinary clinic set up at Condobolin Tennis Club Hall last week. MB.

 

By Melissa Blewitt

 

In a bid to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals in Lachlan Shire and improve their overall health, RSPCA NSW desexed, microchipped and vaccinated 100 animals in the town last week.

The project was part of the Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS) which has been an initiative of RSPCA NSW in regional NSW for the past 13 years, helping to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs ending up in pounds.

A makeshift and temporarily registered veterinary clinic was set up at the Condobolin Tennis Club Hall, after permission was granted by the Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW.

The program was funded by Lachlan Shire Council, through NSW Government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program, and organised by local Ranger Willy Cunningham.

“Since this program began six years ago, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of dogs dying from the deadly parvovirus, and less unwanted puppies and kittens being abandoned,” Mr Cunningham said.

“It is important for pet owners to understand that Parvovirus is 100 per cent preventable with an appropriate course of vaccinations.

“The virus is especially active in the warmer months, and is rampant in this area over summer. It’s an absolutely awful disease. So vaccinations are extremely important.

“This is a very important program for the Shire and I want to commend and thank all the pet owners who participated.”

CAWS has been run in 16 communities, like the Lachlan Shire, for over a decade.

“This program is important as it offers services to pensioners and low income earners: who would not usually be able to afford veterinary care,” RSPCA NSW Community Outreach Programs Veterinarian Doctor Ann-Margret Withers, who ran the Condobolin Clinic, said. “The procedures were provided at a slightly subsidised cost to the owners. The program is about education and prevention.

“One hundred animals in a week is a big effort, but it will make a difference in local communities, and that is what it really is all about.”

Help fight illegal dumping in the Shire

Help fight illegal dumping in the Shire

By Melissa Blewitt

Want to help fight illegal dumping in the Lachlan Shire?

Lachlan Shire Council will launch a new initiative, RIDonline, aimed at reducing illegal dumping, this week.

RIDonline is an online reporting portal targeting illegal dumping in the local area, and will be launched at 10am on Thursday, 14 April at Renown Park in Condobolin.

Illegal dumping occurs across dozens of regional and rural areas, in national parks, state reserves and on crown lands and roadways.

The NetWaste member councils of Lachlan, Forbes, Parkes, Cobar, Central Darling and Lithgow were awarded $120,000 in NSW Government funding under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative. The the aim is to identify illegal dumping hotspots within each local government area.

RIDonline can be accessed via a smartphone whenever people come across illegally dumped waste. Simply visit ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au, enter the type of waste, location and add a photo to report an incident. The reports from RIDonline will be used to create a baseline register of illegal dumping incidents for each council area, which will help to inform future anti-dumping programs and prevention initiatives.

RIDonline can also be accessed via the ‘Report to EPA’ App for smart devices. This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

 

Susanne is Shire ambassador

• LEFT: Award winning author Susanne Gervay will be the Australia Day ambassador for the Lachlan Shire in 2016. She is most recognised for her writing on social justice for youth and adult literature. Cont

 

Award winning author Susanne Gervay will be the Australia Day ambassador for the Lachlan Shire.

She is the daughter of post war refugees, recognised for her writing on social justice for youth and adult literature. She is also widely published in Australian literary journals and anthologies including Quadrant, Southerly, Westerly. Her Jack books include I Am Jack, a rite-of-passage fiction on school bullying adapted into a play by premiere theatre company Monkey Baa.

Celebrations and Competitions

Condobolin celebrtes Australia Day

Ella Baxter and Nellie Jolliffe are looking forward to Lachlan Shire Australia Day celebrations. MB

 

 

 

 

• Connor Thompson and Warrick Parker get into the Australia Day spirit early at the Condobolin Pool. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

The Lachlan Shire will abound with celebrations and competitions this Australia Day.

Mayor of Lachlan Shire John Medcalf is encouraging residents to participate in events being staged across the Shire.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for communities to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. There are numerous events taking place around the shire where residents can get involved and have lots of fun,” he said.

“Australia Day is important to our community so come and join us on the day to reflect how lucky we are to live in this wonderful country.”

Events on in Condobolin include: 7:30am Free Breakfast at Memorial Park, Citizenship Ceremony, Australia Day Awards presentation and address; 5:30pm at the pool – lucky door prizes, slip n slide, jumping castle, FREE BBQ from 6pm and Deputy Mayor’s Relay.

Locals Support Lachlan Shire

 

The preliminary results from the independent survey taken late last week have been received and it shows 68 per cent of people surveyed do not want to merge with Parkes Shire Council.

The Argus is urging all residents to write to their local member and say resounding NO to almalgamations. Fill in the form on the front page and return it to the Argus by Wed 11th November.

By Melissa Blewitt

The preliminary results from the independent survey taken late last week have been received and it shows 68 per cent of people surveyed do not want to merge with Parkes Shire Council.

This is despite a proposed 34 per cent rate increase over four years from next year, the $5 million State Government incentive for the new entity to build infrastructure and the $5 million from the State Government to cover merger costs. The survey of 254 households has a plus or minus 6 per cent error factor which means had we surveyed every resident the result would have been in the range of 62 per cent – 74 per cent against any merger.

Take the time to fill out the Argus survey form (BELOW) and return it to the office by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 November.

“This result provides solid support for Lachlan Shire to remain independent and the views of the community will be conveyed to the State Government in Council’s submission which is due by the 18th November,” Council’s General Manager Robert Hunt said.

The Mayors and General Managers of the Mid Lachlan Alliance (Forbes, Weddin, Lachlan and Parkes Shire Councils) met to discuss the recently released IPART Report regarding the Fit for the Future Proposals last Tuesday.

The consensus of the Mid Lachlan Alliance was that the time available before the November 18 deadline for responses will be used to seek feedback from their communities.

Before the IPART Report was released, all four Councils were in a position where their communities wanted to stand alone in the future.

All Councils agreed that the views of their communities are very important and this survey will give community members the chance to present their feedback regarding standing alone or merging with another Council.

Editors Opinion

Now is the time to stand up for Lachlan standing alone.

We have to do everything in our power to stop forced amalgamations.

WE have to say NO, and call out the State Government on their shortsighted strategy.

Take the time to fill out the Argus, The Lachlander or any survey form that helps show support for Lachlan Shire Council to stand alone.

The Lachlander survey form needs to be returned to PO Box 154, Condobolin, 2877 or placed in the ‘Have your Say’ containers at The Lachlander office or the Condobolin Newsagency in Bathurst Street by 12 noon on Monday, 9 November.The Condobolin Argus survey form needs to be returned to the Argus office at 93 Bathurst Street, by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 November.

This is a vital part of helping to keep Lachlan Local.  MB

Policy Review

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

• The Lachlan Shire Council will review its Cemetery Policy at its monthly meeting, to be held today, Wednesday, 21 October. The review comes after a public outcry over the request that trinkets and ornaments be removed from the Lawn Section. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

A report by the General Manager which will be presented to the monthly Council meeting, today, Wednesday 21 October, will recommend Council review the Policy and make any necessary adjustments.

The Cemetery Policy, adopted by Council in December 2014, was advertised in local papers, and at the Council Office in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo according to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt.

He pointed to the “groundswell of criticism” by community members as the reason why an “immediate review” was required.

The concerns expressed by the community pertain to plaques and monuments, Mr Hunt said.

The recommended review of the Cemetery Policy will ensure that the definition of “Monument” will provide a more detailed interpretation as to what can or cannot be located at the gravesite, he added.

Mr Hunt said one of the objectives of the policy is to ensure a neat and tidy lawn cemetery.

“Efficient mowing of the lawn sections is occasionally disrupted by a variety of objects placed in the lawn section and these items should be restricted to the concrete plinth where possible,” Mr Hunt said.

“I apologise for any confusion that the interpretation of this policy may have caused and at the October meeting of Council I’m sure Council will make minor adjustments to the policy to provide more details on what can and cannot be placed at lawn cemetery grave sites.”

The Cemetery Policy currently adopted is relatively standard across NSW, with neighbouring Councils adopting similar approaches.

Forbes Shire Council’s policy states “That vases, pots, ornaments etc, be permitted to be placed on graves for a period of up to six months from the date of burial. After this time, Council staff will remove the vases/pots/ornaments etc.”

It goes on to say “Vases/pots/ornaments are not to be affixed to the beam.”

Parkes Shire Council also has a similar Policy. Their Lawn Cemetery – Policy and Maintenance Procedures says “Only plaques or approved headstones and flower receptacles are to be erected on the beams.”

Furthermore it states “A period of six months will be allowed for temporary grave site identification and flower receptacles prior to the installation of plaque or headstone.”

It also says “All unauthorised items including; receptacles, string and garden lights, ornaments and containers etc will be removed and held at Parkes Shire Council Administration Centre for collection by owner.”

The final line of the Policy states “The basis of the Policy is to maintain the Lawn Cemetery to an acceptable and safe standard by limiting the accumulation of flowers and especially unauthorised containers.”

Any correspondence relating to the review of the Cemetery Policy can be mailed to PO Box 216, Condobolin NSW 2877. The Cemetery Policy, if revised, will go on public exhibition for 28 days before going to Council for final adoption.

Despicable Destruction

Unknown person/s caused serious damage the the playground at Memorial Park last Thursday morning. These unknown vandal/s have attempted to destroy the equipment by setting it on fire. MB

Annaleigh Swanston and Jesse Pawsey are upset at the senseless destruction of the play equipment in Memorial Park. MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Melissa Blewitt

Unknown vandals have caused serious damage to the playground at Memorial Park.

In the early hours of last Thursday morning, it is believed unknown person/s have attempted to destroy the equipment by setting it on fire.

An area of the playground was still smoking later that morning.

“We are quite upset at the wanton vandalism that has taken place,” Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Phil King said. “Council staff will be looking to replace the equipment as soon as they can as this is recognised as the premier playground in Condobolin.”

Young locals Jesse Pawsey and Annaleigh Swanston could not believe that someone would do that to the playground.

“It’s just not right,” Jesse said.

“Where will all the children play now?

“The people who did this should feel bad about it.”

Concerned citizen Deb Grogan said it was  “such a shame” someone had decided to destroy such a community asset.

“What will visitors to town think? They pull up to have a break and their children can’t even use the play equipment,” she said.

“And what about the people who walk down here to spend time with their children, but don’t have a car to travel to another park? We are lucky we can go to another park, but some families might not be able to that because they don’t have a car.

“It’s just a senseless act.” Condobolin Fire Brigade attended the scene, and the area was sealed off. If anyone has information on this incident, they should contact local Police.

Investing in Condo

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

• Riverview Caravan Park operators Ally and Mark Baldock, LSC Manager Building Services Alan Townsend, local electrical contractor Jack Taylor and LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns showcase the six newly established miner’s cabins in Condobolin. Inset: Inspecting one of the cabins; and a single cabin. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

The cabins have been erected on land owned and maintained by Council, but not previously utilised.

KBL has borne the cost of the cabins and LSC has facilitated that investment.

There was a lack of short-term accommodation in town and the cabins will offer alternative living quarters for mining workers, according to LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns.

“KBL will now have an influx of workers as they ramp up in their construction phase (Stage 2),” he said.

“Initially the mine was going to build on site, but that would have meant the leaking of thousands of dollars away from Condobolin.

“Another positive is that once the cabins are complete, workers will not take up Caravan Park cabins that could be utilised by tourists.”

The six cabins will be able to accommodate 15 people, and there is also a community room complete with washing machines, drier, television, fridge and a seating area.

Each cabin has three separate bedrooms, which contain a bed, fridge, storage area, reverse cycle air conditioning and an ensuite. A deck area has also been added for extra comfort.

All materials, equipment and tradespeople were sourced locally where possible.

“That was a very important aspect for us [at LSC],” Mr Johns said.

He added workers were expected to behave in a manner that was in accordance with KBL’s strict code of conduct.

“This partnership is a win for the mine and for the community,” he said.

“It proves KBL is committed to Condobolin, and the flow on effects will be positive for the town.”

Tightening the belt on Lachlan

By Lara Pearce

Lachlan Shire residents are being urged to attend community meetings to discuss the Council’s proposal to stand-alone amidst controversial plans to increase rates in the 2015/16 year.

The Council has less than two weeks left to finalise its proposal to the NSW Government outlining why it should remain a stand-alone Council. The ‘Fit for the Future’ report, which must be completed by all local councils in NSW, is due on 30 June.

The Lachlan Shire Council is holding public meetings in Tottenham, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo. Condobolin’s meeting is scheduled to take place tonight, Wednesday 17 June, at 6pm at the Council Chambers.

The Mayor, Des Manwaring, is urging residents to have their say.

“The process is not a matter of tick and flick or what position the Council or the community wants to take,” he said. “It is up to the Council and the residents of Lachlan to prove we are ‘Fit for the Future’ by 2020 and we are going to have to make changes to remain a stand-alone Council.”

Among the changes flagged by Council are increases to water and sewerage rates. This is in spite of recent community calls to reduce water rates, which have almost tripled in ten years.

Water usage charges for residential users are set to increase from $2.03/kl to $2.20/kl for the first 450kl and from $3.05/kl to $3.30/kl after that starting from 1 July.

Water access charges would also increase by 7% plus $25, while the annual sewerage charges are proposed to increase by 2.5% plus $75.

Council has also announced it is planning on applying for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) allowing it to increase rates by 5% in addition  to the standard rate peg increase of 2.4% for four consecutive years, starting from 1 July 2016.

Other revenue-raisers include: charges for the use of tips and waste facilities; modest increases to rates for Domestic Waste Management of around 2.5%; and the closure of Albert, Fifield and Derriwong tips, to be replaced with a kerbside collection service.

The Council has also indicated that it will not be filling some positions which currently stand vacant.

The Independent Local Government Review Panel has recommended that Lachlan Shire merge with Parkes Council in order to become more economically sustainable – a suggestion which has met with widespread community backlash.

“Previous community consultation overwhelmingly wanted Lachlan to remain a stand-alone Council,” the Mayor noted.

“At these upcoming community meetings, input will assist in determining an appropriate response for ‘Fit for the Future’.”

Once the ‘Fit for the Future’ report is submitted, the NSW Government’s independent expert panel will review the submissions and make its final recommendations to the state government in a report by 16 October.

Premier Mike Baird will then make the final decision.

Robbery rates on the rise in Lachlan Shire

2014 saw violent crime decrease across the Lachlan Shire, while thefts and break and enters were on the rise.

By Lara Pearce

2014 saw violent crime decrease across the Lachlan Shire, while thefts and break and enters were on the rise.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) has released its report on crime for 2014, which compares crime rates with previous levels.

Theft of vehicles almost doubled, with 28 robberies of vehicles recorded in 2014 compared to 15 in 2013. Other forms of theft also rose noticeably from 2013 levels except for theft from retail stores, which dropped from 14 to 7 individual recorded instances.

On a more positive note, the number of violent assaults recorded has decreased slightly from a total of 131 assaults in 2013 to 123 last year. This includes domestic assault and sexual assault.

Other areas of crime, such as fraud and malicious damage, remained relatively stable.

In contradiction to the idea that rural communities are safer places to live, some crime rates in the Lachlan Shire are as much as three and a half times higher per head of population than the state average. Theft from a dwelling is three times higher than the NSW average, while incidences of domestic violence are 2.2 times higher. However, for other violent crimes such as murder or robbery with a weapon, there are no incidents recorded.

Easter excitement

The Lachlan Shire enjoyed a refreshing, if somewhat damp, Easter break.

• The Wombat Room children at the Condobolin Preschool celebrated the festive season with Easter hats and bunny ears, joining with the other preschool children in an Easter Hat Parade. MB

By Melissa Blewitt 

The Lachlan Shire enjoyed a refreshing, if somewhat damp, Easter break.

In the lead up to the holiday, local schools let their students utilise thier creative sides by making Easter hat masterpieces.

Parents, grandparents, carers and community members were invited to Easter Hat Parades at Condobolin Public School and Condobolin Preschool.

The students modelled their hats to music and showed off some great dance moves.

Another great aspect to the long weekend was the district receiving some much needed rain.

By Tuesday 7 April, the rain guage at the Condobolin Agricultural Station showed just over an inch, with 28.4 millimetres (114 points) recorded.

It was just enough rain for farmers’ optimism to gain momentum for a decent 2015 sowing season and to raise hopes of a profitable harvest.

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