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Council Column- 2 June 2020- Mayor Brian Ingram

Jun 2, 2020

We received some great news last week with Angus Taylor and Michael McCormack announcing that Council are to receive $1.7 million Federal Government funding. This funding will allow us to progress some projects that were previously unfunded or only partially funded. $1.2 million of this funding will go towards Milvale Road upgrades. There are several other projects that the remaining funds may be allocated to, we will be investigating options over the coming weeks to ensure the best decision is made. Projects for consideration include Murrumburrah Creek, Garibaldi Gully, Burrangong Creek, the Jugiong Masterplan and the Jugiong Sewer design.

At the Council Meeting last week Council were presented with audited financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2019. The statements we unmodified which means they are a true and accurate reflection of our financial situation. While there is room for improvement it is great to have a baseline from which we can move forward and work hard towards a stronger financial position. Council will now progress with setting the 2020/21 budget.

It was pleasing to see such a good response to our draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (Hilltops 2040). Over 80 submissions were received during the public exhibition period. By sharing these thoughts and concerns we are able to ensure the document is a representation of what the community want and start working on the Local Environmental Plan.

There is a lot of development happening across Hilltops which is fantastic to see. Council have approved a 74 lot subdivision on Henry Lawson Way in Young and are currently reviewing submissions relating to a development application for a large livestock operation (piggery) near Harden. Also in Harden, Council are assessing a development application for upgrades to the Harden Country Club. The State Significant Development Application for the joint use library has been approved by the State Government and tenders for works are currently being sought. It is also great to see funding from the State Government go to many of our local showgrounds to help upgrade their facilities.

Finally, I would like to thank the community for their patience and support during the Council closures that were in place due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our Customer Service Offices, Libraries, Visitor Information Centres, parks, playgrounds and public toilets have all now reopened. I am proud to mention that Hilltops Council has been acknowledged for showing strong leadership in handling the restrictions within our community. Physical distancing is still very important and I ask that everyone continue to adhere to current public health orders in respect to this. In order to see further easing of restrictions we must all continue to do the right thing.