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Council Column – 2 March 2021 – Mayor Brian Ingram

Mar 2, 2021

Last week I hosted a community meeting in Harden to discuss the closure of Southern Cross Care, and the future of aged care in Harden. This was a very positive meeting and the spirit of the Harden Murrumburrah and wider Hilltops community shone through. It was great to have Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke speak so passionately on this issue and give freely of their time for our community. The meeting was attended by 155 people and the livestream has been viewed over 2000 times. I will continue to advocate for the retainment of aged care services in Harden and will update you of any progress in relation to this.

The February Ordinary Council Meeting was held last week. At this meeting Council were presented with the 6 month Delivery and Operational Plan Report, and the 2019-20 Financial Statements. Our Financial Statements showed a significant loss which was exacerbated  by COVID-19, and a reduction in revenue, including a decrease in water usage, attributed to the drought. Moving forward, this means that Council need to continue to be careful with what is spent and need to avoid unbudgeted expenditure. December’s Quarterly Budget Review was also presented to Council. The review incorporated substantial changes to our budget, with approximately $19M in capital works being deferred. This is due to the planned works not realistically being able to be achieved in the timeframe originally specified. This is not a cancellation, merely a deferral, meaning the works will occur at a later date.

Despite the deferral of part of the capital works program, we have made progress with several projects and are at the tendering stage for others. I congratulate Council’s Infrastructure team for their hard work to progress these works, especially those projects that have been outstanding for some time.

Also at the Council Meeting, Council endorsed plans for expenditure of the $10,000 Summer Event Fund grant received by Council. Our Tourism and Events team are planning a street party style event to be held in the Young CBD on Saturday 10 April. This will be a fantastic way to reinvigorate the main street of Young and provide an injection into the local economy. We will update the community as event details are finalised.

Also on events, there is a youth skate event scheduled to be held at the Boorowa Skate Park this Saturday, 6 March. There will be workshops and demonstrations by Trilogy Skateboards and the Canberra Skateboarding Association. For further information visit the Hilltops Youth Action Group’s Facebook page. Registrations can be made via Eventbrite. Plans are also in place for some exciting Youth Week activities.

NSW have continued to record no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for over forty consecutive days. For this to continue I urge everyone to continue to get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, isolate until you receive a negative result, and always maintain good hygiene practices.

Brian Ingram