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Interim Administrator pushes for dual facility designs

November 25, 2021Posted in: Community

Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May has used Council’s Quarterly Budget Review to call for design plans for the proposed Wingecarribee Animal Shelter and Moss Vale State Emergency Service (SES) building to be fast-tracked.

Mr May amended the September Quarterly Budget Review Recommendation to exclude the ‘revote’ or transfer of funding for the design of the co-located Animal Shelter and SES facility to the 2022/23 financial year.

“Both buildings are critical community assets,” he said.  “However, in my opinion neither facilities are currently fit for purpose.”

Mr May noted that the principal design tender document for the proposed co-located facility had been issued on 23 November 2021.

“Delaying progress to provide a purpose-built modern animal shelter and SES facility in Moss Vale another year benefits no one,” he said.

The amendment to the Quarterly Budget Review will see $150,000 re-instated to the current financial year’s bottom line.

In passing the item Mr May suggested Council consider exploring the inclusion of a commercial component within the design of the Animal Shelter.

“This may involve the inclusion of an onsite resident veterinarian or other suggestion,” he said.

“It does not guarantee any future inclusions but instead, it allows Council to test the marketplace and consider possible unexplored options.

“Let me be very clear that the market testing will not involve the operation of the Animal Shelter.”

My May said ongoing community consultation with users and stakeholders of both facilities would continue as designs were progressed.

Construction on the Animal Shelter and SES facility is anticipated to start in the third quarter of 2022.

Interim Administrator calls Extraordinary Meeting

November 15, 2021Posted in:

Wingecarribee Shire Council will hold an Extraordinary Meeting on Wednesday 24 November 2021.

Council’s Interim Administrator Mr Viv May PSM has called the Extraordinary Meeting to consider additional Council Business items including audited financial statements and the quarterly financial review to the end of September 2021.

The agenda for the Extraordinary Meeting will be available at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Council-Meeting-Minutes-Agendas.

The meeting will be held from 3.30pm on Wednesday 24 November 2021 in the Moss Vale Council Chambers and live-streamed via Council’s website at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au.

COVID-19 restrictions apply and seating numbers are limited.  Persons wishing to attend can secure their free tickets (one per person) at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Council-Meeting-Minutes-Agendas from 4pm on Friday 19 November.

Interim Administrator to review Council’s finances

October 19, 2021Posted in: Other, Roads and Assets

Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May PSM has called for an independent review into Council’s finances following the presentation of the Draft Annual Financial Statements.

In addition to referring the Council’s 2020/21 Draft Annual Financial Statements for external audit as per the Local Government Act, Mr May recommended a ‘desktop comparison’ be undertaken on several former financial decisions.

“I’m particularly focused on Council’s 2016 Investing in our Future Special Rate Variation application,” he said.

“I’ll be suggesting the independent auditor look at the application in reference to the Fit for the Future program Council submitted to the State Government and comparing it with the organisation’s long-term forward financial plan.”

The Interim Administrator announced the recommendations at Wednesday 13 October’s Ordinary Meeting of Council.

“Council has a responsibility to appropriately invest in the Shire’s infrastructure and value its assets accordingly,” Mr May said.

“Residents should feel confident that they’re getting value for money considering the cumulative per cent rate increase they’ve undergone the past four years.”

“I want to ensure that Council delivers on the promises it made to the Shire” Mr May added.  “Residents continue to tell me the roads are still deteriorating despite the rate increases.”

Details from Council’s Draft Annual Financial Statements for the 2020/21 financial year showed Council’s overall investments had grown to $192.4 million, its net asset position was valued at $1.9 billion and its loan liability was $23.7 million.

Council also reported a deficit of $707,000 for the 12 months ending 30 June 2021 with COVID implications, unplanned terminations and redundancies and independent reviews and audits cited as contributing factors.

Interim Administrator announces Community Meetings

October 13, 2021Posted in: Community

Close up of notepad on persons knee in lecture

Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator, Viv May PSM, has today announced a series of Community Meetings to be held across the Shire’s towns and villages.

A total of 20 meetings will be held between 20 October and 14 December 2021.

Each meeting will run from 6 to approximately 7 pm and feature a brief introduction from the Interim Administrator, followed by a question and answer session.

Mr May explained that it was important for Council to continue listening to its residents.

“This is another step Council is taking towards re-establishing openness and transparency and restoring the community’s trust in its decision-making processes,” he said.

The addition of Community Meetings follows the reinstatement of Public Forum and Community Question Time ahead of Ordinary Meetings of Council.

“These meetings will enable members of the community to ask questions direct of Council without having to visit the Moss Vale Civic Centre,” Mr May said.

“Residents across the Shire’s vast towns and villages will be able to ask questions specific to their locality in a relaxed setting.”

Questions may be taken on notice and a written response provided following the meeting.

“To comply with our COVID obligations all attendees must secure a ticket beforehand,” the Interim Administrator stressed.  “Only ticket holders will be permitted, and obviously seating numbers will be limited.”

“Any persons wishing to attend must reside in the Shire and they’ll also be asked to show proof of double-vaccination.”

To view the full itinerary of Mr May’s visits, or to book a ticket, visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Administrator.

For more information contact Wingecarribee Shire Council on phone 4868 0714.

Interim Administrator welcomes Hume Coal decision

September 3, 2021Posted in: Other

Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May has welcomed the state’s Independent Planning Commission’s decision to block plans for a new coal mine in Berrima.

“This is fabulous news for the Shire and of great relief to many residents,” he said.

Mr May said the decision came after more than a decade of community action.

“It’s been a marathon effort on behalf of all involved and I commend everyone for their grit and perseverance,” he said.

The Interim Administrator also acknowledged the advocacy undertaken by previous terms of Council.

“Council agrees with the findings from the whole-of-government assessment by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and is pleased the Independent Planning Commission has reached the same conclusion.”

The applicant, Hume Coal Pty Ltd, had sought planning approval to extract approximately 50 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal over 23 years from a new underground mine seven kilometres northwest of Moss Vale.  A rail loop line had also been earmarked for the site to enable transport of coal to Port Kembla.

Wingecarribee Shire Council had submitted a formal submission to the Independent Planning Commission opposing the proposal.

“Council fully agrees with the Independent Planning Commission’s statement that the benefits of the project do not outweigh the adverse environmental, social and economic impacts proposed,” Mr May said.

The Commission’s full Statement of Reasons for the decision is available at www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2021/06/hume-coal-project-and-berrima-rail-project-ssd-7172-and-ssd-7171-second-referral.