At the May meeting of Council two key plans for reconciliation and disability inclusion were adopted, grants were awarded to some great community projects and arrangements for the upcoming by-election and significant impact of rising costs were discussed.
Grants for outstanding community projects
Several community groups were recognised with financial grants to support great work:
- South West Rocks Community Dune Care – Weed Eradication – $5,000
- Bellbrook School of Arts Community Hall – Hall Upgrade – $2,000
- Upper Macleay District Rodeo Association – Refrigerator – $2,000
- Kempsey Showground Association – Tables and Seating – $2,000
- Rotary Club of Kempsey West – Gazebo – $1,639
A pivotal step towards reconciliation
Council took the historic move to adopt their first formal Reconciliation Action Plan. This document represents Council’s formal commitment to reconciliation with first nations people and to following the steps set out by Reconciliation Australia on this journey.
A more accessible Kempsey
A new Disability Inclusion Action Plan has been adopted for the shire outlining the actions Council will take in that time to improve inclusivity and accessibility.
Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project
Council confirmed the key points over which they will advocate on the Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project. This is a proposed 600MW ‘off river’ development located on private land near the Macleay River between Armidale and Kempsey. While the project is not in the shire, its proximity means positive and negative impacts may be felt in the shire.
Operational Plan 2021-22 progress report
Council discussed its progress in delivering the major infrastructure projects outlined in the 2021-22 annual budget, acknowledging that some of the projects will not be completed on time due to overwhelming external factors including floods, COVID and the recent supply chain issues and cost rises.
Local Government by-election
Council agreed to enter an arrangement with the NSW Electoral Commission to administer the by-election with a date to be confirmed in the coming weeks.