Have a Say
Funding for NSW public libraries is at a crisis point
Today’s libraries are about more than books – they are valuable centres for people to access information, knowledge, meet new people and learn new skills.
But our public libraries are facing a funding crisis with the NSW Government reducing funds, even as demand for services grows.
If enough of us speak up and show our leaders how much we value our libraries, we can ensure the NSW Government acts now to renew our libraries.
More visits, fewer resources
Our libraries are more important than ever with yearly visits to NSW public libraries up from 27 million in 2000 to over 35 million in 2017. But the State Government has slashed recurrent funding by five per cent in its most recent budget. In fact, the NSW Government contributes a mere 7.8% of total funding for public libraries, the lowest percentage in Australia.
Our plan to Renew Our Libraries
That’s why we’re calling on the NSW Government to urgently double the funding to public libraries and create a sustainable funding model to build the libraries of the future.
Development Application for the Refurbishment of Finley School of Arts & Memorial Halls
Council is in receipt of a Development Application for the Refurbishment of Finley School of Arts & Memorial Halls.
Please see the On Exhibition page for further information regarding the application.
Live in Berrigan: Help us select new Street Trees
As part of planned drainage works and the implementation of Berrigan’s recently adopted Town Plan Berrigan residents are invited to vote for their preferred street tree. You can vote online via the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MLSDG95
Alternatively you can vote using the reply paid form due to be delivered to Berrigan households and local business from Monday 23 July 2018.
Why do we need new street trees?
New street trees are needed to replace trees which are on the eastern side of Jerilderie Street. The trees are on the eastern side of Jerilderie Street are in relatively poor condition and have been further damaged by pruning for overhead power lines. These trees will be removed as part of planned upgrades to drainage in Berrigan’s Jerilderie Street. Upgrades that have been discussed with affected residents, and the broader community as part of the development of the Berrigan Town Plan.
Work is due to start in the next two to three weeks on new drains and the installation of new kerbs and gutters in Jerilderie Street, Berrigan from the junction of Horsfall Street to Orr Street. An asbestos cement water main will also be replaced in addition to a new drain on the western side of Jerilderie Street.
The avenue of pepper corn trees on the western side of Jerilderie Street will not be removed as part of this project.
This work is needed to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety on the Riverina Highway section of Jerilderie Street during and after heavy rain. It is also the first step toward implementing Berrigan’s newly adopted Town Plan.
Draft Integrated Planning & Reporting Plans
At its ordinary meeting held on 16 May 2018, Berrigan Shire Council adopted a draft suite of plans and programs for the 2018/19 year and is now seeking public comment.
These draft plans set out the Council’s proposed activities, rates and charges for the next financial year.
The draft plans include:
- 2018-19 Annual Operational Plan (including the draft budget and capital works program)
- 2018-19 Rating and Revenue Policy
- 2018-19 Fees and Charges Register
- A revised 2018-2028 Long Term Financial Strategy
- A revised 2017-2028 Asset Management Strategy
- A revised 2017-2021 Workforce Management Strategy and Plan
The highlight of the 2018/19 budget is an ambitious infrastructure construction program largely funded through NSW grant programs.
Beginning in 2018 and continuing to 2020, the Council will construct the following projects with the assistance of the NSW government
- Tocumwal Foreshore Redevelopment - $3.25m
- Construct Strathvale Road in Berrigan - $1.1m
- Extend and refurbish Tocumwal Library - $450,000
- New walking paths in Tocumwal - $180,500
- New netball courts in Berrigan - $210,900
- New skate park in Finley - $211,800
- New "challenge" playground at Barooga - $150,000
These projects are to be delivered over and above the Council’s own works program. This may impact on the councils own works program and Council will need to commit to additional staff resources to deliver the program. This will be a significant challenge for the Council; one that it is looking forward to meeting.
An ordinary rate revenue increase of 2.3% has been included in the budget for 2018/19. This represents the maximum permissible amount allowed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in accordance with the rate pegging provisions of the Local Government Act 1993.
The total average residential annual Ordinary rates and charges, including water, sewer, domestic waste management/garbage and stormwater/drainage, will be $2,183 for 2018/19 as compared to $2,132 for 2017/18. This is an overall average increase of rates and charges of $51. Most Ordinary rates have increased by approximately 2.3% and utility charges have increased by between 2.5% and 3% but the Stormwater Charge has not changed.
For 2018/19 the Garbage Charges and the Domestic Waste Collection Charge will increase by approximately 2.5% plus a $20 increase to cover increased costs of handling recyclables. This raises the Domestic Waste Management Collected Charge from $279 to $306 per service. This increase is directly related to the increased costs relating to handling recyclables.
The public exhibition period runs from 16 May to 14 June 2018. The Council is accepting feedback in the form of written submissions only. There are several ways to make a submission:
- By writing a letter addressed to the General Manager and post to 56 Chanter St Berrigan NSW 2712
All submissions will be acknowledged and responded to. Copies of the draft documents are available on this page as well as the Council’s administration office in Berrigan.
Barooga Adventure Park - Stage 1
Work has commenced on realising a whole of town vision for Barooga and described in the draft Barooga Landscape Master Plan (currently on display for community comment).
While much of the community’s and Council’s focus has been on reaching an agreement on the Town Entry elements of this Plan – we have also been busy developing an initial and draft Concept Plan for Barooga’s Foreshore (a subplan of the Barooga Landscape Master Plan Project). Work we brought forward so that we could make a strong submission and have the evidence we need for funding as part of the NSW Government’s Round 2 Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Work is now proceeding on the Stage 1 re-development of Collie Park, Barooga. Stage 1 includes earth earthworks needed to support the installation a flying fox, birds nest swing and the first module of an adventure style climbing equipment. This stage is being funded by the Council with the help of a grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund Stage 1.
The Council has also applied for the funds to complete stage 2 which will include the purchase and installation of additional climbing and slide modules and also mini trampolines. We will not know until later in the year whether we have been successful with this grant application for Stage 2. Looking forward we still need to identify new funding and grant opportunities that will help us complete the remaining stages: a natural water play (splash zone) for younger children, shelters and toilet facilities.
View a Draft of the Collie Park Landscape Master Plan by clicking here or at the Barooga Library.