March Mayor's Message

Published on 20 March 2024

Cr. Julia Cornwell-McKean no background

Mayor’s message March

I hope you have all been keeping cool as we have been experiencing a late summer this month.  Fingers crossed that moderate weather continues into the Easter long weekend.

Again, we have had a lot on in Berrigan Shire.  This month we welcomed Helen Dalton, Member for Murray, at the opening of the new Finley water treatment plant.  It really is a fantastic state-of-the-art facility which will meet the infrastructure needs of Finley for many years to come.  Well done to the Council team who were involved in getting this up and running.  If there are any students with an interest in engineering, please do make contact with Council to arrange a tour.  It is a very impressive example of modern engineering.

Barooga was the host of this year’s annual International Women’s Day Event, which was organised by our Berrigan Shire libraries.  Shelley Burr author of Wake and, more recently, Ripper was a wonderful guest speaker providing insights into her creative process and the challenges of breaking into the professional writing world.  Shelley was a previous public servant (much like myself) and juggled her writing with working and family for many years before securing a publishing deal and being able to now write full time.  I have certainly put both of Shelley’s books onto my reading list!  Many thanks must go to Deputy Mayor Carly Marriot for doing a brilliant job hosting the event and for the wonderful women of Berrigan Shire and surrounds who joined on the day.  A note for next year – the event was so popular this year that there was a waiting list, so please do get in early to secure your tickets!

It was wonderful to hear about the efforts of Berrigan on Clean Up Australia Day.  I am informed that three metres of rubbish was collected from the roadside and parking bay.  Many thanks for the work of those participating.  The Council waived the tip fees in recognition of the effort.

Many of you will know that I have a close interest in campaigning for health equity in our community.  As I mentioned in my last column, Berrigan Shire Council and the Tocumwal Ambulance Committee have joined forces for Operation Light and Sirens.  The purpose of the campaign is to have the community share their experiences of ambulances in the shire.  We plan to anonymise the stories and to use them in support of the campaign for an ambulance station in Tocumwal.  Stories can be submitted via email to or dropped off at the libraries or council office.  I have also been advocating for an improved plan for the upgrades for Finley Hospital.  We have had one productive meeting with NSW government officials with others planned in the near future.  In addition, myself and the Council CEO, Karina Ewer, appeared as witnesses in Wagga Wagga to the Special Commission of Inquiry into Healthcare Funding where we discussed both of these topics.

In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter.  Please do take time to have a break and enjoy with family.


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