Published on 20 November 2023
It is great to be back in Berrigan Shire after spending time in Sydney and New Zealand as part of the Australian Rural Leadership Program in October. The trip has provided me with lots of ideas for potential activities in Berrigan Shire and, of course, the opportunity to share with other attendees and those we visited how wonderful our shire is. To that end, I had an opportunity to meet the Australian High Commissioner Her Excellency Harinder Sidhu and Consul General Brad Williams at his home in Auckland. I was excited and surprised to learn, after I mentioned that Berrigan Shire is only a stone’s throw from Leeton from where Brad hails, to discover that Brad’s wife Meredith is in fact from Berrigan! What a small world. Meredith’s family remain in Berrigan and I know many of you will know of them as active community members!
I would like to thank Deputy Mayor Cr Carly Marriott for stepping in for me at the Tocumwal town meeting to discuss the ongoing campaign for an ambulance in Tocumwal. I am informed that the meeting was something of a success and that Helen Dalton, MP for Murray, committed to join the committee and Council in bringing the matter to the attention of key decision makers.
At the October Council meeting, ably led by Cr Carly Marriott, Council resolved to oppose the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill 2023. Council believes that the bill, particularly its provisions related to water buybacks, pose a significant threat to our region. Indeed, agriculture is the life blood of Berrigan Shire’s economy. At the November meeting of the Riverina and Murray River Joint Organisation (RAMJO), which involves 10 other regional councils, I proposed and was successful in garnering the support of RAMJO to join us in opposition of the bill.
Cr Roger Reynoldson attended the Community and Business Leaders Connectivity Roundtable Discussion in Barooga. I understand that the discussion was well-attended and that participation feedback will inform digital plan priorities in both Berrigan and Moira Shires.
November has also been actioned packed with events in Berrigan Shire, including the PGA Associate National Championship at Cobram Barooga Gold Club and the Tri-State Games - that are held across both Moira and Berrigan Shires. Both events are supported by Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism (CBBT) who certainly punches above their weight in delivering high-class events that bring visitors and expenditure to our local economy. Karina Ewer and I were pleased to attend the CBBT showcase this month, which had a very special speaker, Dawn Fraser.
The future of Finley Saleyards has been a matter on Council’s books for nearly two terms now. I am pleased to say that Berrigan Shire Council has signed a long term lease with Finley local, Mr. Nathan Everingham. This is a new era for the saleyards and we look forward to the new operator’s role in its future.
And to finish this month’s report, I have some exciting news for the green thumbs of Berrigan Shire. The Alexander Garden competition will be resuming next year with judging scheduled for October 2024. We have given you plenty of time to plan and to develop some friendly rivalry among the gardeners in our community. I look forward to seeing the results!
Cr Julia Cornwell McKean
MAYOR BERRIGAN SHIRE COUNCIL