Community & Business

2 May, 2024

April council meeting roundup

Gilgandra Shire Council held this year’s third monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

By Nicholas Croker, Cadet Journalist

April council meeting roundup - feature photo

Gilgandra Shire Council held this year’s third monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 16. Discussed were the outcomes of the Lake Advisory Orana Living National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Review, proposed changes to maintenance of the Tooraweenah aerodrome, and rate fixes for the coming 2024/25 financial year.

NDIS Advisory Board Last year, council began forming an NDIS working party with an initial meeting held on May 4, 2023. A subsequent report sent to council indicates that responsibility for Orana Living under NDIS standards shall remain with council, prompting council to form an internal management group. Cr Mann, Cr Bunter, and Cr Batten were nominated for the group. The responsibilities of the working group are to be delegated to a NDIS Advisory Board following an independent review by Lake Advisory received March 2024, and following targets outlined by an NDIS independent report received May 2023. The board would be responsible for “[providing] expert advice, offer insights and make recommendations to council,” as written in the April 16 business paper. Meetings for the NDIS Advisory board are planned to be scheduled quarterly.

Maintenance of the Tooraweenah aerodrome The Arthur Butler Aviation Museum (ABAM) has requested council allows them to take over maintenance of the air side area of the Tooraweenah aerodrome. ABAM president Mark Pitts wrote to council and proposed that their members use their own equipment and time to maintain the air side area of the aerodrome, ensuring that light aircraft can use the airstrip with ease. “It is an unfortunate reality that council cannot always attend to the grounds in a timely manner,” states the April 16 business paper. “Our ability to respond to requests for service is often constrained by available resources or a conflict with other priorities.” Under the agreement, council would still be responsible for maintaining the terminal area and road side of the aerodrome. Negotiations between ABAM and council are underway.

2024/25 rates, interest, and charges The rate peg for Gilgandra, the maximum rate at which rates may be charged, has been set at 4.5 percent by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Council has moved to adopt a rate of 4.5 percent in line with rate pegging. Interest rates for 2024/25 are determined by the minister for local government and are yet to be set. Currently, the interest rate is nine percent. Council resolved to increase waste management charges for Tooraweenah, Armatree, and Gilgandra by two percent compared to the 2023/24 period. Water supply services in Gilgandra and Tooraweenah will increase by five percent compared to the 2023/24 period in order to achieve the required income for council’s 30-year infrastructure plan. Sewer charges will increase by seven percent compared to the 2023/24 period, also in alignment with council’s 30-year infrastructure plan. Stormwater charges for the 2024/25 period will remain at $25 per assessment.


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