2 December, 2022
Gil council meeting notes - November 15
Gilgandra Shire Council held their ordinary council meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. The below three items of interest were discussed at the meeting.
Audit, Risk and Improvement
A shared process has been endorsed
by Gilgandra, Warrumbungle and
Coonamble Shire Councils to address the
requirement of councils to establish
audit, risk and improvement committees
Councils are required under
Section 428A of the Local Government
Act 1993 to establish an ARIC as well as
adopting an internal audit charter and
terms of reference for the ARIC. This
was previously completed by council at
the April 2022 meeting. An ARIC can be
shared across councils or joint organisations,
as such councils can then share the
cost of the committee and associated personnel.
Gilgandra Shire Council agreed that
it would be prepared to share a joint chair
of the Coonamble and Gilgandra ARICs.
The shires have agreed to make their
executive staff available as independent
members on each other’s ARICs.
Gilgandra Shire Council mayor Doug
Batten said the issue had been previously
looked at, but not executed, by a former
“Essentially the job of the ARIC is to
ask councils, and general managers
‘what keeps them awake at night’?
“They will be looking at financials,
asset management/renewal, water, sewer,
in the case of Gil council, aged care and
disability services,” said mayor Batten.
The ARIC will make suggestions to
council, who will then decide what to
enact. Mayor Batten said the shared budget
and personnel between the neighbouring
councils will make the process
At the April 2022 meeting of
Gilgandra Council, it was resolved to
invite expressions of interest for an independent
pre-qualified voting joint chair
for Coonamble and Gilgandra.
The council business paper (November
15) states that expressions of interest
(EOI) closed and only one expression
was received. Progress was then made to
appoint and commence the ARIC however,
that person subsequently withdrew,
and the role was readvertised.
The eligibility criteria for the joint
chair has changed with the position holder
now not required to be ‘pre-qualified’
under the NSW government scheme.
Coonamble Shire Council recently
invited EOIs, which closed last Friday,
Coonamble advised that they were receiving strong interest in the role; attributed to the removal of the prequalification. A further report will be submitted to Gilgandra’s December meeting with a recommendation to appoint a joint chair. The reccomendation will be that a new budget allocation be made in 2022/23 to cover ARIC expenses of $40,000.
Social housing in Gilgandra
Council has recieved a “disapointing”
reply from the department of planning
and environment following advocacy to
the minister (Anthony Roberts) regarding
a lack of social housing availability
Mayor Batten said is was disapointing
that although there is eight blocks
vacant in Gilgandra owned by the department
responsible for social housing, that
nothing will be done to develop them at
The blocks are situated in Wamboin
Street, and in other parts of town where
former ‘Housing Commission’ blocks
are either vacant, damaged or fire
The lack of action is despite
the state government committing to
delivering 127,000 new social homes to
address growth in regional NSW. Mayor
Batten said these programs are being
undertaken in other areas - and once
again rural and regional towns are missing
out, even though the need is great and
the blocks are available.
Mayor Batten advised council that
this latest unfavourable repsonse was a
follow up from a previous letter to minister
Pavey in November 2021, to which
council did not receive a response.
Council noted the report and resolved
to continue lobbying minister Roberts,
and further request a meeting with the
premier and deputy premier on this issue.
Gilgandra council is also currently in
the planning stages of developing a further
release of the aeropark residential
However, this will be first developed to accommodate the Inland Rail staff in both permanent housing and temporary buildings. These blocks/houses will then be available to the open market in later years. It is unclear if this will impact positively on social housing, or only on open residential/private housing. More on this development next week.
NSW Infrastructure Betterment Fund (IBF) grant
Council has resolved to lodge an
application under the IBF for $1 million
(comprised of $900,000 grant funding
and $100,000 co-contribution) to
upgrade the Baronne Creek floodway on
National Park Road.
The creek is currently closed due to
flood/rain damage and is ineligible for
upgrading under disaster road funding.
As recently addressed by mayor
Batten in regard to roads, he re-confirmed
that the current disaster recovery
funding arrangements are only a “Bandaid
He said under those arrangements
council could spend $300,000 to
return the creek crossing to its pre-rain
evnet condition, only for it to be wiped
out in the next weather event.
“The IBF is a rare opportunity to put
in $1 million into upgrading creek works
and hopefully fix the problem longterm,”
said mayor Batten.
The council business paper states:
Baronne Creek is subject to constant
flooding, repeatedly leaving debris and
damage causing closures of National
The present floodway is a
combination of culverts, cut-off walls
and a bitumen causeway that appears to
be the culmination of various attempts
over the years to improve access with
The state-government’s IBF has been
funded for $200 million to support the
repair and rebuilding of public assets
damaged by the bushfires of 2019/20 and
flood events of 2021 and early 2022.
Cruically the IBF program enables
the rebuilding and ‘betterment’ of infrastructure.
This aims to reduce the vulnerability
of the asset to future disasters, provides
continuity of essential services and lowers
the risk of economic impact due to a
The program is open to projects valued
between $100,000 and $10 million
and while co-contributions aren’t required,
the govenrment has advised that
they would be viewed favourably during
assessment. Gilgandra is required to
lodge their submission by mid December
and works must be completed by the end
of May 2025.
A successful application to the IBF will complement council’s long-term plans to upgrade the “problematic Baronne Creek floodway” and other works required along National Park Road. Council is also awaiting advice on an application made to conduct further sealing of National Park Road under the ‘Fixing Local Roads’ program (applied for in August 2022).