18 June, 2022
Gilgandra Shire Council has voted to discontinue two committees
Perhaps this reporter may have buried the lead on the
scrapping of council committees in the May 10 edition of
The Gilgandra Weekly, when reporting on the April ordinary
Further to our initial report, council
last week scrapped the Sports Council, joining the previously
reported dropped Tooraweenah Management
It was resolved and moved, as the council minutes state,
that “the meeting schedule for the Sports Council be
changed to six monthly, with council staff meeting collectively
with the sports groups to consult or discuss planned
upgrades, management issues and bookings”.
However, in an email sent to Sports Council members
last week from council, it clearly reads that “council has
determined to no longer have a Sports Council committee”.
It then goes on to state that the “council will instead
meet with council facility ‘user groups’ twice each year”.
Former Sports Council member, Jon Kilby, is not
impressed by this new move, and has raised concerns that
the Sports Council were not consulted.
“They could have discussed this with the Sports
Council, we just want reassurance that we will have
involvement, but now it just seems it will be one person
against council,” said Mr Kilby.
“I’m concerned that if there is no Sports Council, then
user groups won’t have much of a voice.
“My understanding of user groups is that they are quite
supportive of each other and projects, but now they wont
even be able to get into a room to discuss projects and planning.
“The Sports Council had a councillor on board, so if we
voted on things, that councillor would then take our concerns
to the meetings. This just feels like the power has
been taken off the user groups.”
Mr Kilby has outlined that the issue with not having a
Sports Council can be seen through other councils without
“I know of a few but for example Warren Shire
Council don’t have a Sports Council, and they don’t have
any say on what happens to their facilities.”
In the May 10
edition of The Gilgandra Weekly, a recommendation
regarding the Tooraweenah Management Committee from
the April ordinary council meeting was printed. It stated
that “in lieu of continuing the Tooraweenah Management
Committee, council staff commence a consultative process
with the community to develop a Tooraweenah Plan of
At the conclusion of each council term, all committees
are disbanded, according to the Gilgandra Shire Council
business paper from April 2022.
Traditionally, council has appointed a number of committees
to consider and recommend to council on the management
of various activities. However, there is now concern
for Tooraweenah’s affairs.
“I am saddened to hear that our traditional sub-committee
is to be disbanded,” said Lester Thurston, an avid member
of the former Tooraweenah Management Committee.
“I’m disappointed, I’m sure the new plan will be fine,
but we needed that connection to the council for things to
get done. Let’s hope the new consultative sessions will be
more beneficial to our town.”
Mr Thurston received an email last week from council,
as all other committee members did, regarding the change
The email stated, “moving forward, and taking account of a suggestion put forward at the community consultation session in Tooraweenah, council will not be reappointing a Tooraweenah Management Committee in its previous format. Rather, council staff will conduct a consultative process with the community to develop a Tooraweenah Plan of Management over the 2022-23 financial year”
In response, Mr Thurston shared the importance of the
committee, and its humble beginnings from many years
“I would like to acknowledge the six original people
that stood on the original committee many years ago, which
led us to where we are now. Geoff Rohr and John Bull
(Tooraweenah Recreation Ground committee), Ian
Cruickshank and myself (Tooraweenah War Memorial
Hall), and Jim Winter and Hugh Macadam (Tooraweenah
Gilgandra Shire Council’s general manager David
Neeves, summarised in the April council meeting business
paper, that the Tooraweenah Management Committee
meeting minutes “suggest that there are relatively minor
matters considered concerning Tooraweenah which could
be better addressed annually or through customer requests”.
It stated that “the suggestion is not to reappoint this
committee; rather replace it with a consultative process
with staff working with the community to develop a
‘Tooraweenah Plan of Management’, reviewed annually,
with projects and operational matters put forward for consideration
during budget deliberations”.
However, some committee members disagree that some matters that have been discussed and solved would be considered ‘minor’.
“That (original) committee made recommendations to
council and were able to use savings in the annual budget
to do various capital works in addition to the council’s
maintenance of the village,” said Mr Thurston.
“A few examples of those were the fence around the oval
(involving the Tooraweenah Lions Club and cricket club),
murals on the toilets (Kath Rohr and Betty Bull), and the
picket fence and painting at the aerodrome (lions club and
“The community, individuals, and clubs could be directly involved in the betterment of our community assets. It gave our community ownership of our town.”