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Community consultation underway

An online survey was launched today to establish community priorities for three major infrastructure projects being proposed by Bland Shire Council.

Western Research Institute has been engaged by Bland Shire Council to develop a business case for the possible development of a West Wyalong Community Cinema, an indoor heated pool and a standalone Visitor Information Centre.

The community survey asks a series of questions which will assist Western Research to establish the viability and level of community support for each project.

The survey can be accessed from the home page of Council’s website at www.blandshire.nsw.gov.au or from the “Bland Shire Council” Facebook page.

A concurrent survey was also launched today targeting the views of Bland Shire businesses on a proposed stand alone Visitor Information Centre. Business owners can access the survey through Council’s website or Facebook page.

Submissions for both surveys close on Friday 11 May.

Meanwhile, Council is also calling for community input into its 2018-2019 draft delivery plan, operational plan and budget, draft 2018-2019 revenue policy and draft resourcing strategy (comprising the Asset Management Plan, Long Term Financial Plan and Workforce Assessment Plan).

The draft 2018-2019 budget projects an operational surplus before depreciation of $4.26 million and a deficit including depreciation of $1.03 million.

This represents a significantly improved projected result from 2017-2018 as Council continues to move strategically towards an operating surplus after depreciation in 2020-2021.

With a continued commitment to improved efficiencies and sound financial management practices, Council is able to achieve the projected savings without a major reduction in service levels to the community.

As Council looks ahead at potential major infrastructure projects in the future, the draft 2018-2019 includes reduced capital expenditure with a stronger emphasis on continuing maintenance of existing Council assets.

The budget includes plant and equipment purchases valued at $1,176,883 and almost $7 million expenditure on Council’s road network..

Some of the other draft budget highlights include –

$50,000 for shade sails at Tallimba Park

$50,000 for new beams at the lawn cemetery (as part of an ongoing 10 year plan)

$50,000 for a sewer extension

$30,000 for seating and shelter at the Weethalle Silos

$15,000 for a mobile event trailer

$10,000 for fencing and gates at McAlister Oval, and

$5000 for an electricity point for electric cars

Copies of the draft delivery plan and operational plan (including the budget), revenue policy including all proposed Council fees and charges for 208-2019 and resourcing strategy are available at Council’s website www.blandshire.nsw.gov.au under  “Community Consultation” or “Draft Community Strategic Plan Documents” or at Council’s offices at 6 Shire Street, West Wyalong.

Comments in writing, via email to council@blandshire.nsw.gov.au or via the online web form are invited up until 5pm on Friday 18 May.

While Council has adopted a slightly reduced capital budget for 2018-2019, more than $1.3 million in additional infrastructure will be invested in the Bland Shire under the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF).

Council has submitted almost $4 million worth of applications under the SCCF on behalf of the community and will project manage each of the successful projects on behalf of the relevant group or organisation.

The applications will be assessed and determined by the State Government across multiple stages. Following an initial vetting process, the State Government will also conduct community consultation in the Bland Shire in the coming months to also establish community priorities. The State Government have advised that the successful projects are expected to be announced in September.