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Historic road maintenance agreement

Bland Shire Council has agreed to enter into an historic road maintenance agreement with Barrick Cowal.

Council’s February meeting unanimously endorsed entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see Bland, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council’s share in a $150,000 per year road maintenance fund provided by Barrick Cowal for the operational life of the mine.

Council declined participation in the MOU in a split vote at its December meeting but gave a unanimous seal of approval at its February meeting after a number of concerns were allayed and addressed by representatives of Barrick Cowal in subsequent discussions, including a positive meeting between Barrick and the entire Council on December 19.

Bland Shire Council General Manager, Ray Smith, said any additional road maintenance funds received through participation in the MOU will be welcomed by Council.

“It is additional income that would not normally be available to Council and as such can be viewed as a welcome bonus,” Mr Smith said.

“I congratulate Barrick Cowal on its initiative and I look forward to many positive outcomes for all parties long into the future.”

The funds will be expended on identified priority roads surrounding and leading to the mine as determined by a newly established committee comprising representatives from Bland, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils and Barrick Cowal.

The committee will meet once a year unless otherwise agreed and as part of the MOU each representative will commit to working together towards making all decisions unanimously.

Where a decision cannot be made unanimously, a decision of the Funding Committee can be made by a majority of Councils and Barrick.

With Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils also committing to the MOU, a formal signing ceremony is being arranged to take place in the near future.