22 March 2021
Already nearing the end of March 2021! There has been a lot going on in Council and in our community. Here is an update on all that has been happening.
Council Chamber/Admin Building Works
I am aware that the community is becoming concerned at the length of time the building works at the Council Administration and Council Chambers have taken but I can assure everybody that the works are continuing to come in on budget and are nearing completion with new floor coverings laid and work stations and furniture currently being delivered and fitted.
Works began as a result of Council’s success in receiving a NSW Government Disaster Readiness & Community Infrastructure Grant of $200,000 in 2019 to upgrade the Council Chamber as an Emergency Operations Centre.
During the renovations, severe structural defects were uncovered which required rectification before any further works could be undertaken. All this took place around this time in March 2020 just as the international COVID pandemic erupted which then had a major impact on the timely delivery of building materials and interstate trades people.
With a total budget of $2,078,589 and a current spend of approximately 75% of this amount, staff and Councillors are looking forward to returning to the one centralised workplace, complete with up to date technology and fittings.
With a serious amount of grant funding (both Federal and State) to be expended prior to the end of the 2021 financial year, road and bridges crews have been putting in the hard yards to get these works completed.
- Mt Lindesay Road ( Legume to Woodenbong) – This special grant project is the major ongoing project with clearing and grubbing completed on all three (3) of the remaining sections. Drainage works are now continuing on Stage 3, 0.1 km to 6.1 km east of Legume.
- Torrington Road 2020/21 rehabilitation road works are completed 700m from the Shire boundary towards the Deepwater River bridge crossing (Commonwealth Govt Roads to Recovery funding).
- Mt Lindesay Road – Bookookoorara Creek 2.1 km upgrade and sealing (Federal Stimulus Safety Project). Pavement and sealing works to be completed over the coming weeks.
- Mt Lindesay Road – Hill View – 2 km upgrade and sealing (Commonwealth Govt Roads to Recovery funding) – pavement works ongoing at present.
- Tooloom Road – pavement and sealing works are complete between Urbenville and Paddys Flat Road. Traffic management work and shoulder clean up works will continue over the coming weeks. (NSW Govt Fixing Local Roads funding).
- Urbenville main street footpath upgrade is in progress.
The following bridge works are being carried out by Interim Bridge Solutions.
- Wallaroo Range Road – bridge structure complete;
- Mole River Road Tablelands Creek bridge (full timber restoration) new substructure and deck – works in progress – expected completion in April;
- Barlows Gate Bridge – replacement. Pre-built materials have been shipped to Australia and are awaiting quarantine before transporting to site at Acacia Creek.
Torrington Road (Deepwater River) and Paddy’s Flat North (Kangaroo Creek) bridge replacement tenders have been awarded.
The timber bridge structure renewals have almost been completed at Boonoo Boonoo, Emu Creek and Beaury Creek with approach road works underway to finalise this project.
A risk that is emerging for Council is the limited staff resources and high demand given the increased level of grant funding on major works for both roads and bridges. Also, given the extent of additional grant funding in other regions and neighbouring Councils, there is limited availability to external contractors due to other committed works which increases dramatically the management of works projects.
I am regularly out and about in all areas of the Shire and see the impact that all the fabulous grant funding has had not only on our roads and bridges, but in our community halls, new toilet structures and the bright, new signage which adds to the ambience of our villages and regions.
My sincere thanks to our Local Members, both State and Federal, for their assistance in obtaining the grant funding, and to all Council staff members for the wonderful job they continue to do.