LAST week, the General Manager and I attended the 2022 Australian Local Government Association's (ALGA) National General Assembly at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.
This is the peak annual event for local government, with this year's event attracting close to 1000 mayors and councillors.
The assembly provides a unique opportunity for us to engage directly with the federal government in the development of national policy and to influence the future direction of our councils and local communities.
With our recent change in federal government, now is the opportune time to build partnerships and advocate for the needs of our shire community.
As a council with a relatively small ratepayer base and an annual revenue made up from over 52 per cent grant funding and contributions, this is critically important.
High on our agenda for Dungog Shire was to advocate for critical roads and infrastructure funding to deliver these essential components to a standard our community deserves.
Together with many other councils, our continuing advocacy efforts were rewarded with the announcement that the extension of Round 3 of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) funding will continue to 2024/25.
The LRCI Program has created opportunities to deliver the smaller community projects that a council of our size could not fund without grant support.
We are currently waiting on advice that grant funding promised under this program for projects including the Dungog Shire library upgrade and construction of the Gresford Sporting Amenities Complex, will be delivered as promised.
We also advocated strongly for the $3 million replacement of the Gresford Suspension Bridge, bringing to light the access and economic issues faced by the families isolated on the western side of the Paterson River who rely on access over the bridge.
After an unsuccessful funding application for replacement of the bridge under the first round of the NSW Government's Fixing Country Bridges Program, and an application to the second round of the program considered unlikely, we have now bought this issue to the federal government's attention.
I will be sure to report back on the outcomes of this and other advocacy efforts, as we continue to fight for the fair and equitable allocation of funding and resources for the Dungog Shire community.
As always, I welcome your ideas, suggestions and feedback in regard to any happenings around our shire.
Please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 4995 7777.
I look forward to hearing from you.
JOHN CONNORS, Mayor
For more information on council news visit: www.dungog.nsw.gov.au
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