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Mayor Humphries Returned as Chair of Country Mayors’ Association

Mayor Katrina Humphries was been re-appointed as the Chair of the Country Mayors’ Association (CMA) for the fourth year in a row at their Annual General Meeting last Friday in Sydney. Joining Cr Humphries as returning Deputy Chair of the CMA is Mayor Michael Pearce of Uralla Shire Council.

The CMA represents almost 70 rural and coastal councils across New South Wales, with the group proving to be a formidable force in advocating for local government and issues that affect their communities.

“It is an honour to be re-appointed as the Chair of the Country Mayors’ Association”, said Mayor Humphries.

“Country Mayors has never been more relevant as it is now and I am so pleased that we represent a collective voice on many matters affecting councils outside of the metro areas. I believe that our Association serves as one of the NSW Government's best contacts with the bush, coastal and regional areas and I am incredibly proud of my role in this.”

At last week’s meeting, members of the CMA were joined by the following speakers:

  • Rob Rogers, Deputy Commissioner of NSW Rural Fire Service and Corey Shackleton, Director of Community Resilence of NSW Rural Fire Service;
  • Matt Fuller, Acting Deputy Secretary, Regional and Outer Metropolitan, Transport for NSW and Peter Ryan, Senior Manager, Major Property Development and Corporate Real Estate, Corporate Services, Transport for NSW;
  • Gary White, Chief Planner, Planning, Industry and Environment.

“The speakers we hosted at last week’s meeting are testament to the clout and relevance of our membership.

“With 494,028 hectares burnt out across the state since 1 July, bush fire season is affecting many of our member councils so it was timely to hear from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

“It was also great to hear of about the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan which details the forward thinking for regional NSW for the movement of people and freight to meet customer needs and deliver responsive, innovative services for our communities.

“And of course, it was lovely to host a great friend of Country Mayors, Mr Gary White, the Chief Planner for NSW who spoke very passionately about the need for strategic planning for land use in our Shires. Moree Plains is in fact amidst its consultation process for our Local Strategic Planning Statement this week so it was a great reminder of why it is essential to plan what we want for our futures.”

At the Annual General Meeting, the Executive of the CMA was confirmed as follows:

  1. John Seymour, Coolamon Shire Council
  2. Liz Campbell, Kempsey Shire Council
  3. Cathy Redding, Narrabri Shire Council
  4. Kathy Sajowitz, Oberon Council
  5. Ken Keith OAM, Parkes Shire Council
  6. Peter Petty, Tenterfield Shire Council

“I am proud to be working with other driven country Mayors and to be a part of a group that supports each other and our communities”, Mayor Humphries commented.

“Over the years we have stood-up for our communities and citizens - earlier this year, we fought alongside our local State Member Adam Marshall for rural workers in the energy sector and helped to save 182 jobs.  We will continue this type of advocacy and drive our relationships with State and Federal government representatives closer.”

Photograph 1:

Mayor Katrina Humphries.

Level Four Water Restrictions - Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah

Despite recent heavy rainfall elsewhere in the state, drier than usual conditions are forecast for the Moree Plains for November. This has forced Moree Plains Shire Council to increase the water restrictions applying to Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah to Level Four restrictions, effective from Monday 11 November 2019.

Water levels and consumption have been closely monitored across all towns within the Moree Plains Shire. The results of this monitoring, together with the likelihood of limited rainfall for the remainder of this calendar year, has led to the imposition of Level Four water restrictions in Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah.

“Council have been monitoring water consumption for some time. Residents across the Shire and in particular, the communities of Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah, have noticeably acted with diligence when it comes to water usage and these efforts are to be commended,”  explained Council’s Acting General Manager Mitchell Johnson. 

“An update from the NSW Drought Task Group has informed Council that November is showing strong chances of being much drier than usual and that rainfall is likely to be below average for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020.

“This has necessitated the introduction of increased water restrictions for these communities. Council is currently exploring options to secure additional water sources for these communities and we hope to provide an update on this front shortly.”

The Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan adopted by Council outlines the process involved when advancing water restrictions and the applicable restrictions. For household water users, the following restrictions apply as of Monday 11 November 2019:

  • Hand held hoses only to be used when watering lawns and gardens. Watering may only take place between 6:00am - 8:00am and 6:00pm - 8:00pm during summer. Buckets and recycled water may be used at any time;
  • Paved and concrete surfaces are not to be washed down;
  • Covered pools may only be topped up using hand held hoses during the hours allowed for general watering noted above;
  • Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water;
  • Only water from a bucket can be used while undertaking home extensions or landscaping;
  • Water can only be carted for domestic purposes;
  • Washing of clothes is only permitted with full loads, adhering to the odds and even system;
    • Households with odd street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on odd dates;
    • Households with even street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on even dates.
  • Residents are encouraged to have short showers (between 3-5 minutes);
  • Pets are only to be washed using water from a bucket;
  • Residents are encouraged to reduce usage of evaporative air coolers;
  • All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons.

For Commercial and Industrial water users in Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah, the following restrictions will apply:

  • Irrigation (Efficient User) consumption should be reduced by 50%;
  • Irrigation (Non Efficient User) consumption should be reduced by 50%;
  • All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons;
  • Public swimming pools are to be operated with maximum efficiency;
  • Water can only be carted for domestic purposes;
  • Businesses must make greater endeavours to minimise water usage;
  • Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water;
  • Only commercial car washes that recycle water will be allowed to operate;
  • Washing of commercial buildings and windows is banned.

Residents and local businesses are required to follow all additional water restrictions. 

Further details of these water restrictions can be found on Council’s website www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au within its Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan.

Mr Johnson emphasised that being water wise is something that all residents should be mindful of, noting that “We have experienced the driest 33 months on record and with no heavy rainfall predicted in the near future, we are relying on all residents to be vigilant in respect of their water consumption.

“At this point, every effort to conserve water across the Shire counts; the simple stuff really matters. Do not leave taps running while you brush your teeth or wash the dishes and ensure you are encouraging your children to be water wise.”

Residents throughout the Moree Plains Shire are urged to promptly report any leakages to Council’s Customer Service Centre on (02) 6757 3222, even if it is after hours.

Council will continue to monitor water levels across all towns closely and take further action if necessary to ensure water supply is preserved.

 

Nearly 100 businesses across the Plains to spread the love with a Love Local Moree Card

Nearly 100 businesses across the Moree Plains Shire will participate in the new Love Local Moree Card program, launched today by Council, encouraging residents to shop locally this Christmas.

Love Local Moree Cards can be purchased online as well as at local “load-up stores” in Moree, Mungindi and Pallamallawa and can then be used at a variety of participating stores located in Moree and surrounding villages. Details of participating stores can be found on Council’s website.

Mayor Katrina Humphries has praised the Love Local Moree Cards saying, “We are so proud to bring this initiative to the Plains. We know our retail and hospitality sectors are hurting and these cards are a unique way of providing some much needed sales for local businesses within and surrounding the Moree Plains.

“This unprecedented drought is taking a major toll on businesses and their families as well as our community at large. With Christmas quickly approaching, Love Local Moree Cards are a way for family and friends from afar to give a gift that gives many times over. There is not a lot of spare funds around for our local families; a Love Local Moree Card allows them to enjoy a little Christmas cheer but also supports our local businesses.

“Thank you to our business community for getting behind this initiative. As nearly 100 businesses are participating, the gift cards shine a light on how many services and boutique stores we are fortunate to have operating within our Shire.

“I encourage local residents and their friends and families living outside of the Shire to purchase a Love Local Moree Card this Christmas and support the local businesses that have supported our community for years.”

Gift recipients will be able to spend their money on a wide variety of goods and services from Moree Plains Shire including adult and children’s fashion and footwear, gifts and homewares, art & framing, hair and beauty, cafe and dining, jewellery, fuel and groceries, car servicing and detailing, health and leisure, kitchen supplies and agriculture supplies, plus many more.

In-store customers can select any amount to be loaded onto their cards from $10 up to $1,000, while online customers can purchase cards in quantities of $25, $50, $100 and $200. Cards can then be used across multiple participating stores until the value of the card reaches zero.

Council’s Acting Economic Development and Grants Manager Mrs Susannah Pearse is enthusiastic about response from local businesses coming on-board, “With almost 100 businesses throughout the Shire participating, this initiative is gearing up to be highly successful”, she commented.

“The Love Local Gift Cards are an exciting way to encourage city dwellers to buy from the bush this Christmas. The card allows recipients to shop around the Shire’s vast retail and service sectors while also giving back to the Moree Plains Shire community.

“There is no cost to businesses to participate, with Council funding the administrative costs to launch the initiative so local participating businesses will directly financially benefit from purchases through the Love Local Moree Card.”

All cards have a three year expiry period activated from the date of purchase, providing shoppers with plenty of time to enjoy the love brought by a Love Local Moree Card.

The following local businesses are load-up stores and Love Local Moree Cards can be purchased directly from them:

https://www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/hot-topics/docman/news-and-topics/1471-love-local-gift-card-redeemable-at-over-90-businesses/file

Alternatively, a Love Local Moree card can be purchased online at https://www.whyleavetown.com/purchase-online and the card will be posted to the recipient.

The full list of the participating stores can be found here: https://www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/hot-topics/docman/news-and-topics/1471-love-local-gift-card-redeemable-at-over-90-businesses/file

This Christmas, share the love with a Love Local Moree Card.

Photograph:

Love Local Moree Card launch at PR Interiors with Dimitee Spriggs, Shallen Fuller, Katrina Humphries, Susannah Pearse.

Funding to Moree Portrait Prize to Encourage and Inspire Young Artists

Moree Plains Shire Council (Council) will provide financial assistance of $1,000 from its Public Donations to Moree Cultural Art Foundation, the governing body of the Bank Art Museum Moree (BAMM), to facilitate the 2019 Moree Portrait Prize.  

This will be the third year BAMM has hosted the Moree Portrait Prize and the overwhelming response from local artists, requests from locals and success of the competition in these previous years has highlighted the need to provide further categories in this year’s Moree Portrait Prize.  

The funding will be used to increase the number of categories and their associated cash prizes in the 2019 Moree Portrait Prize. 

“The Moree Portrait Prize provides local artists of all ages with a platform to exhibit their work and talents to the community in a professional manner,” said Mayor Katrina Humphries. 

“As a Council, we recognise our community members have a diverse range of recreational pursuits. If we can showcase our cricketing prowess within the picket fence at Ron Harborne Oval, it seems fitting that our more artistically gifted residents can enjoy having their works on display at BAMM. 

“I am particularly proud to be supporting categories which provide our youth with the opportunity to demonstrate their artistic talents. At our recent My Moree Photography Exhibition, we were overwhelmed by the volume and calibre of entrants in the Up and Coming talent category. 

“I believe Council is playing an important role in shaping the next generation of artists through providing funding to support the Under 8’s to Ages 16-18 prize pool.” 

The Moree Portrait Prize offers cash prizes in a range of categories including; Under 8’s, Ages 9-12, Ages 13-15, Ages 16-18, Local Artists, People’s Choice and the Grand Prize, with the funding provided by Council directly supporting the Under 8’s through to Ages 16-18 prize pool that includes eight awards.  

Interim Director of BAMM Kate Tuart has praised the funding stating “BAMM is hugely thankful for Council’s support of the Moree Portrait Prize categories.”  

“This prize money supports the growth of an annual community favourite of BAMM’s program and we can’t wait to see what local creatives will be entering in 2019 – especially those young budding artists who are looking to experiment and experience art in a rural town.  

“Entries have been extended until Friday 15 November with entry forms available at BAMM and on our website. For the first time, artists can also mark their artworks for sale!” 

Moree Portrait Prize will be on display at BAMM from 6 December 2019 to 18 January 2020. 

As is the case each calendar quarter, Council has funding available through its Public Donations process. Applications must be made in accordance with Council’s Public Donations Policy; a copy of which can be found on Council’s website. Applications for the next round of funding close at 5pm, Friday 21 December and will be considered by Council at its meeting in January 2020. 

Photo: Lucy Midgley, Local Prize Winner. 

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