Recommendations made by the Finance and Policy Committee - February 2016

Dubbo City Council’s Finance and Policy Committee considered the following items at last night’s (15 February) meeting and made recommendations to Council for its meeting to be held next Monday. The meeting was chaired by Councillor John Walkom.

Proposed amendments to the Local Government Act:
The Finance and Policy Committee has recommended Council prepare a submission supporting a number of proposed amendments to the NSW Local Government Act which aim to  simplify processes and remove duplication.

The proposed amendments are part of Local Government Reforms and contained in the explanatory paper Towards New Local Government Legislation. The amendments include changes to the Mayor’s Term of Office, defining the role of Councillors and processes designed to streamline reporting.

Councillor Walkom said the Committee has also recommended the Government go further in some respects by introducing the option of electronic voting in Council elections.

“The Committee is supportive of amendments which reduce the administrative burden on Councils, standardise procedures throughout the Local Government sector and provide clarity in areas that have previously been open to interpretation,” Councillor Walkom said.

If endorsed at Council’s Ordinary meeting a submission will be prepared and submitted by the 15 March 2016 deadline.

Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre biannual activities report
A representative from Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre (DNC) presented a biannual report on the Centre’s activities as a condition of Council funding the organisation.

“These reports are instrumental when enabling Council to gauge the benefit to the community from the funding provided,” Councillor Walkom said.

“From the report provided we can see that the DNC has been particularly active in providing services to the community, particularly a number of activities associated with Community Transport, Settlement Services and the Winaggaayy Re-engagement Support Program,” he said.

“It is great to see that this important service to the community is so well-utilised,” he said.

Project Selection for National Stronger Regions Fund Round 3:
The Finance and Policy Committee has recommended that Council apply for funding for the “Airside Infrastructure Development at the Dubbo City Regional Airport” under Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Fund.

“Council has been advised that any project being applied for must meet the key goals of “economic growth” and “addressing disadvantage” to have a likelihood of success,” Councillor Walkom said.

“The challenge for Dubbo City Council is the need to match the NSRF grant dollar for dollar and also have other funding partners such as the NSW government and the private sector,”

“In this regard, Council have been successful in obtaining $7 million for strengthening the runway at the airport from the NSW Government and is contributing $2million itself to this project,

“This means Council can potentially apply for Commonwealth funding of $9 million based on these locked in financial commitments,” 

Councillor Walkom said the upgrade of the General Aviation area is necessary to enable further investment and development for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“This represents an opportunity to include the private sector as a financial contributor to the project and help meet the “addressing disadvantage’ criteria by enabling medical services to be delivered to western and remote NSW,” he said.

Chair of Finance and Policy Committee Councillor John Walkom 0419 843 233

Last Edited: 26 Feb 2016

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