Mayor's Wellington Column 20 February 2019

There seems to be some confusion within the Wellington community regarding the Suntop Solar Farm development and the role Council has played regarding it.

In recent weeks there has been plenty of questions and possibly some misinformation going around about the development.

For that reason, Council will host an information session on Wednesday, 27 February, to try and provide some clarity around the way an assessment process works for State Significant Developments.

Rather than talking directly about Suntop, Council will explain the limited role it plays in any major project that is assessed by the State Government and the Department of Planning and Environment.

I will chair the meeting and Dubbo Regional Council’s Director Planning and Environment Stephen Wallace will talk about Council’s involvement.

It was hoped that the NSW Department of Planning and Environment would also be involved in the meeting to give better insight but despite repeated attempts by the Council to bring them in and a part of the information session, they refused to commit.

I proposed this meeting based on some feedback I received from Wellington residents and I hope people take the chance to attend and get a better understanding.

However, it is worth pointing out this meeting won’t be a forum to discuss the merits of the Suntop project or for appeals to Council to find a way to stop it.

As will discussed at the meeting, Council has no way it can stop a decision by the Department of Planning and Environment, and it is now important to work with the developers to make sure the project is of benefit to the community.

If you want to learn about how these decisions progress, I’d encourage you to come along and here what Council has to say.

The information session will be held on Wednesday, 27 February, at the Wellington Civic Centre at 5.30pm.

*****

I would like to thank everyone who took the opportunity to come and see me at two Meet the Mayor opportunities last week. I had great turnouts at Mumbil and Wellington and people came to see me about a broad range of issues.

I like having the chance to discuss what is worrying people. Some issues may be small and easy to solve, or some might be big-picture projects that are important to consider but can’t be completed straight away.

What always impresses me when it comes to these is that the majority of people who come to see me show a real desire to improve their community. It’s not just about that resident, but about improving the appeal of the region for both existing residents and visitors.

I mentioned recently that the large percentage of concerns that come to me are regarding roads and while it isn’t possible to have someone’s road sealed because they come to see me, it is still good to hear from people.

Other concerns such as potholes or general maintenance that may have been missed are important, but it is also worth mentioning these can also be reported to Council at any time by calling 6801 4000.

I also hope everyone who came along felt the opportunity to have their concerns heard was worthwhile and over the coming weeks I will get responses from staff and certain issues and get answers back to residents.

Last Edited: 20 Feb 2019

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