Public Notices

As the dust settles on the State Election, it seems the Premier may have the 47 seats required to govern in her own right. The big change for residents of Bogan Shire Council will be that our local State Member will now be Roy Butler from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party who joins the two other SFF members in the 93 seat State Parliament. The large swing against the National Party in Barwon (and state-wide) saw National’s candidate Andrew Schier fail to succeed Kevin Humphries as the local member. The Premier needs to be kept to her word. When speaking after the result was known, she said seats that had left the Coalition would not be left out of future State Government funding and attention.

Looking to the future it will be interesting to see the makeup of the State Upper House with so many different parties and groups standing on a ballot paper that would cover a small kitchen table. The Premier may find it hard and frustrating to get legislation through a house that is fragmented, but surely policies that are endorsed by voters at an election have a mandate to be passed and implemented, not altered or diluted by small minority groups in the Upper House with a very small mandate.

An electorate the size of Barwon, over 40% of the area of NSW, remains a tremendous challenge for whoever represents it. Compare this to some city electorates, where you could stand in one and probably throw a stone into another two. On behalf of Bogan Shire residents, I thank Kevin Humphries for the 12 years he has served as our local State Member and pay tribute to the funding he has been able to direct into the Barwon Electorate and into Bogan Shire. Of more recent times this has been about $2 million from the Stronger Country Communities Fund (which he said would continue), funding the four dialysis chairs at the hospital, extra Community Pre School funding, fixing country roads and rail with the complete sealing of the Hermidale Nymagee Road and the spur line at Hermidale, and extra funding for Regional Roads (Cockies Road reconstruction). A promise of transferring more local roads to regional roads attracting State Government funding needs to be kept. Surely this ongoing severe drought will start to attract infrastructure plans and funding to divert more coastal water into inland rivers, and store more water. A big challenge remains ahead for Roy Butler, who I believe does understand the adverse effect the drought is having on local communities and small businesses.

A very small part of the election campaign seemed to focus directly on issues affecting Local Government. It was good to hear that Councils will retain control of the provision of water and sewerage services. However, no mention was made of diverting more Financial Assistance Grant funding from wealthy city Councils to rural and regional areas.

Unfunded mandates for Councils, cost shifting and the massive infrastructure backlog Councils have remains. The attitude of the Local Government Minister seems to be to force more regulations onto Councillors and Councils rather than give them the necessary flexibility and funding to represent their communities.

Ray Donald OAM


Nyngan Observer

From the Mayor’s Desk

Wednesday 27 March 2019

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