As I am not standing for Council again, this will be my last column for the local paper. When I became Mayor in 1997 I thought it would be beneficial to write a fortnightly report about some of the main issues from Bogan Shire Council, and keep readers and rate payers informed about some of the main community activities in Bogan Shire. After writing well over 500 columns I hope I have kept residents reasonably well informed about most of the important issues and happenings in Council over the last 25 years. Local Government is all about serving the community, and providing services for the community, so an important part of this is ensuring people know what’s happening with Council.
I’m sure all those areas and communities in NSW experiencing serious flooding at present are very much in the thoughts of local residents as they watch homes being flooded, residents being evacuated and watching sand bags being filled. It’s tragic to see so many crops underwater and ruined. We know a lot of crops, mainly wheat in our Shire, has not been able to be harvested due to the long period of damp weather. Hopefully some fine weather is ahead and damage to grain is minimal.
My best wishes to all candidates standing for election to Bogan Shire Council on Saturday 4 December. It’s good to have a balance between experienced and new Councillors, which this election will provide. The primary vote will be counted locally on Saturday night, but the final result won’t be known until 17 December after preferences have been distributed and final postal votes counted.
Maria Kinsey has retired after serving 15 years as our librarian. During these years she has been responsible for expanding the services of the Bogan Shire Library, and in conjunction with other staff, greatly increased the reputation of the library. Council’s appreciation to Maria was conveyed with a presentation to her at a luncheon after the final meeting of the Council. A presentation was also made to retiring Councillor Kevin Ryan paying tribute to his many years of service to this Council both as a Councillor and former General Manager.
Concerted efforts to keep the John Holland Rail Depot open in Nyngan have been unsuccessful. A copy of a letter in last month’s Business Paper from now Deputy Premier Paul Toole to local member Roy Butler confirmed this. One local employee apparently has taken an offer of employment and moved to Dubbo, the other six local jobs have been lost. The new contractor, UGL Regional Linx, will have a lot of work to do to restore any future local credibility.
General Manager Derek Francis recently received a welcome letter from the Local Government Minister advising that we are one of 33 small rural Councils to receive a grant of $90,000 to help fund adverse Covid-19 situations and support programs. This money will be used to help fund the vaccination expenses by our Medical Centre.
It now seems certain that we will have two permanent doctors (GP’s) working at our Medical Centre from next year. Dr Daniel Kim has returned to our Medical Centre as a permanent GP, and Dr Sen Chengoden will join him early next year.
As the construction of our new Youth and Community Centre progresses, Council have put together a 355 Committee to help guide the inception and initial operations of the centre. The committee will be the two High School Captains, High School Principal and a staff member, a Nyngan AECG member, the Community Hub Coordinator, a Bogan Shire Councillor and the General Manager and the Director of People and Community Services from Bogan Shire Council.
Ray Donald OAM, Mayor, Bogan Shire Council