Mayor Dominic King's column

INVESTMENT IN LOCAL PROJECTS

Stages 1 and 2 of the Bellingen Town Centre Beautification project are nearing completion. A final few elements in the Church Street precinct, including the placement of tactile tiles and the honing of some concrete areas, will see the project wrapped up and just in time for Christmas. The final pieces of street furniture will see the project come to an end providing a beautiful space for locals and visitors to shop, grab some lunch or chat over a coffee.

While the project has been met with some challenges, recent feedback our community has provided to Council is nothing short of praise. Thank you and congratulations to those who have worked so hard to see the project completed.

Meanwhile Council has been progressing through the Infrastructure renewal program with completion of various road and bridge works throughout the Shire including the 750 metre long replacement of road surface and drainage improvements on South Arm Road.  

Council is commencing roadworks on Waterfall Way at Raleigh on behalf of NSW Roads and Maritime Services.  The works will rebuild a 920 metre section between the Pacific Highway and Shortcut Road as well as widen the roadway. This is a large project which will extend to April next year and will be a major improvement for motorists. There will be no work carried out over the Christmas break. Further information is available on Council’s website at www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au under Notices.

URUNGA TIDAL SWIMMING FACILITY

As the weather warms up and the holiday period approaches, more people are looking to the Shire’s beaches and rivers to help cool off.  The Urunga tidal pool is one of the Shire’s popular aquatic assets and Council has been working hard to obtain funding to see the site returned to its former glory.

Council has recently been advised by the NSW Department of Industry that our application to the Tourism Driver Demand Infrastructure Program has been shortlisted and recommended to the Minister for funding. While this isn’t a guarantee, Council is encouraged that the possibility of the tidal pool being reinvigorated is one step closer. We are hoping the Minister will make an announcement regarding the successful applicants prior to Christmas.

MANAGING VISITOR IMPACTS

The Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan was adopted by Council in 2016 and Council is working with The Gleniffer Stewardship Group to implement strategies from the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan.

A key objective of The Plan is to address visitor impacts on local reserves. A number of strategies are being employed to manage visitor impacts on the Reserves. These include: education, information, No Parking areas and a moratorium on industry advertising, referring tourists to alternative attractions across the Shire and increased regulation.

There are parking restrictions at Arthur Keough Reserve, Broken Bridge Reserve and at Capararo’s Reserve with No Parking between the hours of 6.00pm to 6.00am.

In line with the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan, Council will be providing ranger patrols at the Gleniffer Reserves over the Christmas holiday period.

LOCAL BUSINESS HIGH ACHIEVERS

Lilypad Luxury Cabins recently won gold at the NSW Tourism Awards in the category of Self Contained Accommodation.  This marks the third consecutive year that owners Yvonne and Frank Wynen have taken home this award which puts them into the NSW Tourism Hall of Fame.

The Awards recognise and celebrate tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success throughout the year.  Being a submission and inspection-based program ensures the finest in the business are being recognised.  Congratulations and thank you to Lilypad Luxury Cabins for your contribution in raising Bellingen’s profile as a quality destination.

CHRISTMAS WISHES

Finally, on behalf of Councillors and staff I wish all our residents and their families a safe and happy Christmas season. If you are travelling to visit family or friends please take extra care and be sure to drive to the conditions of the road.  

Until next time,

Cr Dominic King

7 December 2017