From the mayor’s desk

WATER RESTRICTIONS

It was disturbing to learn that we had to apply Level 1 water restrictions on August 8, which is a month earlier than previous years. This is the third year in a row that below average rainfall has left our rivers with low flow and the outlook for low rainfall and hot weather moves us into a very worrying situation.

The Bellinger River is the only source of drinking water for a large section of our community and sadly water restrictions in the past have led to increased rather than decreased usage. So I would ask everyone to be extremely aware of the need to save water at all costs during this time. It has also led council to think about the big picture of our future water security in a changing climate and the importance of protecting our precious waterways.

The sustainable management of our two catchments that we rely on for food, recreation, tourism and drinking water must become a priority. As our waterways are under more pressure than ever we need to be more vigilant about our individual and overall impacts.  We may even have to look at sourcing water from our neighbours into the future and we are having that conversation at a state level. However what we can do right now is have a discussion about the health of our rivers with local state politicians, friends and neighbours to ensure we all attach the highest value on this precious resource.

SUNNY AWARD SUCCESS FOR LOCAL BUSINESS

The 2018 Sunny Business Awards were held in Coffs Harbour on August 11.  These awards celebrate creativity, professionalism and innovation and also provide a benchmark for best practice. Bellingen Shire businesses once again punched above their weight, taking out three awards.

Following their recent success at the North Coast Tourism Awards, the Riverside Holiday Resort at Urunga was announced the winner of the Accommodation, Hotels, Clubs and Bars category.  Norco Co-operative Limited took out the Excellence in Export Award and Bellingen’s Affirmations Australia took out the Excellence in Sustainability Award.

This is a tremendous achievement and I congratulate each of them on their success and acknowledge their valuable contribution to our local community.  I also wish Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga and Heritage Hotel Dorrigo every success for the upcoming NSW State Tourism Awards to be held at Sydney’s Luna Park in November.

REVERSE VENDING MACHINE A HIT

It is very encouraging to see the high level of community uptake of the newly installed reverse vending machine at Connell Park.  Over the first weekend of its operation, a total of 6,048 containers were returned. This RVM, along with 400 collection points across the state, aims to reduce litter in our waterways by 40 per cent. For more information contact council’s Waste Management Coordinator on 6655 7300.

Cr Dominic King

16 August 2018