Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Message from Chris Bilkey MAYOR’S COLUMN

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As you may know, all NSW council elections have been delayed by three months and are now due in early December this year. This is, of course, due to the ongoing COVID cases in Sydney and elsewhere (although NOT in our Council area!).

This election delay has a number of consequenc­es. Firstly, all the current Councillor­s will continue until the December election.

Secondly, it places a great deal of pressure on the new Council (to be elected in December) to complete a couple of key tasks by June 30, 2022. In particular they will need to complete a 4-year Community Strategic Plan (CSP) and a budget for the 2022/2023 ȴnancial year.

The CSP is a community driven plan. It is based on extensive consultati­on with as many members of our community as can reach and forms the basis for our strategic vision for the next four years. We will be asking you about what you want to see the Council achieve over those years, what we should focus on, what we should change, and what new directions and innovation­s we should be pursuing. It is the key document that drives all our other plans, which are really implementa­tion plans based around the priorities of the CSP. And of course, it is critical to the shaping of a budget. Normally we would expect to see the CSP completed by February or so of the new year. Thisbleave­s enough time for the creation of a budget that will deliver the ȴrst-year outcomes of the CSP. And that budget MUST be delivered by June 30 next year.

Do you see the problem? With the elections delayed until December there is a very short window to do the consultati­on for and preparatio­n of the CSP. What to do?

To enable adequate time for the incoming Council to deliver a CSP on time, this Council will begin the process BEFORE the December election. You will hear much more about this when it’s time to have your say but be prepared to have your voice heard in the preparatio­n of this central plank in Council’s planning process. It will shape all our communitie­s! Cr Chris Bilkey

MAYOR

For further informatio­n contact council on 1300 087 004 or visit www.murrayrive­r.nsw.gov.au

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