11/18/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2022 20:34
Dungog Shire Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month from February - November, and on the second Wednesday of December.
Please find following a selection of meeting highlights:
9.4 Advocacy Strategy - Rural living, city benefits
Dungog Shire Council has invigorated its efforts in advocating for economic growth and expansion across the shire by endorsing a new government advocacy strategy.
Titled 'Advocacy Strategy - Rural Living, City Benefits', the strategy assesses the economic constraints linked to large asset maintenance liabilities, restrictions on the ability to collect revenue, housing pressures, and uncertainty over the impacts of a decline in coal-fired power generation and the impacts these have on future prosperity of the region.
Combined, these elements make it near-impossible for Council to deliver the economic outcomes desired by its community. The report also considers the current structural limitations of the NSW local government model being the root cause of Dungog's challenges. The restrictions on revenue, historic decisions relating to infrastructure, and piecemeal grants are not providing Council with long-term sustainable solutions.
This document sets out a comprehensive blueprint for future advocacy endeavours whereby Council can campaign for a fair go for Dungog, including:
1. Council will need an additional SRV unless something is done about roads;
2. Reclassifying roads is the one major thing the State Government can do for Dungog;
3. Council needs to support growth (utilising structure plans and population projections) which contributes to rates and pegging calculations;
4. Our advocacy dialogue needs to go back to 2018:
5. Stakeholders need to understand climatic impact on Dungog's roads i.e. heavy vehicles using roads in a wet region;
6. The protection of these roads protects access to the Lower Hunter's water supply;
7. Dungog doesn't align to the twin narratives of the Hunter region i.e. not Upper Hunter = mining, not Lower Hunter = Greater Newcastle Metropolitan;
8. Dungog's ability to provide water underpins prosperity in the Lower Hunter - the Lower Hunter needs Dungog to take care of water supply to survive.; The Greater Cities Commission's remit ignores the importance of Dungog; and
9. Dungog is a can-do Council.
By endorsing the 2022 strategic advocacy approach, Council will direct its efforts on advocating and calling on the NSW Government to partner with Council by reclassifying key roads and embarking on a unique 10 for 10 program to deliver new investment into transport, community infrastructure, and housing.
9.5 Agritourism Amendments
Council has endorsed changes imposed by the NSW Government to planning rules to make it easier for farmers to use their land for agritourism businesses and generate new income streams.
Under the exempt development provisions, farm stay accommodation, farm experience premises and farm gate premises may be carried out on land zoned RU1, RU2 or RU4 (there is currently no RU2 or RU4 zoned land in Dungog LGA) and other land where development for agritourism, extensive agriculture, intensive livestock agriculture or intensive plant agriculture is permitted with or without development consent under Council's LEP. For Dungog, this means that subject to meeting the development standards and exclusions contained within the SEPP, certain farm stay accommodation, farm experience premises and farm gate premises could be carried out as exempt development on land in the RU1 Primary Production zone, RU5 Village zone, R5 Large Lot Residential zone and C3 Environmental Management zones.
The Exempt and Complying Development provisions for Agritourism will come into effect on 1 December 2022 through State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. Amendments to the Dungog Local Environmental Plan 2014 are expected to occur in February 2023.
9.7 Seaham Weir Pool Erosion Management Plan
Council has endorsed a submission to Hunter Water to provide feedback on the Draft Seaham Weir Pool Erosion Management Plan. The Plan was released by Hunter Water in October 2022 and outlined a program of remedial works to repair and stabilise eroding riverbanks along the Williams River between Seaham and Clarence Town (known as the Seaham Weir Pool).
Riverbank erosion management is an important issue for the future health and resilience of the Williams River. Erosion of the riverbank can release sediments into the river, resulting in increased nutrients, leading to poor water quality. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to riverbank erosion, including natural factors such as flooding and wind waves. However, loss of riparian vegetation, boating activities and stock access to the river are also major contributing factors.
The Plan seeks to balance the long-term viability of the Williams River as a drinking water source, and recreational/landholder use so that everyone can enjoy the river for years to come in a sustainable and responsible manner.
Council will seek to have Hunter Water give further consideration to the impacts increased nutrients from poor land use practises (stemming from animal manure and fertilizers) has on the river systems, and will also request that any remediation works carried out not affect the positive social and economic impacts boating brings to the region, by conducting any works out of peek boating season ie. during the winter months.
10.1 Works Progress Report
Council was updated on current active infrastructure projects across the Shire and informed of upcoming major works to get underway within the next three months.
Below is a list of highlights from active major projects and road maintenance for October.
Thalaba Bridge works are set to conclude this month with the bridge open to traffic in coming weeks.
Banfield bridge project construction is to get underway this month.
Work on Fosterton Bridge replacement is underway.
Hopson Bridge construction complete with associated road approach works underway.
Saxby's Bridge is complete with associate road approaches under construction.
Tar patching works were undertaken at Glen Martin Road, Salisbury Road, Paterson River Road, Glen Martin Road, Chichester Dam Road, Black Camp Creek Road, Martins Creek Road, Cory Street, Paterson River Road and Black Rock Road.
Mayor, Dungog Shire Council
Phone: 02 4995 7777 / 0418 272 197
Email: [email protected]