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Report from Tamworth Regional Council meeting Tuesday, May 28

In a step towards determining the future of the vacated Ray Walsh House, Councillors tonight resolved not to remediate the building for reoccupation by Council staff and Council operations. They also agreed to investigate options to improve accommodation for staff over the medium term of up to 10 years and have requested that the General Manager develop an options paper about the future disposal of Ray Walsh House for further consideration by Council. The options paper will be subject to broad community consultation and all documents associated will also be made available for public scrutiny.


Councillors have agreed to put the draft Tamworth Regional Housing Strategy on public exhibition from Monday 3 June 2024 for 28 days to give the community an opportunity to give their feedback. Developed through extensive community and industry consultation last year, the strategy is not only focused on increasing supply of the types of housing most suited for our community’s needs but also supporting diverse and creative housing solutions. It aims to ensure the Tamworth region will have well-designed housing to meet the needs of a diverse and growing community and provide a wide range of lifestyle and affordability options into the future. All feedback will inform a report to Council in July when Councillors will consider the formal adoption of the strategy.


Councillors adopted the Draft Electric Vehicle Strategy 2024-2027 and the Draft Electric Vehicle Charging on Public Land Policy. Councillors resolved to maintain the upfront fee at 50% and the lease period amended from five years to a five-year lease agreement with a five-year option at Council’s discretion. These adopted documents will provide a clear guideline to companies who want to invest in our region with electric vehicle chargers.


Councillors approved the public exhibition of the Draft Tamworth Region Creative Communities Plan 2024-2029 for a period of 28 days. Community feedback is being sought on the draft plan which outlines the Tamworth region’s arts and culture priorities for the next five years. Community engagement was conducted from 12 February to 15 March this year through an online survey and Council in conjunction with Arts North West held 13 face-to-face workshops across the region to identify community needs and aspiration which have been included in the draft plan.


Under the Sports Events Subsidisation Policy, Council has agreed to subside $9990 out the total $21,975 in venue hire fees for One2Boxing to hold the “Clash of the Titans - Country vs the Rest of the World International Boxing Fight Night” at the TRECC in July. The event featuring local and international boxers will be televised around the world and is expected to inject $619,958 into the local economy though the spend of participants and spectators.


One of Council’s key planning documents – the Development Control Plan 2010 – is undergoing a review and Councillors have agreed to put the proposed changes on public exhibition to seek community feedback. The Development Control Plan works hand-in-hand with the Tamworth Region Local Environmental Plan 2010 to set the rules for development within the Tamworth Local Government Area. In addition to general housekeeping and formatting changes, the review - known as the Draft Amendment No.17 – includes proposed new development controls and amendments in response to emerging and changing trends in the development industry driven by the changing needs and wants of the community. Council also agreed to include provisions relating to the impacts of small scale renewable energy projects including visual impact and agricultural impact. The public exhibition will run for 28 days from June 3. All feedback will be included in a report to Council when Councillors will consider the formal adoption of changes. Council will be communicating with community members to ensure they know how they can share their feedback.


Councillors have continued to demonstrate their support to Tamworth NAIDOC Committee in voting to support its Fee Waiver Request. A report to Council said the Committee has been organising events for 2024 NAIDOC Week celebrations, which runs from Sunday, 7 July 2024 to Sunday, 14 July 2024. The Committee requested the waiver to subsidise the fees associated with the hire of Council facilities and services, including Oxley Lookout, Tamworth Regional Youth Centre and Bicentennial Park. The committee has also asked Council to sponsor the design and erection of a new set of light post flags. A report to Council said: “given the social value and cultural benefit these family-fun events bring to the local Aboriginal community it is recommend that Council support the event with a 50% fee subsidisation for hire of the TRECC and fee waiver for hire and service fees” totalling $10,000. Council’s support for the subsidy aligns with Blueprint 100 Focus Area 7, by supporting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the preservation and celebration of their cultures. It also aligns with Council’s adoption of Closing the Gap and is part of Council’s commitment to advancing Closing the Gap goals within the Tamworth Region.


Supplied by Tamworth Regional Council

Image: Ray Walsh House (JCW)


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