Mayoral Column 10th September 2021
Published on 10 September 2021
Waste to Energy – Jerrara Rd project won’t proceed
On Thursday afternoon we were informed the NSW Government has completed and endorsed a new policy regarding Waste to Energy facilities in this state.
Under the policy, projects can only proceed in heavy industrial zoned land in four regional precincts in NSW being West Lithgow, Parkes Special Activation Precinct, Richmond Valley Regional Jobs Precinct and Southern Goulburn-Mulwaree Precinct (this refers to Woodlawn, Tarago). This means an end to the controversial Jerrara Power project, which Council strongly opposed alongside the community.
I acknowledge that the Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan endorsed by the NSW Government does allow for the Veolia application to proceed through the planning process, but I want to stress that this plan is not something we as a Council has been in involved in developing.
The document builds upon the existing NSW Energy from Waste Policy Statement which was informed by advice from the NSW Chief Scientist, and sets what we understand they have claimed to be the most rigorous air quality and environmental controls for energy from waste projects in the world.
Council will continue to advocate for our community through the planning process on the Veolia energy from waste proposal. We will make our views around emissions, environmental controls and the health of residents, animals, soil and the environment well known through this planning process; and these will still be issues which Veolia address.
Finally I do want to recognise the enormous efforts of residents in the Bungonia area, who have poured their heart and soul into fighting this proposal over the past 6 months. I know it has taken an emotional toll on many of you, and I am glad that you will be able to rest easy this weekend knowing that the proposal is behind us.
On Monday we were informed of two new cases of COVID-19 in Goulburn, along with a number of venues of concern in our City across the weekend.
Testing was ramped up on Tuesday and Wednesday with long lines at all three testing sites in the City. Thankyou to all of our residents working in these areas at the moment or in health in general. The good news is, as of early Friday morning there have been no new cases in our region arising from these venues of concern.
A number of regions had restrictions eased on Thursday, however unfortunately Goulburn Mulwaree was not included. The criteria that seems to have been set by the NSW Government is 14 days with zero COVID cases, meaning our area may be considered for easing of restrictions following the weekend of the 18th/19th September if we can maintain zero cases.
We are of course always going to face risk, especially being along the Sydney to Canberra corridor, so please remain vigilant, and keep following the rules.
In the meantime I encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated. This is our pathway out of these difficult times, and will enable us to get kids back to school, businesses open and our freedoms back.
Mindfulness garden complete
The offerings at Victoria Park continue to grow, following the recent completion of a mindfulness garden which has been an initiative of Goulburn Mulwaree Youth Council.
The area incorporates a conversation pit, and a garden where youth and other community members can relax, chat and enjoy the surrounds of Victoria Park. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of the Spark Ginninderry Construction Program & TAFE NSW, Divalls and Employment Plus who all contributed to the space.
At the moment during lockdown the world can seem to weigh you down. You may have lost your job or work hours, or perhaps work is overbearing. We all know that not being able to see friends and family is certainly taking a toll – but taking some time to relax and enjoy a beautiful natural environment like Victoria Park might be just what you need. I encourage you to take a walk around the park, and sit in this new space to relax.
$55,000 has been allocated towards the project by Council, with a further $15,000 one off grant from the NSW Government following the support of Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, and Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women the Hon Bronnie Taylor. My thanks to them for their support of this great project.
Graham Coe Pavilion - Cookbundoon
Local contractors are in the final stages of fit-off at the new Cookbundoon Pavilion, with the project to be completed early this month.
Councillors in August resolved to name the building the Graham Coe Pavilion, in honour of his strong contribution to the sport and the formation of the Southern Tablelands Football Association. The new pavilion includes six change rooms, a function room, canteen, officials change rooms, public amenities, storeroom, office and an undercover veranda.
Soccer is perhaps the largest sport in our region based on player numbers, and this upgrade to provide essential facilities such as change rooms for our female players was overdue. I am pleased to see it now completed to a high standard, and I hope to be able to officially open it soon once restrictions are eased. It would be great to see the facilities utilised in 2021, so I hope the STFA are able to complete their finals series as planned, presuming our lockdowns end soon.