URALLA Shire mayor Michael Pearce has returned from a meeting in Sydney this week confident about his Council’s future.
Cr Pearce and acting general manager George Cowan discussed Council’s plans and progress with Local Government Minister Paul Toole on Wednesday at state parliament.
The meeting was arranged by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
“The Minister told us that if Council continued to deliver on the plan we submitted to the government earlier in the year, our future is assured,” Cr Pearce said.
“It was good to hear this from the Minister in person – to reassure our community and to also brief him on our recent achievements and our future plans.”
“Our community will be very happy with this news.”
Cr Pearce said the meeting also secured Uralla Shire the ability to submit an application for funding under the next round of the government’s $4 million innovation fund for smaller rural and regional councils.
“We weren’t able to lodge an application during the first round due to the merger proposal hanging over our heads,” he said.
“Now that’s gone, the Minister said we can make application in round two.”
“Our Council has an exciting project to integrate our public library and visitor information centre to improve service to the community and visitors and to save money for the ratepayers,” he said.
“It’s comes with an initial $500,000 price tag and we’ll be looking for some support from the government through the innovation fund when it is opened up later this year.”
Mr Marshall said he was pleased to facilitate the meeting, which he felt was important following the merging of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire Councils earlier this year.
“Both Uralla Shire Council and the community were understandably wanting certainty about their future following the huge upheaval caused by the merger process,” he said.
“Uralla Shire continues to confound the view held by some that bigger is better in local government.”
“I’m proud to have worked closely with Uralla Shire to deliver some large and important community projects in the last couple of years.”
Mr Marshall said he was really looking forward to continuing that relationship well into the future.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.