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December Council Meeting Wrap-up

Securing our region’s future water supply

Following a lengthy expression of interest process, Council resolved to purchase the Oaky River Dam for $4.3M, as an additional resource to secure our region’s water supply into the future. The funds to purchase the dam will come from the Water Reserve which is currently $29.6 million. The Oaky River Dam, located 40 kilometres east of Armidale near Wollomombi, will address our water supply shortfall and support the growth of the Renewable energy Zone. Securing the region’s water supply, to support the level of growth required, now provides assurance to future developers that we are open for business and our region is an attractive option for those considering a tree change. Council will now begin the process of lobbying the State government and opposition for funding to reinstate the Oaky River Dam wall and construct a pipeline from the dam to the Armidale Water Treatment Plant, ahead of the program to raise Malpas Dam Spillway.

Public exhibition of revised Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy 2022-2026 following SRV decision

Council noted the Amended Delivery Program 2022-2026 and Amended Resourcing Strategy 2022-2026 following the resolution of Council to apply to IPART for a Special Rate Variation of 50%, to be implemented over three years (58.81% cumulative) commencing in the 2023-24 financial year. Following the period of public exhibition of 28 days, a report will be presented to Council, which outlines community feedback, along with the final suite of Integrated Planning and Reporting and asset documentation for adoption. Council will then send its application to IPART, including all supporting documentation, in February 2023. IPART will then make a determination before the end of the 2022-2023 Financial Year.

ARC Council Code of Conduct adopted 2022

Council aims to uphold the highest standards of behaviour to build trust and confidence in local government. As part of this aim, Council adopts a Code of Conduct, which incorporates the Model Code of Conduct for all Councils, within 12 months of a local government election. Therefore, the current Code of Conduct was placed on public exhibition period of 28 days that commenced on the 27 October 2022. There were no submissions received and it has now been adopted.

Land in city centre acquired for future activation purpose

Council has approved the acquisition of two lots at 153 Rusden Street Armidale, for the price of $26,000, inclusive of all fees. The cost of the purchase will be made from the Property Sale Proceeds Internal Reserve which is currently $2,468,015. The lots are adjacent to current Council owned lots associated with the Jessie Street carpark. It is considered a strategic acquisition which can be retained for car parking or some future activation purpose.

Potential for greater density residential subdivision in Kurrawatha Avenue

Council’s Land Use Planning team received a Planning Proposal seeking to amend a parcel of land by changing the Lot Size Map for an existing low density residential subdivision in Kurrawatha Avenue Armidale, from 1 ha to 4,000m², to enable a greater density of development on the land. As the land is close to existing services, it was seen as a logical inclusion to the urban footprint for Armidale City and aligns with the community’s aspirations to grow in population. At its meeting on 14 December 2022, Council endorsed the Planning Proposal which will now be forwarded onto the Department of Planning and Environment seeking a Gateway Determination and to commence the necessary actions resulting from that decision. The Land Use Planning team will be working to identify more land for new homes, as well as working with our major centres and villages to grow over the next 20 years.

Armidale Regional Landfill to be solar-powered

New England Solar Power has been awarded the tender to supply and install a solar power system at the Armidale Regional Landfill to provide 24-hour power to the site to control leachate/sediment water storage pumps. Without solar power, the site currently relies solely on the diesel generator and a series of manually operated switches. The recent extended wet weather has seen an increase of after-hours visits to the site by waste services personnel to run pumps. The use of solar power at the site supports the use of sustainable materials and practices and the solar power supports Council’s Renewable Energy Action Plan.


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