Drought is the focus of two resolutions proposed by Gunnedah Shire Council for the Local Government (LG) NSW Annual Conference later this month.
The council put forward 12 motions to the LG sector and is waiting to hear which resolutions will be approved.
“While we’ve put a lot of motions forward, as we did last year, we’re waiting on advice for what will be accepted,” Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said.
Gunnedah council is calling for a strategic plan for future drought protection in Australia, and an income management scheme based on the Farm Management Deposit scheme to help businesses, which rely on the agricultural sector for the majority of their revenue.
“It‘s quite clear that this is the worst drought for quite a long time in this region but we’re not unique,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Within many parts of NSW and Queensland, this is the worst drought on record so it’s important that we learn at all levels of government from what’s happening at the moment, and make sure to the best of our ability that we put things in place to react more quickly in future so there’s less impact on the local economy, which drives the national economy.
“We’re under no illusion that droughts are something that never happen [but] this is one we need to particularly pay attention to.”
Other resolutions put forward by the council include an investigation into the decline in the Civil Aviation industry, shortening of the pre-poll voting period before election day, abolishment of rate pegging, and changes in the way the Financial Assistance Grants are allocated to increase the funds for rural and remote areas of need.
Another resolution calls for the NSW Government to make legislative changes that will enable some Travelling Stock Routes to be used by recreational vehicle users where identified and supported by councils in consultation with Local Land Services.
Cr Chaffey will attend the LG conference in Albury from October 21-23 with councillor John Campbell and general manager Eric Groth.