December 18, 2020
Gunnedah Shire Council’s Annual Report for 2019-20 has been released, documenting a year of strength despite the considerable challenges of drought and COVID-19.
Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the Annual Report showed a year the Gunnedah community could be proud of.
“Our community has survived through what seemed like a never-ending drought, only to be hit by COVID-19,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Gunnedah has once again shown its true resilience in a year with considerable highlights.
“We know it’s been tough, but people have shown themselves to be innovative both in business and in their community roles. Gunnedah Shire Council has been proud to partner with industry and with the community to facilitate projects that will benefit Gunnedah for many years to come.
“We are looking at an era that is among the most significant, in terms of development, in the Shire’s history.
“In the 12 month period, Council’s contribution of drought funding of $6.3 million with State and Federal funding opportunities realised a total of $47 million worth of projects. This represents an almost 650% return on investment.
“When you include recurrent grants and the promised new $53 million hospital and the $62 million Second Road Over Rail Bridge, this figure is more than $190.5 million over this term of Council. That’s a lot of money going into Gunnedah Shire to support our community and build and diversify our economy.
“Our people and our businesses are working hard to be resilient, and this will serve Gunnedah well as we move towards a strong future.”
Council has undertaken a number of initiatives to support the community during the drought and COVID-19, including leveraging a Council $1.4 million investment to gain Federal support of $1 million and State support of $1 million, creating a pool of funding of at least $3.4 for a Community Resilience Program.
Gunnedah Shire Council's Community Resilience Program won the local government category of the NSW Resilient Australia Awards which is open to 128 Councils.
Cr Chaffey said the report showed Council was in a sound financial position, not only meeting, but surpassing the standards set by the Office of Local Government.
“This is an outstanding result in any year,” he said. “Considering the hurdles of the 2019-20 financial year and the issues our community has been going through, it is a remarkable achievement.”
In partnership with the State and Federal governments, Gunnedah Shire Council has seen the following major projects underway or funded during the 2019-20 year:
• Gunnedah Second Road over Rail Bridge
• The Gunnedah to Curlewis pipeline
• Livvi’s Place Inclusive Playground
• Bloomfield Street reconstruction
• Gunnedah Koala Park and Education Centre
• Rainbow Serpent Water Feature
• Gunnedah Showground Community Infrastructure Upgrade
• Gunnedah Showground Equine Precinct Upgrade
• Saleyards Master Plan
• Cultural Precinct Master Plan
• Grain Valley Road Upgrade
• Clifton Road Reconstruction
• Mystery Road Upgrade
• South Street Cycleway
Fast facts from Gunnedah Shire Council’s Annual Report for 2019-20:
• Population – 12,681
• A $4 million increase in the total value of development applications approved on the previous financial year
• $18,042,000 was spent on transport and communication, roads, bridges, parking areas and footpaths
• $5,617,000 was spent on recreation and culture, library, cultural precinct, parks and gardens
• Ratepayers paid $18,770,000 in rates and annual charges
• 284 resolutions were endorsed by Council
• There were 47,795 hits on Council’s corporate website
• 26 businesses were allocated Business Partner Program funding worth a total of $50,450
• 12,629 people visited the Civic Theatre where there were 539 movie screenings
Caption: Gunnedah Shire staff and councillors on the road over rail bridge.
Media contact: (02) 6740 2100.