15 December, 2022
Gunnedah Shire Council is calling on NSW State election candidates to commit to a list of priorities to address critical issues in Gunnedah Shire.
Council has endorsed a recommendation to approach candidates for the seat of Tamworth on five priority issues ahead of the March 2023 election.
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey, who moved the recommendations in a Mayoral Minute at the December Council Meeting, said while there were many priorities for the Shire, it was important to identify the top five to seek the support of candidates.
“The Country Mayors Association of New South Wales and Local Government New South Wales have already identified priorities for the State election,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Our priorities align with these but are specifically targeted at the areas that will help Gunnedah to continue to grow and prosper. Now is the time to have our community’s voice heard at the state level.”
The five priorities endorsed by Council are:
- Commit to funding Gunnedah TAFE and/or local Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to deliver pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship courses identified as specific to the needs of the Gunnedah business community.
- Create incentives that will enable an increase in the construction of affordable housing throughout the shire.
- The Gunnedah Police Station is manned appropriately to allow for 24-hour policing by 1 July, 2023.
- An acceleration and significant increase in road repair funding to allow for restoration and betterment to our local and regional road network to improve resilience throughout the shire.
- A commitment that the Gunnedah Hospital Redevelopment, as currently proposed will be fully funded and construction will start in early 2023.
“These are five critical areas for Gunnedah Shire,” Cr Chaffey said. “Training courses that work towards meeting our labour shortage and a commitment to a new four-year funding program called Building Country Homes would be a great start.
“Gunnedah is also fed up with the increasing level of crime. We have a growing population and we need 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week policing to support our existing local police officers in trying to combat the dramatic increase.
“It should also be no surprise that repeated flooding has left us with a huge amount of road damage. We support the Country Mayors Association of NSW’s call for the establishment of a Fixing Country Pinch Points Program to allow councils to plan for future works with certainty.
“Lastly, our promised Gunnedah Hospital Redevelopment has not yet started construction. We need certainty it will happen, and it will happen in 2023, regardless of which political party wins the election.
“Of course, there is more we need from the state and federal governments, but these five priorities are absolutely essential.”
Caption: Council supported the five state election priorities put forward.
For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.