Council News, 11 September 2014

Article for Council Page – Oberon Review 

Council News – Thursday 11 September 2014

Last Wednesday along with the Mayor of Bathurst, Gary Rush I attended the official opening of the PF Olsen Timber Export yard at Kelso.  While we were at the terminal we were given a demonstration of the process to load pine logs into containers. Each container has a capacity of 26 tonnes and once loaded the container is then sealed and fumigated and loaded onto a flat bed rail carriage.  Three train loads of logs leave Kelso each week for Botany and are then shipped to China.  This contract has created 30 new jobs in the Bathurst and Oberon region with a likely increase in the future.  The three year deal will see 175,000 tonnes per annum exported to China, worth more than $70 million for the local economy over the next three years.

This is a great boost to private pine plantation owners who have been finding it difficult to market their logs and compete with the State Forestry Corporation.  Private forestry operators have the additional burden of Council Rates, which State Forests do not pay.  It could take up to 20 years for private plantation owners to see any return on their investment so Rates and maintenance are a major cost that must be borne by the owner for this period until there is any return.

General Manager, Alan Cairney, Clr Gibbons and I attended the Official Opening of the St Joseph’s Art Show last Friday evening.  The quality of paintings by the students at St Josephs was outstanding. A number of paintings were auctioned by Pat Bird with Deputy Mayor Kerry Gibbons paying handsomely for one prized painting.  Overall the auction raised $1,200 for the school through the very successful art auction. During the auction it was noted there was considerable competition between grandparents for children’s paintings.

St Joseph’s hospitality students provided the food for the opening which was excellent and the pizza’s were made in their own pizza oven which has been constructed by the students. Overall it was a very enjoyable night and I would like to pass on congratulations to the teachers and students for putting on such an interesting and enjoyable evening.

Last Thursday Councillors along with General Manager Alan Cairney, Acting Works and Engineering Director Rodney Wallace and Planning and Development Director Gary Wallace conducted an all day road inspection in our Local Government Area. I found that our roads in general are in good order with some drainage problems, but overall gravel roads covered were in good condition.  Councillors have identified some areas that require some work and we also inspected a proposal to straighten the Mayfield Road where it crosses Wiseman’s Creek.  This will all be subject to a report coming back to Council’s next Works Committee Meeting.  Thanks to Gary Wallace who did a great job as bus driver for the day.

A reminder that this Friday 12 September is “White Balloon Day”.  White Ribbon Day is a national day of support, awareness and fundraising to protect Australian children against child sexual assault.  I hope you will help support this worthwhile organisation by buying a White Ribbon and wearing it on 12 September.

Mayor John McMahon