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February Meeting Wrap

Publish Date: 15 February 2021

Buloke Shire Council’s February Ordinary Meeting was punctuated with the acceptance of a range of policies, the Councillor Code of Conduct, Rates and Charges Financial Hardship Policy, Community Engagement Policy and the Governance Rules 2021 all being adopted.  A review of Councillor and Mayoral Allowances, along with the Progress Report on Year 4 of the Annual Plan were also presented.

The Councillor Code of Conduct is mandated to be adopted by the Local Government Act 2020 within a four month period following of a general election. Outlining the roles of Mayor and Councillors, the code also addresses a range of other matters relevant to Councillor good governance.

In line with new legislation, the Community Engagement Policy was earmarked in Year 4 of the Council’s 2017 -2021 Annual Plan, and is set to guide the review of the integrated 10 year Community Plan, Council Plan and the Annual Budget amongst a range of consultations to be undertaken by Council in the short term.

The adopted policy provides the community engagement and public participation framework for engagement activities undertaken by Council to strengthen relationships with the community and ensure better decision making and deliver value to the public.

Adoption of Governance Rules 2021 saw provision made for the Mayor to call a Meeting of Council. Under the 2020 Local Government Act Council is required to adopt and apply rules which describe the way it will conduct Council meetings and make decisions.

The Rates and Charges Financial Hardship Policy has been reviewed and adopted. No material changes were made to the policy which is now effective until February 2025. The policy provides clear guidelines to ratepayers about the process and action which will be taken upon receipt of a financial hardship application.

The latest progress report against the Year 4 Annual Plan noted strong delivery, with highlights including, completion and opening of the Lake Tyrrell Tourism Facility, the commencement of the Climate Change Strategy,  identification of surplus land linked to housing opportunities, delivery of the State of Buloke Children Report, significant progress on the Birchip Streetscape Project and tendering for key road projects for the Berriwillock Birchip Road and Tower Road and Industry Drive, Donald.

Council has also been approached about leasing the Wycheproof turntable, which, having undertaken community consultation, will now negotiate a ten year lease with Steamrail Victoria, conditional upon a list of operational guidelines.

Greg’s Digging Pty Ltd of Birchip has been awarded the Pavement Rehabilitation Works contract of just under 1.7km of the Berriwillock-Birchip Road. The works include pavement reconstruction, drainage and surfacing.

Bitu-mill (Civil) Pty Ltd will soon be upgrading Industry Drive and Tower Road in Donald from gravel to sealed roads after being awarded the contract to undertake pavement, sealing, drainage and associated works.

Minutes and documents relating to the February Ordinary Meeting will be made available on Council’s website.

The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will be held on Wednesday 10 March 7.00pm 2021.

End release 
For further information contact Manager Customer Engagement, Travis Fitzgibbon on 03 5478 0181 or tfitzgibbon@buloke.vic.gov.au