The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is conducting public information sessions on the revised native vegetation layer for the former Palerang Council area that it has placed on public exhibition: Bungendore – Tuesday 21 June, Bungendore Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm and Queanbeyan – Tuesday 28 June, Committee Room, Queanbeyan Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm.
‘The layer will be used to update the Palerang Local Environmental Plan 2014 Terrestrial Biodiversity map, to identify areas of native vegetation that require additional consideration in the strategic and statutory planning processes. The layer will also enable interested parties to search for certain types of native vegetation classifications to assist if an area for a biodiversity offset is being sought or where funding is being accessed to manage a particular vegetation community’.
Details are here.
I was surprised how few people participated in the first QPRC – Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council – Community Meeting this evening in Bungendore, considering the amount of interest in the Council merger that has been expressed here and elsewhere in the past.
The atmosphere of the Community Meeting was very positive. The Administrator, Tim Overall, and the acting General Manager, Peter Bascomb, and others, provided heaps of useful information about how the new council will be operating. It was great to see the former QCC senior staff willing to come out to Bungendore, along with some of the former Palerang Council staff, explaining what their roles will be in the new council.
As everybody knows, part of the Council merger arrangement is that QPRC will receive $15 million to be expended during the period of the administration which runs from now until the council elections in September 2017. The Administrator explained that $5 million of this is for merger expenses and $10 million will be for a “stronger community fund”. $1 million of this will be allocated to community organisations by means of grants of up to $50,000. It is likely that the invitation to apply for these grants will be issued in the first quarter of the next financial year. I suggest that this is something that local community organisations should prepare for.
One of the good features that the Administrator mentioned is that the members of the Local Representational Committee (LRC) will be remunerated at a level similar to that of the councillors in the former QBN City Council.
The s355 committees will continue to operate until the 8 June council meeting. That meeting will receive a report from council staff to the Administrator recommending which of the s355 Committee should continue and which would not. The Administrator indicated that some council staff and/or members of the LRC will participate in s355 Committee meetings, but largely in an observer role rather than as full members.
Another positive aspect, not mentioned at tonight’s meeting, is that members of the community will continue to be able to address council meetings – i.e. address the Administrator: http://www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/Online-Forms/Register-to-make-a-presentation