Council Releases its Annual Report for 2019-20
Published on 23 November 2020
The Snowy Valleys Council 2019/20 Annual Report, which was adopted last week, reflects on a year of challenges and triumphs for Council.
Mayor James Hayes said it had been a year of extremes.
“Looking back on the last 12 months is sobering - it has been a year like no other,” he said.
“No-one could have predicted the extraordinary impact of bushfires and COVID19 on our community and Council’s response.
“I am very proud of the way Snowy Valleys Council responded to the emergencies. We worked alongside our community, key industries and agencies to help lead a path through to recovery.
“Through the work of the Local Recovery Committee and Sub-Committees and initiatives by this Council, we quickly identified 130 bushfire recovery actions aimed at offsetting the initial impacts of the fires on community and businesses. Council was successful in completing 100% of its direct control actions.
“I’d like to thank my fellow Councillors, Chief Executive Officer Matthew Hyde and our hard-working staff, and the entire Snowy Valleys community. By working together, we have created an even stronger and more resilient Snowy Valleys”.
Chief Executive Officer Matthew Hyde said he is proud of the staff’s effort, commitment and response to the challenges the past year has delivered.
“I’m very fortunate to lead a team full of passionate and hardworking people who take pride in the work that they do and care deeply about the communities that they serve.
“Our team worked incredibly hard during the bushfire response, clocking up over 15,000 hours in the initial emergency phase, and their willingness to adapt quickly to the continued changes posed by the pandemic while continuing to deliver business-as-usual services on behalf of our community is to be commended”.
He said despite these challenges the majority of projects planned for completion in 2019-20 were delivered.
“At the closure of the 2019-20 year, even with the direct and indirect impacts on Council operations as a result of bushfires and COVID-19 only 18 of the 111 actions within the Operational Plan were identified as being unable to progress or delayed.
“Along with our planned operations we also delivered bushfire recovery clean up including 4,000 new guide posts on local roads, replacement of 66 road signs, responded to 515 fire related requests logged by the community as well as the removal over 10,000 m3 of fire damaged tree debris from road corridors, Mr Hyde said”.
Highlights of the year included:
- Launch and roll out of the contemporary Destination Brand for the Snowy Valleys, ‘Visit Snowy Valleys’ providing easy recognition for visitors as they move through the region and encouraging multiple location visitation.
- Construction and opening of the $5.7M Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, significantly enhancing the Snowy Valleys as a cycling destination and complementing existing and future mountain bike and roadside cycling developments across the region.
- Awarded the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture award for the 2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations – ‘celebrating Wiradjuri’, at the 2019 NSW Local Government Week Awards.
- Creation of a single SVC Development Control Plan and Local Strategic Planning Statement to provide a standard approach to the assessment of development proposals and land use.
- $1M new Library for Batlow installed providing updated facilities and a larger space for the community to utilise the wide variety of library services.
- Streetscape upgrades for Adelong, Batlow Khancoban and Tumut revitalising and refreshing the appearance of main streets to improve accessibility and amenity.
- Snowy Valleys Health Summit hosted in the region bringing together key health stakeholders to discuss important issues including current medical resources, gaps in medical staffing and the impact on communities and health providers.
- Delivery of 65 individual Community Grants totally $462,408 to provide financial support to community groups to get new ideas off the ground and secure resources.
- Distribution of $188,525 in grant funding across local community for development of community events following the bushfires
- $723,000 upgrade to the Batlow Caravan Park and further investment for the installation of six new cabins as temporary accommodation solutions for local fire affected residents
- Snowy Valleys Zero Waste Strategy adopted in October 2019, and the Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) project approved including a collection services and local processing facility. This will see a major step forward in how waste is processed across the region. A silage wrap recycling collection service was also trailed for Tooma residents in November 2019.
- A $500,000 investment in the creation of up to 13 apprentice, cadet and traineeship positions within Council over the next two years.
- Major upgrades to four playgrounds, three caravan parks and two ovals to enhance community facilities and improve user experience
- Demolition and clean-up of the Batlow Cannery including friable asbestos clearing following the fires
“This Annual Report is an honest and accountable reflection of the breadth of services delivered by the organisation over the past 12 months,” Mr Hyde said.
“We will continue to work hard to deliver core services and projects supporting a vibrant, healthy and inclusive community”.