Showing posts with label Clarence Valley Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence Valley Council. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Clarence Valley Council 2010 Biodiversity Strategy - more honoured in the breach than the observance?



TheDaily Examiner, 22 June 2020:

Since last September, Clarence Valley Council has been reviewing its 2010 Biodiversity Strategy, and recently placed it on public exhibition for comment.

As someone who participated in the development of that original strategy, I undertook a critical review of that document to see if the aims and objectives, particularly relating to native vegetation, had been achieved before making comments on the review.

Those objectives were to: • Protect areas of native vegetation; • Reduce the loss of native vegetation to facilitate a net gain; • Revegetate riparian zones; • Encourage the protection and management of regrowth in identified corridors, and; • Educate the community on the benefits of biodiversity, and enforce legislation aimed at protecting native flora and fauna values.

Sadly, I concluded they had not been met, particularly the enforcing of legislation.

There are some relatively uncontrollable external factors that have undoubtedly led to a net loss of vegetation, such as the massive destruction caused by the Pacific Highway relocation.

However, council did nothing to convince the Roads and Maritime Authority to change the route to either of two other less-damaging options.

My cynicism is based on reality, as evidenced by the following example. The 2010 strategy acknowledged that “land clearing and fragmentation was the most important contributor, to the loss of habitat and decline of native species”, and recommended that “any removal of native vegetation, as part of a development application where clearing cannot be avoided, shall be offset to ensure a net gain in vegetation”.

With that strong statement in place, one has to ask why the largest single housing development to be approved, Iluka’s Hickey St project, went through with no offsets required whatsoever, resulting in the net loss of 14 hectares of forest.Regrettably, it’s not the strategy that has failed to halt biodiversity decline, it is the failure of Clarence Valley Council itself, from planners through to elected councillors, very few of whom, it would appear, have ever read the document, and have little or no understanding of the critical need to protect biodiversity in order for humanity to survive.

CREDIT: John Edwards Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

REX Regional Express Airline ditched its promise to keep flying into Grafton Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic because it wanted to fight a trade war with Qantas at other airports & didn't want to waste its few dollars on the Clarence Valley. However, Clarence Valley Council is about to tear itself apart rather than face that truth.


REX Regional Express airline has previously admitted that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it was on the verge of bankruptcy in March 2020, that keeping all air routes open would create a potential financial loss in the vicinity of $10 million a month and, that its current focus (after receiving est. $53.8 million in an untied federal government grant) was on pursuing a trade war with Qantas in which it was putting on extra non-profitable flights into certain airports where it will openly compete with the larger airline.

Rex's skeleton air service into Grafton Airport was always going to be a casualty of the airline board's current grandiose plans.

Even S&P Dow Jones Indices' removal of Rex from the S&P/ASX Index All Ordinaries list effective 22 June 2020 recognised the less than stellar financial outlook for this company.

However, Clarence Valley Council cannot see past the 'fig leaf' excuse Regional Express Holdings gave for terminating what it has previously deemed unprofitable flights into the Clarence Valley from 3 July 2020.

Instead Council will play out the old political animosities held by a clique of male wannabees who never made it past local government.

The Daily Examiner, 16 June 2020, p. 1:

A threat of legal action by a Clarence Valley councillor has led to the cancellation of an extraordinary council meeting in Grafton this afternoon. 

Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons said a decision to cancel the meeting was made on receipt of a letter from solicitors representing Cr Debrah Novak. 

The meeting had been called to demand Cr Novak apologise to regional air carrier REX Airlines for comments she made about the airline during last month’s council meeting. 

Cr Novak said Rex management needed to “pull its finger out”. 

On June 4 the council received correspondence from REX saying that despite council waiving 100 per cent of the head tax it collected from the airline, it would cease to operate its Grafton service from July 3. It cited “hostility” from councillors as its reason for cutting the service. 

Cr Simmons said the letter called for an injunction against holding the meeting because the matter should have been dealt with during the May meeting and not have been brought up at a separate meeting. 

The mayor said he had a similar misgiving and had contacted the NSW Office of Local Government for advice. 

“I expect I’ll get that advice tomorrow morning,” Cr Simmons said. 

But he said Cr Novak was not off the hook and the matter would most likely appear as a report from general manager Ashley Lindsay at next week’s council meeting. 

“It might have to be in a different format, but there are still issues here the council must deal with,” he said. 

Meanwhile business groups have expressed their dismay at REX’s decision and Cr Novak’s role in it......

Monday, 15 June 2020

Rex Express Chairman Lim Kim Hai likes to dish it out but does not respond well to even mild criticism


Grafton Airport in the Clarence Valley is predominately used by state authorities and local government. 

Rex Express is also the only commercial air passenger service into the Clarence Valley even if it is virtually only a skeleton service and, it is heavily subsidised by federal and state governments during the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of at least $77.9 million.

ABC News, 16 October 2018
The executive chairman and largest single shareholder in Rex Express Holdings Ltd is Lim Kim Hai (left) and apparently at his instigation Rex is cutting Grafton Airport from its NSW routes from 3 July 2020 - allegedly on the grounds his feeling have been hurt.

This is the latest example of how this somewhat aggressive businessman responds to even the mildest of criticism of the company he heads.



The Daily Examiner, 13 June 2020, p.10:

Clarence Valley Council has called an extraordinary meeting to deal with the fallout from Rex’s shock decision to quit the region. 


In a report to be tabled at the meeting on Tuesday, council general manager Ashley Lindsay detailed correspondence he’d had with national airports manager for Regional Express, David Brooksby. 

“He advised that executive chairman Lim Kim Hai took great offence to Cr Novak calling on Rex to ‘pull their finger out’,” Mr Lindsay said. 

“Unless a public apology is provided by Cr Novak, he would not reconsider his decision for Rex to cease services to Grafton effective 3 July.” 

The move comes as Regional Express Airlines offered a little more on its decision to cancel the Grafton route with a message to councillors, the community and local media. 

“Council has chosen to discuss the Rex matter in open session and some councillors have voiced pejorative remarks about Rex with the full expectation that these remarks will be reported in the media,” the statement said. 

“As elected representatives, they need to know that their official statements will have consequences and they need to take full responsibility for these consequences. The community and the media should turn to these representatives for comments and their plans for the future.” 

The issue arose at the May council meeting when councillor Debrah Novak used strong language toward Rex while speaking against a motion to issue it a $8908 credit note for 2021. 

In response to those words, Rex announced it would cease services to Grafton from July 3. 

Ms Novak had since posted a statement via her Facebook page and spoken to media outlets, clarifying that her comments were underpinned with “no malice or contempt”. 

Ms Novak, whose post referred to other financial dealings and business decisions Rex has made in the recent past, suggested there was a cultural misunderstanding in part due to its foreign ownership. 

She said the term ‘pull your finger out’ was an “Australian colloquialism” that she had heard “most people use in my lifetime and in council”. 

“How locals or international people interpret what I say is not my responsibility and I will not be apologising.” 

Mr Lindsay in his report before the council said her comments in the previous meeting had fallen foul of council rules and the officer recommendation was for her – and the mayor on behalf of the council – to apologise to Rex and to Lim Kim Hai. 

“I have reviewed the recording of the meeting and I believe Cr Novak has breached Council’s Code of Meeting Practice during her debate on this item (6a.20.011),” he said. 

“Cr Novak’s commentary on REX and their board was contemptuous and in accordance with Clause 15.12 (c) of the Code of Meeting Practice Council can call on Cr Novak to “retract and apologise without reservation” to REX and in particular the apology should be to REX’s executive chairman Lim Kim Hai.” ......

A decision on the matter will be made in the meeting, at 1pm on June 16.

One has to supect the reason given for the airline's decision to withdraw services, when much harsher criticism was levelled at its business practices in The Australian newspaper on 27 May 2020:

"But the response did not satisfy Senator Sheldon, who wrote to ASIC chairman James Shipton requesting an investigation. He said the level of detail provided by Rex to the media could reasonably be expected to affect the share price. 

“Rex’s plans to expand into markets in direct competition with Qantas and Virgin, after having received a disproportionate share of government financial support, are inappropriate and exploitative,” wrote Senator Sheldon over the $54m paid to Rex out of a $100m regional aviation assistance fund. 

“Their failure to inform the ASX of these plans per the ASX listing rules flies in the face of Australian corporate standards. If Rex or any officer of Rex has contravened the Act, I further request that ASIC take appropriate enforcement action against them.”

The chairman does not appear to have overreacted to the NSW senator's comments as he has to the shire councillor's remark.

Lim Kim Hai is not adverse to hitting out at what he perhaps sees as easy targets and the following is a previous example of the Rex Express chairman's response to criticism:

Area News, excerpts from page one articles in 27 and 30 June 2012 newspaper
issues: 

# "A VISITING cardiologist has threatened to abandon his Griffith clinic because of "arrogant and offensive" treatment by Regional Express (Rex). 


Dr Charles Thorburn, who has been travelling from Sydney for more than 20 years to conduct an outpatient clinic at Griffith hospital, was so incensed with the declining service of the Griffith-Sydney flights he wrote a complaint letter to Rex chairman Lim Kim Hai. 

But in an extraordinary response from the Singapore-based chairman, Dr Thorburn was questioned and ridiculed, in a letter critics have seized on as evidence of Rex's contempt for its customers. 

"If, as you say, you find the conditions unsatisfactory, why did you accept them in the first place?" the letter, written on instruction by Mr Kim Hai, read. 

"I would be curious to know if you would reimburse any of your patients who do not get well after seeing you?" 

The chairman's goading continued after Dr Thorburn asked for data on how often the Sydney-Griffith flights were delayed or cancelled. "We are not providing you with the statistics you are requesting for (sic)," he said. 

"Perhaps in the medical profession you are used to dispensing information on how long you make your patients wait or how often you misdiagnosed." 

He went on to say Rex was "still much better than all the airlines in Australia and most of the airlines in the world". 

The exchange comes at a time when a new airline is poised to break the company's monopoly stranglehold on the city, set to operate the Griffith-Melbourne leg dumped by Rex this month. 

An incredulous Dr Thorburn said he was now seriously considering pulling the pin on his long-standing Griffith outpatient clinic. "If the service does not improve, I really need to assess whether I will continue to fly down to Griffith," he said. 

"I found the letter I received arrogant and offensive and quite extraordinary." 

He has since written to Rex board members individually to demand an apology and express his disgust at the treatment. Dr Thorburn's original letter was prompted by a chaotic return flight from Griffith on May 25....... 

# "Local leaders have demanded Rex issue an immediate apology to a visiting cardiologist rebuked by the airline’s chairman during a public relations crash-landing last week. 


Leading Sydney cardiologist Dr Charles Thorburn has threatened to boycott Rex and end his 20-year relationship with Griffith after a valid complaint letter to the airline’s Singapore-based boss was met with an “arrogant and offensive” response.....

BACKGROUND

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Rex Express walks away from its Clarence Valley airline route trying to blame others for its decision


Rex will stand by all regional communities that have stood by Rex during this global and national crisis” [Rex Express Holdings Deputy Chairman and former Nationals MP for Hume, the Hon John Sharp AM, company media release, 29 April 2020]

Stirring words in that quote at the top of this post.

The facts on the ground are somewhat different.

It appears that Rex Express Holdings* directors Kim Hai Lim, John Sharp, Neville George Howell, Christopher Hine, Thian Soo Lee, Ronald Bartsch, James Davis and at least one senior company executive David Brooksby are so offended by having their company's begging letters actually answered with increased funding/concessions from Clarence Valley Council that they have decided to remove the Clarence Valley’s only commercial air link with the outside world.


According to Rex Express on 20 April 2020 the RANS program is to ensure regional airline carriers will be provided assistance to maintain a minimal weekly schedule to regional and remote ports”. The COVID-19 Regional Airlines Funding Assistance Program is intended to assist airlines "to remain financially viable through the unprecedented downturn in aviationdue to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic".

Under revised RANS guidelines, Rex was eligible to receive funding to operate 2-3 return services a week to all destinations on the Rex Express network for up to six months. Rex’s application for the ports it wishes to provide services to has been approved and was signed off on 23 April 2020.

So it seems that the airline had a government funding offer to fly the Clarence Valley route until at least late September 2020.

So why did Rex Express spit the dummy and pull its Clarence Valley route commencing 3 July?

Admittedly Rex Express as airlines go is only a sprat in the aviation ocean, however it did turn a $17.5 million profit after tax in the 2018-2019 financial year and the board recommended an 8 cents dividend to shareholders.

Perhaps dropping Grafton Airport was because having a leg in again at Ballina Airport since early May 2020, the company board finds that market is more attractive.

Or perhaps it has more to do with the changed financial landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the likelihood that the profit & loss statement it will present shareholders at this November’s annual general meeting - given it stated an expectation of a $10 million a month loss due to reduced flights - will not be welcome.

Total passenger numbers and revenue had been falling in 2019 but the fall was quite marked in January-February 2020 – numbers fell by -4 % in January & -3% in February and revenue fell by -6% in January & -5% in February.

By 17 March 2020 it was reported that Rex Express was anticipating bankruptcy and on 26 March its ASX share price had dropped to 0.400. Share price has since recovered to 1.100 as of Friday 5 June.

The regional airline is also now facing increased competition on some routes from Qantas which is expecting competition from Regional Express in 2021. Rex wants to expand its own operations on competitive/commercially viable routes.

It is possible that Rex Express abandoning its flights into the Clarence Valley will not be the only route it is either jettisoning or downgrading and other low volume regional areas are in the firing line – they just don’t know it yet.

It may be that the fig leaf Rex is hiding behind – alleged hostility during one Clarence Valley Council debate of a motion – is meant to forestall panic in other regions this airline services.

Either way, I have lost count of the times Rex Express has threatened to withdraw or did withdraw its passenger services from airports in the NSW Northern Rivers region. In my personal opinion it is an airline that fails to impress.

Note
* Rex Express is reportedly 58% owned by shareholders in Singapore.

BACKGROUND

The Daily Examiner, 8 June 2020:

Seven-line email to council over ‘hostility’ the reason Grafton stunned by Rex king hit

The words used in a Clarence Valley Council meeting last week are the reason Regional Express airlines will cease flying into Grafton from July 3.

The airline made the announcement to cease flying via a letter to Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay on Thursday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for the airline confirmed to The Daily Examiner that the reason for the cancellation of the route was due to the comments made by councillors in a debate over whether they would provide a credit note for the airline.

When pushed on other reasons for the closure of the route, and whether Rex’s Lismore and Ballina routes would continue, the spokeswoman declined to comment, and said that further questions from The Daily Examiner had been forwarded for consideration.

The motion for providing Rex a credit note of $8908, which was to be used in January 2021, was passed by Clarence Valley Council 7-2 after a debate ensued on whether councillors questioned council supporting the airline.

However in the letter, the company has stated it has rejected the offer, despite asking for it in earlier correspondence.

Written by Rex airports manager David Brooksby, it opens by thanking Clarence Valley Council for offering Rex a rebate of $8908.

Please note however that given the hostility of the councillors in relation to this matter, and following the call for Rex to ‘pull their finger out’, Rex will reject council’s offer. Full settlement has already been made last week,” the letter reads.

It concludes: “Please also be aware that Rex will cease all services to Grafton with effect from 3 July 2020.” Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said the decision was “really surprising and disappointing”, and was seeking to talk to Mr Brooksby about the matter.

Council received correspondence from Rex on March 19 and requested that council provide a 50 per cent reduction of the head tax from April 1 to December 31, 2020,” he said.

Council in March resolved to give a reduction of 100 per cent unanimously. “We then received further correspondence on April 23 seeking a credit note over landing fees … that could used in January 2021 for their first lot of invoices.

This was passed 7-2 … and it seems the ‘pull your finger out’ (comment from the debate), that’s what has offended them…..

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Council managed Clarence Care & Support service capacity and staff moving over to the Wesley Mission


The federal government's National Disability Insurance Scheme 
(NDIS) continues to limit choice for the frail aged, chonically ill or those with disabilities, as yet another another local service agency changes hands.

Clarence Care + Support - accredited for aged care service provision and a registered NDIS service provider - which has been helping people in their homes in the Clarence Valley since the early 1990s is being transferred from Clarence Valley Council management to that of the religious charity, Wesley Mission.

The Daily Examiner, 30 May 2020:

Mr Linsday said the arrival of NDIS made it difficult for CCS to operate under council management. 


“It was also the decline in profit margins for all of the aged care sector, competitor threats including the private sector and the amount of government change that has occurred and those planned to occur,” he said.  
“Council has observed that there has been a growing ­consolidation of organisations since 2014 and with the NDIS and the aged care sector ­becoming more competitive council’s model of delivery was not financially sustainable.” 

The council voted to ­transform the service from a council entity to an outside-council not-for-profit organisation. 

Earlier this month Wesley Mission became the successful tender for CCS. 

However, Mr Lindsay stressed that this change-­over was not a sale of CCS but a transfer of the community care services offered by the service. 

“A key requirement for council in transferring the services to a not-for-profit organisation was that the services provided by CCS would be continued to be provided in the Clarence Valley with as many of the existing CCS staff transferring to the new organisation as possible,” he said.

Monday, 1 June 2020

No annual household clean-up kerbside collection in the Clarence Valley in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic


Image: The Daily Examiner, 14 May 2018

The Daily Examiner
, 30 May 2020:


At Clarence Valley Council’s meeting on Tuesday councillors passed a motion to cancel the waste collection and reduce the domestic waste fees by $12.50 to “offset any financial impact of not undertaking this service in 2019/20”. 

“The $12.50 fee that was levied to ratepayers for the 2020 service relates to the budgeted cost to undertake the bulk waste collection. 

The 2020/21 Domestic Waste Charge will now be reduced by $12.50,” council’s acting director of civil works Peter Birch said. 

Council documents stated the service was scheduled around the availability of a specialist contractor and a series of alternative arrangements had been deemed unacceptable.... 

“Manual handling of items left on the kerbside presented a significant health risk while we were living under the more extreme Covid-19 restrictions, our focus was maintaining the regular kerbside bin collection which took precedence over everything else,” the document said. 

“This pandemic has been a challenge for many businesses and all levels of government, impacting our service levels to residents. I know some residents will be disappointed by this announcement.”

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Clarence Valley Council closes beach carparks until April 27 2020


Clarence Valley Council: 

The following beach car parks will be closed from Thursday 9 April until Monday 27 April: 

Turners Beach, 
Yamba and Breakwall (excl. for Farmers Markets) 
Main Beach, 
Yamba Pippi Beach, 
Yamba Blue Pools, 
Angourie Spookys Beach, 
Angourie Main Beach, Iluka (excl. the breakwall carpark) 
South Terrace, 
Wooli (near the Volunteer Rescue Service) 
Minnie Water Foreshore Reserve north of the surf club 
Brooms Head Foreshore reserve near the hall.

The Daily Examiner, 9 April 2020, p.5:

In an effort to stop tourists and local from congregating at Clarence beaches, Clarence Valley Council from today will close nine beach carparks until April 27. 


“NSW Government Health orders are crystal clear around social distancing and gatherings. Our beaches are only open to local residents for exercise and fishing and that’s only OK subject to people complying with social distancing requirements,” council general manager Ashley Lindsay said. 

“Once people finish their exercise they should return home immediately. We don’t want a repeat of what happened on Gold Coast beaches. 

“No holiday-makers should be coming here at this time. 

“Digital signage close to Yamba advising that beach carparks are closed will also be activated to deter visitors from using our beaches. 

“We all need to follow these rules to save the lives of the people we love. Everyone knows someone whose health is compromised. Healthy younger people can get very sick too.” Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones is urging people who would have ordinarily been travelling to Northern NSW over the break to reconsider their plans, and steer clear. 

“For every person who doesn’t come to our region, it makes it easier for us to manage our own physical distancing needs here in Northern NSW,” Mr Jones said. 

“If travellers stay away, it means there is less chance of new cases being brought into our region.


Thursday, 9 April 2020

Clarence Valley Council has put campers on notice, with rangers set to step up day and night patrols in coastal areas in order to reduce the number of people illegally camping in car parks and secluded spots in the Clarence Valley


The Daily Examiner, 7 April 2020, p.7:

Clarence Valley Council has put campers on notice, with rangers set to step up day and night patrols in coastal areas in order to reduce the number of people illegally camping in car parks and secluded spots in the Clarence Valley. 

With the Easter long weekend fast approaching, the council’s director of environment, planning and community Des Schroder said with the coronavirus pandemic continuing there should not be anyone from outside the region travelling for a holiday in the Clarence. 

“NSW Government health directives are clear. Travelling up and down the coast for ­leisure purposes is not ­classified as essential travel,” he said. “We understand there are some people with no permanent address; in those very specific cases they should locate to one of our caravan parks that are open for essential travellers only and follow social distancing advice. They should remain in those locations until the NSW Health orders are lifted. 

“Our rangers will also be keeping an eye on people not following the health directives and will be reporting them to the police if required. 

“The only reason people should be at the beach is to exercise. Once you complete your exercise you should return home immediately.” 

People using beaches for exercise are reminded to:
• Keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people 
• Remember that these measures also include in-water activities (surfing and swimming) 
• Limit gatherings to no more than two people (unless from the same house-hold).....

Thursday, 19 March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic 2020: Clarence Valley Council taking social distancing seriously



Now, when do we hear that this local government council has also considered not just the health and safety of its own workforce, but how it will support the basic needs during this pandemic of the est. 17.5% of the Clarence Valley population 70 years of age and over whom social distancing is going to make just that little bit more vulnerable during a prolonged period of physical isolation, the est. 29% who live alone often without family support and, the est. 5.4% of local residents who have no car and rely on local buses or taxis.

In case shire councillors need to be reminded, residents who fall into one or all three of these categories were already sometimes dying alone and unnoticed before this pandemic arrived on the NSW North Coast. The annual figure was not high, but this current situation has the potential to raise the incidence. 

Monday, 27 January 2020

Clarence Valley Council fights to limit access to its local government register of councillors' interests


And local government wonders why it has such a bad reputation across Australia.......

Clarence Valley councillors (left to right)
Back Row: Andrew Baker, Debrah Novak, Karen Toms, Richie Williamson, Peter Ellem, Greg Clancy
Front Row; Jim Simmons, Arthur Lysaught, Jason Kingsley
IMAGE: Clarence Valley Independent, 22 January 2020

Clarence Valley Independent, 22 January 2020:

Five of the valley’s councillors have remained staunch in their opposition to uploading their annual disclosure of interest returns to Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) website. 

Councillors Williamson, Lysaught, Baker, Kingsley and Ellem were unmoved by a NSW Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) statement that called out the councillors’ decision at the November council meeting. 

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd said that CVC and two other councils had “publicly stated their intention to adopt practices that appear to offend the requirements of the GIPA Act [Government Information (Public Access) Act] and Guideline 1”. 

“The resolutions by councils, as they seek to deviate from clear requirements under the GIPA Act, and justify non-compliance for privacy reasons will be something I consider carefully,” she said. 

The mayor, Jim Simmons, and councillors Toms and Novak (Cr Clancy was absent due to illness) supported the failed rescission motion, which was tabled by Cr Toms and co-signed by councillors Novak and Clancy. 

During questions before debate on the matter, Cr Baker asked if there was “any legislation” that compels CVC to upload the declarations. General manager Ashley Lindsay said “there is” and that CVC would have to provide a “reason why the declarations of interest are not provided on the website”. 

Councillor Lysaught asked if rejecting the rescission motion would constitute “any formal breach” of regulations. Mr Lindsay said he had received “a number of correspondences” from the IPC and that they had “already put us on notice to show cause why [the disclosures] were not on the web”. 

Councillor Toms argued that CVC was duty-bound to comply with what she said was “legislation” and quoted from the IPC’s Information Access Guideline regarding the “mandatory proactive release” requirements” for “open access Information”. 

The guideline and the GIPA Act do, however, provide for exceptions, provided a council can prove uploading the disclosures “would impose unreasonable costs on the council, or if the council determined there was an overriding public interest against disclosing the information”. 

Neither of those concepts have been the subject of a councillor decision.

Councillor Toms said she hoped she had “convinced” the other councillors, “now that the Privacy Commission has written to the general manager with a ‘please explain’”. 

She said she was “a bit disappointed” that she had not seen the letter from the IPC. 

“It should have been shared with councillors,” she said..... 

CVC’s current policy is to make the disclosure available on request in the presence of a CVC officer.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Clarence Valley Council receives $1 million in bushfire recovery funding


The NSW Berejiklian Government has received its state share of the $2 billion in bushfire recovery funding from the federal government and, has informed Clarence Valley Council to expect to have an extra $1 million in its coffers this week.

This money is in addition to grants already received from the NSW Government to assist with repair of certain road infrastructure damaged by the bushfires.

Council expects to use this $1 million grant to rebuild community assets such as sporting facilities and community halls, as well as creating infrastructure which will increase resilience in times of disaster.

The million dollar grant is welcome, however the financial cost of these devastating fires will be a strain on council and local communities for some time to come.