As most residents would be aware of by now the Walcha Multi Purpose Service has secured the service of a locum to fill the role of Visiting Medical Officer on the retirement of long serving Doctor Adrian Allen from this position. Some areas of the media have described this as a stop gap or band aid measure. Though this may seem the case what is borne out is that Hunter New England Health have fulfilled the pledge they have made to the community. This also gives an extra window of time for a more permanent solution. A locum may lead to a permanent filling of this position, if they like the town and feel they, and possibly their family would like to stay. In the meantime Hunter New England Health and Walcha Council are continuing to lobby and advertise widely for a permanent solution. It must also be remembered that there will be no changes to the operation of Dr Adrian Allen’s surgery.
Last week Northern Inland Regional Waste group met in Walcha under the guidance of Tess Dawson. This group, consisting of 12 Councils, investigate solutions to the ever growing problem of waste management, as opposed to waste disposal. As a group they are more able to advocate for financial grants and State Government assistance. As I have mentioned before waste disposal is becoming very regulated and if we don’t get it right it will also become more costly. A new Community Recycling Centre has been established at the ‘tip’ and you can familiarise yourself with the new recycling options if you are there. One point I gained from the meeting was that one piece of contamination in a load causes the whole load to be rejected and must go to landfill.
Council will be conducting a series of community engagement meetings on June 5 and 7. Residents are encouraged to attend these meetings to be updated on Council’s achievements and plans and most importantly to give an opportunity for you to inform us on your priorities and issues. We cannot achieve everything, but if you don’t inform us we are unable to address these matters.