From the desk of the Walcha Mayor

Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes
Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes

At the last Council Meeting the draft report into the study of supplying water to Walcha from the Apsley River was adopted. 

In summary, this report which is available to the public, is that the Apsley River does not yield enough secure water to proceed with this option.  Even though this process took close on two years a lot of valuable information was obtained that will allow the next steps to secure the town water supply to move forward. 

The focus will now be to revisit the yield and availability of water from the Macdonald River.  This will involve identifying and investigating potential sites that will offer off stream storage options for Walcha to be taken from the Macdonald River.  Site five in the adopted Apsley River Report is one example of this. 

From the next stage the best outcome we could get is an increase in licensed abstractions from the river and a storage large enough to buffer the dry periods and allow for secure growth (both residential and economic).  This water supply would possibly rely on harvesting high water flows and would therefore require the upgrading of the current pumping infrastructure.

Coming from my background I do find the process to be slow.  I therefore need to be reminded that this is public money (and a large amount of it).  This brings into play what happens if the wrong decision is made in terms of dam placement, structure or water availability.  A very thorough and exacting process exists to facilitate the right outcome, and even though it make take a while the outcome will be worth it.  As I learn to be a little more patient, we, as a Council will continue to drive this process forward.

Walcha Central School’s success in the latest NAPLAN tests deserves to be recognized as a result of strong leadership and teaching commitment.  As a school that shows great engagement with their student’s education and wellbeing these outcomes do not happen by chance.  Congratulations to all staff, parents and students on a deserved outcome.

Council is currently reviewing its ‘Asset Management Strategy and Program’.  This strategy delves into what ratepayers and residents see as an acceptable level of asset management. 

Basically this is what standard we believe assets should be maintained to.  All assets that Council oversees are included.  This includes parks, roads and road infrastructure, buildings, footpaths, etc.