Last Council meeting looks back on productive five-year term

FOLLOWING the longest term in history, Richmond Valley Council last night tabled the 2016-2021 End of Term Report, which highlights Council’s successful continued implementation of its Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

The CSP, prepared in collaboration with the community, is underpinned by a suite of strategies and plans to ensure Council is efficient and effective, and its actions and decisions are transparent and financially sustainable.

Presenting a summary of the End of Term Report, General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said together, the elected body and the organisation had achieved many things during this Council term through team work, hard work and focus.

Mr Macdonald said over the course of the term, Council had been successful in receiving more than $100 million in Australian and NSW government grants which has enabled a number of high-profile infrastructure projects which would benefit the community and economy for decades to come.

He said Council was financially strong and followed a disciplined and systematic budgeting and planning process, which meant ratepayers got value for their rates.

He said looking back, Council had continued its progress in serving the needs of its growing community.

“The 2016-2021 Council term has seen many challenges for our community, as we worked together to recover from the impacts of drought, fire, floods and storms, as well as respond to a global pandemic,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The Richmond Valley has seen 10 natural disaster declarations over a period of five years, and through all these challenges, we have embraced the opportunity to ‘build back better’ and create a positive and resilient future for our community.

“We have continued to support our farmers by investing in industry-leading facilities, such as the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange, and ensuring that regional freight routes, roads and bridges are a key priority.

“We have also started the process of strengthening our town water security and building resilience to future drought through a comprehensive study into future water supply options.

“Another key priority has been to work with those communities directly affected by the devastating 2019 bushfires to help rebuild and reclaim their future.

“Our management of development across the Valley has ensured growth is sustainable, in keeping with the character of our unique villages, and does not significantly impact on the ecological value of our natural environments.

“We continue to improve our local roads network and related infrastructure and have invested heavily to improve waste management.

“The outcomes highlighted in this report are testament to the vision, innovation and resilience of people in our community to make the most of its assets to be an enviable place to live, work and invest.”

The 2016-2021 End of Term Report can be viewed on Council’s website

Local government elections will be held on Saturday 4 December. Elections were originally scheduled to occur in September 2020, however, were delayed on two occasions due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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