16 March 2017
From the Mayor's Desk
- Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is proposing to locate a permanent electronic message sign on March Street, Richmond with the sign’s column to be constructed within the RMS road reserve on March Street near the heritage listed Richmond Park. RMS has advised that they are now seeking community feedback, with submissions required by Friday, 31 March 2017. I encourage community members to provide their feedback to RMS via email to email@example.com Council will make a submission indicating its opposition to the proposal, based on the visual impact of the sign on the park and seeking a more detailed analysis of alternate locations for public comment.
- Roadside litter is one of the Hawkesbury’s most unnecessary and preventable environmental problems. I have recently seen a lot of litter as I go out on my regular morning walks around the beautiful Hawkesbury. The NSW EPA can issue fines of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation for littering from a vehicle, based on reports from members of the public. I hope I can encourage some of you to register to Report Tossers littering from vehicles to the EPA, you are part of the solution to the issue of litter.
Litter damages our natural environments, harms wildlife and pollutes our waterways. Litter can also injure people by making our spaces less safe. Cleaning up litter is also very costly which ultimately costs ratepayers and the wider community. Reporting littering from a vehicle is part of a comprehensive NSW State Government anti-littering program that aims to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020. I encourage everyone in our region to get on board. Visit the Hey Tosser website to register to Report Tossers littering from vehicles.
- I was delighted to meet several high school students from Windsor High School this week as part of a program called ‘Out and About in the Community’. Through this program, students learn about the community as well as how to travel safely on public transport and other social skills. The students had the chance ask questions about how Council Meetings work and sit in the Councillors’ chairs in the Council Chambers. One curious student even tried on my Mayoral Chains and imagined being Mayor for a day!
- I will be visiting Colo High School next week to sign a Safe Schools Pledge at the Schools Partnership Group meeting. This meeting will be chaired by Platform Youth Services and attended by student support officers, head teachers of welfare and youth service providers. I’m looking to meeting everyone on the day.
Hawkesbury Council has supported Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people through its previous Notice of Motion supporting Marriage Equality. This issue is Council business because we are the closest tier of government to these young people in our community. Council is well placed to provide support to young people who need it via our youth programs and to help change community values to increase acceptance. Our civic leadership and support will hopefully send a strong message to young people who may be suffering in silence. It is important that Hawkesbury Council adds its voice in support of this important Program, as a way to show support for our LGBTIQ young people, and for the schools that support gender diversity. A list of the supporters of Safe Schools, including several local councils, and the form which Councils can use to sign the pledge, can be found here.
Colo High School has voluntarily ‘opted in’ to implement the Safe Schools Program, and our support of this school and other young people in the area is essential.
Other Councils have passed similar motions supporting the original fully funded program, including Shoalhaven City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Forbes Shire Council, Albury City Council, Inner West Council, Frankston City Council, Darebin Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, City of Sydney Council, City of Port Phillip Council, Marrickville and Leichardt Councils, along with a host of other organisations, here.
Testimonials from teachers, students and principals are available here.
A special event on our Hawkesbury calendar, EquiFest, will be held from Thursday, 30 March to Sunday, 2 April and I encourage as many of you as possible to come along and share in the thrill and excitement of this equine event. While it is a ticketed event, entry will be free on 30 March, so there’s every chance to come along and support these brilliant riders and their champion steeds.
EquiFest is a multidisciplinary equestrian event run by Equine Productions and we are expecting hundreds of riders, their coaches, friends and family, as well as exhibition personnel and thousands of spectators to attend, which will help to stimulate our local economy. Council is sponsoring EquiFest and this will be one of the biggest equine events that the Hawkesbury has seen so I hope it will greatly benefit the Hawkesbury.
The show jumping championships will see the top riders in Australia attempt great heights to win $15,000. The young rider show jumping championships offer a winner’s prize of $40,000. There will also be free entertainment, mounted games, dressage, show horses (miniature, pony, and heavy horses), NSW Mounted Police display and an action-packed ‘6-Bar competition’. Horses and their riders will even have the chance to clear an impressive 2.33 metres to claim the Australian record and $70,000 in prize money for the ‘Puissance Wall’ from Europe. Visit the Equifest website for more information and to purchase tickets (remember free entry on 30 March!).
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