9 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • A feral rabbit baiting program using the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5) will commence in Kurrajong in early March and is scheduled to run through to the end of March. Greater Sydney Local Land Services co-ordinates bait distribution in NSW with the support of major landholders, local councils and environmental agencies. The program takes an integrated approach to the reduction and management of feral rabbits.
  • I also want to remind rabbit owners in the Hawkesbury to vaccinate their pet rabbits prior to the release of the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5). Vaccinating rabbits for RHDV early will help to ensure the immunity of a domestic rabbit if it comes into contact with the virus, which is mainly spread by contact between other rabbits (including their urine and faeces) and insects such as mosquitoes, fleas and flies. Owners of pet rabbits should consult with their vet and maintain a vaccination program to protect their rabbits.
  • You can now access a website and mobile phone app to provide the State Government with real time data on feral animal locations and trends. This information can then be used by Government and land owners to provide resources to target priority areas. Rabbitscan is available on the FeralScan website.
  • I'm delighted to let you know that Hawkesbury residents can still purchase a compost bin or a worm farm kit at 70% off the recommended retail price. We have been running this program since July 2015. The program has been made possible using grants from the NSW Governments Waste Less Recycle More Initiative. We all love a healthy garden and one of the best and cheapest ways of achieving this is through compost. Currently, 29% of the average Hawkesbury resident's garbage bin is food waste; residents can turn this waste into a rich soil fertilizer which is perfect for growing fruit, veggies, flowers and plants.
  • To purchase a discounted compost bin or worm farm kit, Hawkesbury residents need to complete an online tutorial and quiz (which takes less than 15 minutes). They are then able to order their compost bin or worm farm for a fraction of the regular retail price. Compost bins including a compost kit and delivery will cost $29.90 and Worm Farms, including farming kit and worms plus delivery will cost $44.90 - that's 70% off the recommended retail price. Just visit Compost Revolution to get started.
  • Hawkesbury residents in urban areas are really taking to the garden organics collection service, with collection amounts continuing to rise since the service was introduced in 2013. The service has collected 4,915 tonnes of garden organics in the past year, an increase of almost 560 tonnes compared with the previous last year. This is great news as the garden organics is recycled into compost instead of being sent to landfill.

Mayoral Column

Our valuable Hawkesbury volunteer, Chris Cleary, has received a 2017 Zest Award for Outstanding Community Leader – Voluntary Capacity. Chris founded StreetMed Inc. in 2014 to provide street level first aid, mental health services and advocacy for homeless people and people at risk in Western Sydney - and it is all done by a group of dedicated volunteers using their own cars. Chris has worked in the community sector for the past 22 years - well done Chris!

I’m delighted that another exciting project ‘Heading Home - Ending Homelessness’, has also won a Zest Award for Exceptional Community Partnership across a Region. The project was launched by Wentworth Community Housing, Platform Youth Services and Mission Australia together with Mercy Foundation and is proudly supported by Council. The project brings together specialist homelessness services, local businesses, real estate agents, volunteer groups and government to identify the most vulnerable people in our community to work together and provide the housing and support that people need to maintain a home.

Through the Homelessness Action Plan, Council has been working with many individuals and organisations to identify actions which can be undertaken by the Hawkesbury community, local services and agencies and all levels of government to support homeless people and reduce homelessness in our area. Anyone concerned about the welfare of a homeless person can call the NSW Government Link2home free phone service by calling 1800 152 152. For more information about Heading Home, visit the Heading Home website or call (02) 4777 8021.

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