VALUE OF BUILDING APPROVALS IN WENTWORTH SHIRE JUMP 65.8% IN 2019/20

Wentworth Shire is experiencing considerable economic growth with the latest statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirming the trend.

“Wentworth Shire continues to buck the trends experienced across the rest of NSW in terms of building approvals,” said Ken Ross, General Manager.  “When you compare the value of the building approvals granted in the 2018/19 financial year with the 2019/20 financial year, you can see that Wentworth Shire experienced an increase of 65.8% in the value of building approvals.”

“This compares to the NSW average of an 8% decrease” he said.

This coupled with a total increase of output from industry of over $56M (5.6%) highlight the fact that Wentworth Shire is a sought-after destination for people to invest in. 

With a thriving region, supported by a robust economic base, distinctive open spaces and strong local governance and leadership, Wentworth Shire is a desirable Shire to visit, live, work and invest.

MAYOR’S MESSAGE

Wentworth Shire Council are excited to collaborate with Sunraysia Daily in celebration of their 100 years Centenary. It is a unique opportunity to reflect on the past, whilst keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the future. We have a united community, with a pioneering spirit that enables us to meet challenges head on.

Wentworth is located at the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers and is our region’s oldest settlement, named after William Charles Wentworth on the 21 June 1859.

Proclaimed a municipality on 23 January 1879 and becoming a Shire on 1 January 1957, Wentworth Shire covers an area of 2,616.926 hectares and includes the towns of Wentworth, Buronga, Gol Gol, Dareton, Curlwaa and Pooncarie.

Throughout the prosperous river trade days, Wentworth Shire suffered extremes in fortune and despair. Floods, droughts, rabbit plagues, to name a few have tested our community. Nonetheless, we have continued to thrive and grow at a rapid pace.

Wentworth Shire is a very different region to what it was 100 years go, and we have seen many changes and overcome many challenges.

As  your  Mayor,  I  invite  you  to  join  us  on  this  journey  of  self-reflection  and discovery.

Cr Melisa Hederics Mayor

Wentworth Shire

MURRAY RIVER MAYORS, GENERAL MANAGERS AND CEOs UNITE IN HISTORIC PUSH TO GET RESTRICTIONS CHANGED

Mayors, General Managers and CEOs spanning both sides of the Murray River from Corryong to Wentworth are joining forces in an unprecedented show of strength to convince the NSW Government to ease its latest tough border restrictions.

Since the new public health orders came into effect, all 14 councils say they have received messages, emails and phone calls from residents who can no longer get to work or open their businesses, with many already closing their doors.

Amid fears of a devastating economic impact on border communities that have always lived and worked closely together, the border leaders have combined to tell the NSW Government that the creation of a border zone now restricted effectively to a 2km strip on either side of the river is unacceptable and unsustainable.  

Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Melisa Hederics says the harsh restrictions are creating stress and anxiety for workers, businesses and families, some of whom are facing enormous financial and emotional hardship because of the narrow permit zone along the border.  

‘Our request to the NSW Government is simple: please allow border community workers on both sides of the border to do their jobs,’ she said.

‘While we understand that both governments are working to restrict the spread of COVID-19, it should be made clear that there are only a handful of active cases of the virus in the border communities yet people living along the Murray River are being heavily penalised through no fault of their own.’  

Mayor Hederics said all 14 councils had taken the historic step of uniting in a collective call for the NSW Premier and Health Minister to amend the order to allow more workers and business owners to cross the border, travel directly to their workplaces, and travel directly back to their homes each day.

‘The narrow border strip system is causing a growing amount of harm to our communities as each day passes, so we’re urging the government to consult with us so we can save our economies while also ensuring we’re all working together to minimize the risk of the virus spreading,’ Mayor Hederics said.    

The councils calling for the change are: Albury, Berrigan, Campaspe, Federation, Gannawarra, Greater Hume, Indigo, Mildura, Moira, Murray River, Swan Hill, Towong, Wentworth and Wodonga.

WENTWORTH COUNCIL ANNOUNCES DOCTORS CLINIC TO OPEN BY END OF AUGUST 2020

Wentworth Shire Council unanimously voted this morning to provide funding of up to $170,000 to establish a medical clinic in Wentworth in support of a proposal by the Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC).

Council has long recognized the need for the provision of medical services within the local community, and has approached State and Federal government parties for financial assistance.

It is proposed the clinic will initially open for two (2) days per week with further clinical hours to increase based on patient demand.

Cr Melisa Hederics, Mayor of Wentworth Shire said that this is an outstanding outcome for the whole community. “The opening of the clinic will benefit everyone,” she said. ‘Council has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the best outcome, and we are very happy to see our hard work finally become a reality”.

“This is a win win situation for us all, and we know that community support will ensure the success of the clinic” said the Mayor.

Wentworth Shire prepares for border closure as deadline looms

With NSW borders closing from 11.59pm Tuesday 7 July 2020, Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Melisa Hederics has called for community patience during unprecedented times.

Cr Hederics together with Ken Ross, General Manager met today with NSW Police and other relevant authorities to manage the logistical requirements presented by the border closure.

“We have entered new territory with very little notice, and our staff are working around the clock to ensure as smooth a transition as possible,” she said.

The NSW Government is finalizing a permit system that will enable people to apply for an exemption to cross the NSW-Victorian border.

We eagerly await the release of the latest Public Health Order to clarify the situation relating to this.

Motorists entering NSW from Mildura can expect to encounter vehicle checkpoints in place on the New South Wales side of the Murray River.

Cr Hederics also advised that the Abbotsford Bridge will be closed to all traffic in line with 11.59pm deadline. Emergency vehicles will have access across both bridges at all times.

The Mayor has asked for calmness, consideration and patience. ‘We know that the next few days will be challenging,” she said.  “The NSW Government has warned the first 72 hours of border closures will be disruptive for local residents.”

Motorists are asked to obey all traffic directions, adhere to the 25 km speed limit and prepare to stop when required by authorities. 

“I know that our community will take this in their stride and we will adapt” she said.

For more information on border closures, restrictions and permit applications head to: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions

Library

A $500,000 Library Infrastructure Grant win for Wentworth

Wentworth Shire Libraries is the successful recipient of a Library Infrastructure Grant of $500,000, which will assist in the relocation of Wentworth library as part of the Wentworth Shire Civic Centre redevelopment project.

There has been no renovations undertaken on the Wentworth library since it opened in 1995. “Unfortunately our current library no longer suits our needs. We have outgrown it and we are overjoyed with the successful grant application,” commented Library Team Leader Emma Holgate. “This success is the result of a strong team effort” she said.

With public spaces vital to communities, libraries are not just places to borrow books; they are safe community hubs for everyone. People gather to meet, learn and simply just be, and Wentworth Shire is committed to continually improving library services that benefit the local community.

“The most important job we have is ensuring that the community are able to come here and be exactly that; a community” said Emma.

Emma and her team envision great initiatives for the future of the Wentworth Library saying, “We are thrilled to be working towards a beautiful space that can be used by everyone. With a completion date expected late- 2021, our new library is going to overlook the Darling Barka River and will be spacious, vibrant and welcoming. We encourage the community to share their love of public spaces with us and thank everyone for their ongoing support”

Wentworth Shire Libraries provide many activities for the community, including free technology classes for seniors, craft activities for adults and school holiday programs for children. Whilst COVID-19 has proven to be a blow for gatherings, such as book clubs and story time, the libraries have now reopened and looking to the future when programs can be re-introduced.

Currently Emma Holgate is focused on supporting locals return to the library “We have been really concerned about our patrons that have experienced extreme isolation at this time, we are so happy to be opening our doors again,” she said. For those wanting to stay at home, the library will still be offering free home delivery, to locals in the Wentworth Shire.

To find out more about library resources contact Wentworth Shire Libraries on 5027 5027 or visit the library Facebook page @LibrariesWentworthSC Successful recipients and grant requirements can be found here: https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/public-library-services/subsidies-and-grants/public-library-grants