December Council Meeting

Published on 19 December 2023

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In its recent Ordinary Council meeting held on Monday, 18 December 2023, Upper Hunter Shire Council made several significant decisions, ensuring continued commitment to effective governance, community engagement, and infrastructure development.

Council endorsed the Guidelines for Risk Management and Internal Audit in NSW Councils, aligning with new standards effective from 1 July 2024. This endorsement will enhance Council's risk management and audit processes, including the appointment of a non-voting Councillor member to the Audit Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC), adoption of the Office of Local Government (OLG) model Terms of Reference, and evaluation of options for the head of Council's internal audit function.

Council also approved the presentation of the Upper Hunter Shire School Achievement and Creative Arts Excellence Awards. Scheduled for Australia Day, these awards will recognise up to eight exceptional nominees from the four Shire High Schools, celebrating their all-round excellence in academic and creative arts achievements and community service. Each recipient will be supported with a $1,000 award to further their studies.

Regarding the 2024 Australia Day Award Nominations, Council endorsed the nominees, set to be announced on 26 January 2024. These awards will recognise outstanding citizens from the Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi, and Scone districts, including the overall Upper Hunter Shire Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year. This decision reflects Council's dedication to honouring individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities.

In a pivotal move for the rehabilitation of Coulsons Creek Road (MR358), Upper Hunter Shire Council, with an 8-1 vote, has chosen to partner with Transport for NSW, an independent body, for project management services. This strategic decision marks a significant shift towards rectifying past challenges and rebuilding public trust. By entrusting this crucial rehabilitation to Transport for NSW, Council is ensuring meticulous oversight, transparency, and accountability. This collaboration is set to restore community trust, through high-quality, efficient management and execution. With this move, Council is not just rehabilitating a road, but also reaffirming its dedication to getting the job done right, to the highest standards, for the benefit of the community. The General Manager is empowered to manage project variations, further reinforcing the robust and dynamic nature of this partnership, while a Senior Project Engineer from the Public Works Advisory will lead the project, guaranteeing expert oversight and successful completion.

These decisions highlight Upper Hunter Shire Council's ongoing dedication to enhancing the quality of life and opportunities for its community.