wollondilly - 2ST

A close race for Mayor in Wollondilly

matt gould

It's going to be a tight race for the popularly elected Mayor in the Wollondilly Shire.

At last count Councillor Matt Gould was leading Councillor Judy Hannan by just 111 votes.

It will very much depend on the IVOTES which are still being counted aswell as preferences.

Councillor Gould also looks set to get two or three members of his team across the line.

"Things have gone well beyond our wildest dreams,

"We had nowhere near the funding that some of the other candidates had."Councillor Gould said.

Image: Matt Gould

Children's Services starts Wollondilly Cultural Precinct development

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Construction has begun on a new children’s services building funded by Wollondilly Council and the Federal and State Governments.

It is the first step in development of the Wollondilly Cultural Precinct development, including a refurbished Shire Hall, a performing arts centre, government services building, village green and a new library.

The State and Federal Governments have each committed $814,784 to the new fit for purpose children’s services building, with Wollondilly Shire Council contributing a further $1,268,470.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the new children’s services facility would provide high quality childcare services, and play a role in the broader Picton town centre revitalisation.

NSW Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres said the children’s services building was a significant step in the overall delivery plan.

"This building will see the relocation of council’s existing 30-place before- and after-school care and  vacation care services,” he said.

"The building also has capacity to accommodate a future 30-place preschool in a contemporary and functional facility.”

Wollondilly Council CEO, Ben Taylor, said the start of construction showed the Wollondilly Cultural Precinct was becoming a reality.

"Congratulations to the Mayor and councillors, who I’m sure are delighted to see construction begin on the children’s services building, and are looking forward to seeing the project take shape over the next 12 months,” Mr Taylor said.

"This is a great investment for our community, with the delivery of a practical space for families who live or work in the Shire."

The children’s services building project is expected to be finished in mid-2022.

Image: Wollondilly Shire Council.

Online rates options for Wollondilly residents

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Property owners in the Wollondilly Shire Council area now have the option to manage and pay their rates online, with the introduction of the newly created Rates  Portal. 

Mayor Robert Khan announced the launch of the portal today, recognising the many benefits to the Shire’s ratepayers. 

“It is important that our community members have choices when it comes to how they do business with  Council, so I’m pleased to be able to offer this new online service,” he said. 

“Accessing the Rates Portal is a straightforward process, and I’m sure it will be welcomed by people wanting an easy way to manage their rates without leaving home,” he said.

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 Mayor Robert Khan said, “Wollondilly is leading the way with this initiative, as one of the first councils in NSW to offer the service,” he said. 

To access the online service, customers will be asked to create an account before linking their properties. Those  who have used Council’s Customer Portal before should log into their usual account and then link their properties. 

Once logged in, the portal offers a comprehensive service in addition to paying rates; allowing users to view all the properties they own, arrange a direct debit, or request changes to payment arrangements. 

Rather than just waiting for yearly or quarterly rates notices to arrive in the mail, property owners can have an overview of their rates status and access to old rate notices all year round. 

Apart from the ease of use, the online Rates Portal is environmentally friendly, providing considerable savings when it comes to paper waste. 

Mayor Khan said, “The latest installment notices have been issued today and include information and the registration fields required to register and link your rate accounts to your portal."

Images: Wollondilly Shire Council Facebook

 

Rezoning puts Wilton on the path to major growth

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The Planning Department has rezoned the Wilton Town Centre Precinct which will become the residential, retail, commercial and entertainment centre of the Wilton Growth Area.

In the short term the project will mean up to 7000 new jobs, 1600 homes, a new K to 12 school, a new public transport terminal and facilities including libraries, sporting fields, a leisure centre and community facilities.

Wollondilly Mayor Robert Khan says it's great news for the region, as the jobs boost will be "fantastic for the area".

Plans to fast-track infrastructure development were also crucial, he said, as Wilton took its first steps to major growth.

He predicted Wilton would grow to about the size of Port Macquarie as it catered for the growing demand for homes close to Sydney.

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"When it's completed, we're expecting about 50,000 people in Wilton, which is why we need rail, we need public transport, we need the infrastructure," Cr Khan said.

Council has been advocating strongly to ensure Wilton gets the infrastructure it needs, when it needs it, and to ensure that it has everything it requires to build a thriving, healthy community.

The Wilton Town Centre rezoning will take effect on March 31, 2022, allowing time for local and state Voluntary Planning Agreements to be finalised with the proponent.

Draft agreements will go out for public comment in early 2022.

To support the growth, the rezoning includes land for a new public school, open space and sports fields, and improved roads and public transport infrastructure with  provision for a central bus terminal.

The rezoning also provides protection for 37 hectares of environmentally sensitive land which will help provide space for local wildlife into the future.

Images: Department of Planning, Wollondilly Shire Council

Severe storm cell wreaks havoc in Wollondilly

wollondilly storm 1 october 25

The Southern Highlands dodged a major bullet at the weekend.

Around 6.30pm on Saturday, a severe storm cell passed through the Wollondilly Shire, causing significant damage to homes in the Thilrmere and Tahmoor areas.

There have been more than 250 requests for assistance.

There were only two jobs in the Wingecarribee.

Incident Controller Dylan Whitelaw said cleanup efforts are expected to continue well into this week.

"We're asking people to remain patient,

"We will get to everyone,"Mr. Whitelaw said.

wolllondilly storm 2 october 25 2021

Image: Wingecarribee SES Unit

 

State mp's raise concerns about taxi proposal

wendy tuckerman november 15 2021

Local State MP's Nathaniel Smith and Wendy Tuckerman have met with Deputy Premier Paul Toole to raise concerns about a proposal to scrap taxi licenses - and buy them back for a fraction of what was initially paid.

The proposed two licence cap, would see the Government buy back just two licenses for $90,000.

22 years ago Southern Highlands Taxis Managing Director Laurie Stewart paid $1.5 million dollars for 17 licences.

He said there has to be adequate compensation.

"If the Government tried to take the licenses off me for what they're talking about, they would financially destroy my business,

"We just hope to God, they come to their senses,"Mr. Stewart said.

Image: Office of Wendy Tuckerman 

 

Time to light up Wollondilly after a tough year

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Recent hail storms topped off what has been a difficult year for people living in the Wollondilly area.

However Wollondilly Council hopes the annual Christmas lights competition will help change the mood a little, as people light up their homes, gardens, streets and businesses in line with the festive season.

Established in 1998, the Christmas Lights Competition has been held annually for more than 20 years, with residents and businesses from right across the shire repeatedly lighting up their properties to embrace the Christmas spirit.

Council is calling for entries by November 28, before judging in the first week of December, and prizes are presented on December 10.

This year the categories include:

* Best Lit Small House and Garden 

* Best Lit Large House and Garden

* Best Lit Senior Citizen House

* Best Lit Commercial / Retail Premises

* Best Lit Street

* People’s Choice Award

For more information, contact the Community Projects & Events team on 4677 1100, or visit Council's website at https://www.wollondilly.nsw.gov.au/events-andcommunity/annual-events/christmas-lights-competition/

Image: Wollondilly Shire Council

Wollondilly North Ward candidates announced

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Picton businesswoman Teonie Mitchell has announced her North Ward team for September's Wollondilly Shire Council elections. 

The team is endorsed by Wollondilly Community First and gives the public advocacy group teams of candidates in each of the shire's two wards.

Ms. Mitchell's team also includes, so far:  businesswoman and Justice of the Peace Narelle Lucas, engineer Michael Reardon-Small, now retired, who has experience working at all levels of government, and Blake Millanta, a boilermaker by trade who has experience supervising teams in the manufacturing industry.

“I'm delighted by the quality and experience of my team, so far. Although ideally, I would like to add one more member to the team, taken together we offer an attractive option for voters seeking to elect councillors who will move Wollondilly forward, with competence and transparency,” said Ms. Mitchell.

She said, “Our team has business, industry, government, and public advocacy experience”.

Image: supplied