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Mayoral Message - August

As I write this, Victoria has been placed into a hard lockdown – including Stage 4 restrictions and a curfew - in an attempt to drive down the soaring number of COVID-19 cases across their state. We feel a deep sense of sadness for our fellow Australians south of the border and gratitude for the sacrifices they are now making to try and keep the rest of our country safe. Queensland has once again closed its borders to NSW and ACT residents and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said our state is at a critical juncture as COVID-19 clusters and ‘hotspots’ continue to crop up across Sydney and surrounds. We still have a difficult path ahead of us but it is one we will all tread together.

I’d like to once again thank the Yass Valley community for its cooperation, care and common sense as we continue our fight against COVID-19. This is far from over. We need to keep staying home when we are sick, get tested if we have symptoms, keep our physical distance from each other and stay well-informed regarding Government health advice and restrictions.

It’s heartening to see our beloved local businesses back open and serving the community. Never has it been more important than now to support local and shop local. Our team has been working with Destination Inland on marketing opportunities to promote our beautiful neck of the woods when it is safe for tourists to visit. We have turned our attention to marketing the Yass Valley as the perfect day trip for small, regional visits from Canberra and surrounds. We have so much to offer those looking to escape their four walls for a day! Channel 7’s Sunrise captured some of our best kept secrets when James Tobin presented the weather from our own backyard this morning (Friday, 7 August). Family owned and operated Four Winds Vineyard at Murrumbateman provided the beautiful backdrop for the rainy morning broadcast. The delightful students from Yass Public School and our own musician, Councillor Mike Reid on the guitar, also did the Yass Valley proud!

Council has welcomed grant funding of $5,540,000 from the NSW and Australian Governments under the Fixing Local Roads Program. This will enable Council to reseal 56km of road and rehabilitate 8km of road in the local government area network. The total cost of the program will be $6, 340,000, of which Council will contribute $800,000 from the Development Contributions Reserve.

Councillors also accepted funding of $857,227 provided by the Australian Government under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, which aims to assist community led recovery from COVID-19 by supporting local jobs, firms and procurement. The list reviewed, discussed and accepted by Councillors, proposed LED upgrades to council’s street lighting infrastructure, construction of shared paths in Yass, Binalong and Sutton, the replacement of BBQs at Coronation/Riverbank Parks and play equipment in Binalong, and weed spraying throughout the Local Government Area. Council will also redirect the cost-savings from the new, more efficient LED streetlights to an appropriate reserve for the provision of future community facilities.

7 August 2020

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