40,000 potholes fixed, 211 DAs issued, 23 dogs euthanased: Council’s annual report released

Your Richmond Valley councillors are from the back row: deputy mayor Steve Morrissey, Robert Hayes, Patrick Deegan and Sam Cornish. Front row: Sandra Humphrys, mayor Robert Mustow and Debbie McGillan. Photos: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Richmond Valley Council released its Annual Report at the November council meeting. The numbers tell a story.

Here are some interesting ones from the report:

Council employs 274 staff

Council’s annual income is $80million

Council’s community assets amount to just over $1billion

In the Richmond Valley there are 1064km of roads

Almost 40,000 potholes have been repaired this year

There are 17 community halls

Four public pools

The number of rateable properties in Richmond Valley is 10,797

This brings in a rateable income of $15,629,000

211 development applications were issued

The number of NRLX cattle traded through the Casino yards was 117,131

Council mowed 13,785ha of grass

There were 281 stray animals collected

23 dogs were euthanased

17 cats were euthanased

The number of dog attacks was startling – there were 63

97 animals returned to their homes

In the 2022/2023 year the council continued rebuilding after the floods.

More than $36million government funding went to the delivery of major works.

More than $20million in signature projects were finalised – this includes the opening of the Rappville Hall, upgrades on the Casino Memorial Pool, the Casino Showground redevelopment and the Casino to Bentley section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Some of the highlights for the year were:

• Rebuilding after the 2022 floods. There was more than $150million in damage and the priority is to fix infrastructure across the Valley using the natural disaster recovery funding arrangements.

• Finishing projects like the new Rappville Hall, Casino Library Courtyard, Woodburn-Coraki Road upgrade, Casino Memorial Pool and more.

• The return of festivals and events – supporting the Evans Head Fishing Classic, the first Evans Head Rodeo, farmers markets, the Woodburn Orchid Show, Christmas tree light-ups, Primex, Beef Week and the Casino Truck Show.

• Council has 11 objectives and 88 principal activities – 9 are complete, 75 are on schedule, 3 are behind schedule and 1 has not progressed as yet.

Where did council spend its money?

• Council’s income was $125million, expenses were $81million, with a reserve of $44million for future capital and infrastructure recovery works.

• $80,000 went to 25 community groups to improve their facilities and programs.

Legal costs for Iron Gates

The council has paid close to $48,000 in the Land and Environment Court in proceedings with GoldCoral Pty Ltd about the Iron Gates development at Evans Head.

Housing flood recovery

Council, like residents, has been frustrated with the flood recovery on housing.

In the flood recovery part of the report, it is clear the council has been frustrated by assistance – or lack of – on  house-raising and buybacks.

“Council has been advocating strongly for government programs to help flood affected families restore their homes, and has written to the Premier, voicing its concerns with the Resilient Homes program and the lack of further support for the 500+ residents who were unsuccessful in receiving a buy-back offer, assistance with house raising or flood resilience works.

“Council has also been supporting those residents undertaking their own house raising or flood resilience works to ensure their development applications are processed quickly. In the first year of the Recovery Plan, more than 20 DAs for works on flood affected properties in Broadwater, Woodburn, Coraki and surrounding areas have been approved.”

The Annual Report can be read in full here. The community has 21 days to give feedback.

The opening of the new Rappville Community Hall.

The council’s focus for 2023/24 is:

• Continue to rebuild our infrastructure – Naughtons Gap Road, Bentley Road and others.

• Ongoing support and advocacy for our community recovering from flood.

• The Regional Jobs Precinct consultation and Mid-Richmond Place Plans development

• Finish major projects like Casino Showground & Racecourse, Northern Rivers Rail

Trail, bridge building – Willox, Tatham, Broadwater bridges

What’s been happening at the library?

The new courtyard at Casino library.

The Richmond-Upper Clarence Library Annual Report is interesting to read as it gives a snapshot of the community.

Library staff supplied 24,206 pieces of information and dealt with 27,638 customer service requests.

Almost 118,000 people walked through the library doors.

There are 16,544 members

And this year there were 1162 new members.

The library ran 872 programs.

Casino, Kyogle and Evans Head libraries ran 15 screenings of the documentary film Tinnie Heroes. Watch it here.

There were 1514 laptops uses.

You can borrow more than books at the library. Choose from:

48 cake tins

26 crochet hooks

41 knitting needles

188 jigsaw puzzles

11 brain kits

6 tablets

Council’s monthly meetings are held at the Casino chambers. The public can attend these meetings or follow the livestream on council’s Facebook page.

Read more council stories here.

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