What’s mowed in the village, stays in the village

ABOVE: Greg Baker on the village mower at Mallanganee. Photo: Susanna Freymark

STORY by Susanna Freymark

Mallanganee has a lot of grass verges and the whirring sound of the village mower at work is commonly heard.

Mallanganee Progress Association president Greg Baker is a regular on the ride-on.

Kyogle Council has provided the 12-member association with a mower, two trailers, two whipper-snippers and a weed sprayer.

The progress association gets $5000 a year to mow the grass in the village public areas and to clean the public toilet.

“It’s maintenance on the cheap,” Mr Baker said.

He reckons it saves the council about $25,000.

The council maintains the mower and other equipment and recently fixed the drive assembly on the ride-on.

Kyogle Council has these Village Maintenance Agreements with five villages — Old Bonalbo, Bonalbo, Tabulam, Woodenbong and Mallanganee.

Kyogle LGA covers a large area and getting residents to look after their own village is economical and puts the responsibility with the village.

The council’s general manager Graham Kennett said the various organisations involved in the Village Maintenance Agreements are provided with equipment and supplies to undertake the work and their volunteers are covered by the council’s public liability insurance.

“Council also pays each organisation an annual fee for their work,” Mr Kennett said.

“The work done by the community organisations supplements work done in the villages by council staff. Council has also previously had these agreements with the Wiangaree Progress Association, Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Bonalbo RSL Sub-branch.”

The Village Maintenance Agreements have been operating for about 20 years.

“They were initially set up because the level of service expected by the various communities exceeded what council had the resources to provide,” Mr Kennett said.

“Council values these partnerships immensely and continues to support all the groups and volunteers working with council to help deliver services to their local communities.

“We certainly couldn’t do as good a job as they do and will continue to work with these groups to ensure that they are able to sustain these partnerships long into the future.”

Richmond Valley Council has no agreements like Kyogle Council.

The Village Maintenance Agreements are with:

Old Bonalbo and District Progress Association

Mowing, maintenance and cleaning at Old Bonalbo, including all roadsides within village limits and between the cemetery and Pioneer Park.

Pioneer Park including toilets, tourist facilities and external road frontage

Park and public areas around Old Bonalbo Soldiers Memorial Hall

Old Bonalbo Cemetery and cemetery access road

Woodenbong Progress Association

Mowing of roadsides and parks within the village to the 50km speed limit signs

Maintenance and operation of the campground and amenities at the Woodenbong Sports Ground Reserve R81500

Shed of Hope, Tabulam

Mowing of roadside areas and public open spaces within the village of Tabulam including the Tabulam Sports Ground and caravan park

Mowing and maintenance of the area between graves at the Tabulam Cemetery

Cleaning and upkeep of the public toilets, change rooms and tennis court areas at the Tabulam Sports Ground

Bonalbo Hall Committee Inc

Mowing of public gardens and grassed areas

Mowing, maintenance and cleaning caravan park amenities at Bonalbo Caravan Park, Bonalbo Cemetery, Patrick McNamee Park, Cooke Park, and Native Garden at 6 Peacock Street.

Operation of the Bonalbo Caravan Park in accordance with the conditions of approval and Licence over Crown Land separately issued

Mallanganee and District Progress Association

Operating of the campground on the sports ground site

Mowing and cleaning services at Everson Park, Campground/Sports Oval, cemetery, lookout, and tennis courts.

Greg Baker on the village mower.
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