Don't fall behind in council rates payments

Ross Earl, General Manager of the Bourke Shire Council, writes on issues affecting the Far West.

The first instalment for the rates was due on August 31. Ratepayers having difficulties meeting obligations in relation to the payment of rates should contact the Revenue Officer at council so that, if possible, suitable arrangements can be put in place. The council has for some time been concerned with the increased level of outstanding rates and staff  have been working hard to reduce that level with the assistance of our collection agency.

If attempts by council staff fail to see the outstanding rates and charges paid or a suitable payment plan put in place they are referred to the collection agency for their action.

Once the debts are referred to the agency it generally means additional costs will be added to the outstanding amount. If these additional costs are to be avoided, ratepayers with outstanding amounts should call into our offices to make suitable arrangements.

Far West plan. The development of the Far West Regional Plan has been undertaken over the past two years and covers the local government areas of Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Central Darling, Cobar, Walgett, Wentworth and the Unincorporated Area.

 A draft was prepared and was on public exhibition from December 2016 to March 2017 and NSW Planning Department representatives visited each of the councils. A series of community consultations were carried out and opportunity was provided for comment. Some changes were incorporated in the final plan.

The plan is one of nine that have been developed across NSW by the department.

It was launched by Planning Minister Mr Anthony Roberts at Walgett on August 22 at an event attended by Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources and Western New Wales Rick Colless MLC and the NSW chief planner Gary White.

Mayor Barry Hollman and I joined representatives from Brewarrina and Walgett Shires and staff from the Sydney and Dubbo Offices of the department.

Copies of the plan are available online at