Acting General Manager Max Kershaw attended his first Ordinary Meeting with Weddin Shire Council on Thursday evening and already is determined to get things done for the local community.
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Mr Kershaw was welcomed by Mayor Craig Bembrick prior to the Acting General Manager's report.
"I'd like to welcome our new Acting General Manager Max Kershaw," Cr Bembrick said.
"It's been a breath of fresh air having you here for the last couple of weeks Max, thanks for coming."
Mr Kershaw said it had been an interesting couple of weeks since he'd taken on the role and is focused on ensuring a new General Manager will be hired as quickly as possible.
"It's my pleasure and I wish to thank the Council for the confidence they have shown in me," Mr Kershaw said.
"Actually, it's been quite interesting in the last couple of weeks and hopefully we will get through the appointment of the new General Manager as quickly as possible."
Mr Kershaw moved on to the Acting General Manager's report where under his guidance Council moved to adopt a new Code of Meeting Practice.
"I believe that this document as been on public exhibition for the required period and there has been no public submissions, so I commend the recommendation to Council, items one and two," Mr Kershaw said.
Cr Bembrick then brought the matter to Council for vote.
The recommendation was 1. The draft Weddin Shire Council Code of Meeting Practice be adopted. 2. The Weddin Shire Council Code of Meeting Practice dated May 16, 2019 be superceded.
The motion was moved by Cr McKellar and seconded by Cr Diprose before being carried unanimously.
There was a late report submitted by Mr Kershaw in regards to the Council's Digital Connectivity project.
"This has been presented to Council at the workshop," Mr Kershaw said.
"This matter has been around for quite sometime and I believe that the original concept that was put forward by the consultant, probably didn't meet the community expectations.
"It probably didn't set up fit for purpose for this community as far as the digital connectivity requirements."
Mr Kershaw went on to say that he believes the challenges with the original concept is the digital uptake changes so quickly.
"What was proposed originally by the consultant and probably what is now required for the benefit of our community has changed significantly," he said.
"There has been internal workshops to work out what is the best suite of projects from our aspect for the Council to consider to put forward, back to the State Government, and seek their approval."
Mr Kershaw commended the recommendation that Council endorses the revised scope of work for the digital connectivity project: i. $150,000 - Connected Farms Contribution ii. $150,000 - Starlink Internet Subsidy iii. $300,000 - Co-contribution for future State and Federal funding opportunities iv. $50,000 - Marketing and education campaign v. $200,000 - Small cell 4G upgrade for Caragabal and Greenethorpe.
"I believe that this project should commence as soon as possible," Mr Kershaw said.
"It has been around for some time and a further delay, I think, will be detrimental to our community."
Mr Kershaw also believes that the right conversations have been had between State Departments and Council and they have received Council's submission.
"They have advised they would like a couple of weeks to review what is going on," he said.
"I believe that this is a starting point for us to continue progress of this matter."
The late report was carried by Councillors prior to Cr Bembrick thanking Council staff for the work they had done to ensure the continued progress of the project.
"I'd like to thank Auburn (Carr) and all the staff for the work they have put in on this, it has been fantastic and done in a short period of time, so thank you very much," Cr Bembrick said.
The recommendation was moved by Cr Cooke and seconded by Cr Kenah before it was carried.
Mr Kershaw went on to say that Council should not be disheartened if the State Departments came back with an alternate arrangement.
"The original consultant's report was in July 2021, so it's quite a while since its been dealt with," he said.
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