Central Highlands Regional Council has marked the beginning of the calendar year with a report on the second half of the financial year that highlights community activities.
Chief Executive Officer Scott Mason said the council has adapted well to the ‘new normal’ after working through one of the ‘most challenging years that the country has faced’.
‘In the lead up to the holiday break, the focus was on the regional community,’ Mr Mason said.
‘The new Twilight Markets in Egerton Street, Emerald was a reminder of just how resilient our community is and how fortunate we are that the pandemic has had a light touch in Queensland.
‘The markets gave our art gallery and library a chance to show off their initiatives with the exhibitions and activities recording strong attendance.
‘Community grants are awarded twice a year for all sorts of small to medium projects and this quarter more than $150,000 was given to see 18 projects come to fruition,’ the CEO said.
Council’s annual Nogoa November event gave hundreds of people a chance to enjoy the Emerald Botanic Gardens—a permanently green oasis in a dry region.
The council report also records the big dry continuing in 2020 and water restrictions escalating to level three.
‘It’s the first time in many years that the level of the Fairbairn Dam has been low enough to trigger restrictions above level 2,’ Mr Mason explained.
‘We certainly thank people for conserving water and hope the wet season arrives soon,’ he said.
The CEO also marked the halfway point of the council’s capital works delivery plan.
‘I’m pleased to report that 57% of the budget has been spent or committed to be spent and 65% of projects are under construction or completed.’
Highlights of the second quarter performance report include:
- Emerald Airport runway project won IPWEA award for Innovation in Queensland.
- 1854 young people attended 24 youth activities.
- The Rifle Range Road cycleway project was finished.
- Council completed its enforceable undertaking commitments.
- Stage one of the Blackwater Memorial Garden is ready to be procured.