Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2012-2013

Kempsey Shire Council, November 2013

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Mayor's Review

Cover of Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2012-2013

It has been a historic year for the Macleay Valley. The opening of the new section of the Pacific Highway, moving the heavy vehicles out of our main service town of Kempsey, has created tremendous opportunities for our Valley.

We now boast Australia's longest bridge as part of the new highway, spanning across the majestic floodplain of the Macleay River.

We have been preparing for the Bypass for many years and have developed economic and social strategies to reinvigorate the town of Kempsey, turning it from a car and truck dominated space to a people place. These actions have now started with the development and implementation of detailed landscaping designs for the Central Business District (CBD) and improved access to retailers.

We have also seen progress on a number of previously planned projects such as the wharf at Mattys Flat to provide boating facilities, and the CBD improvements in South West Rocks for traffic and pedestrian access.

During the year we were once again reminded of what a resilient community we are. The beginning of 2013 saw three consecutive floods impact on our Valley. While living on a fertile floodplain strengthens our farms, it also means we have to be prepared for floods. The accumulative impact of three floods in as many weeks seriously tested our community; we emerged from these events stronger and more resilient. We came together to support our rural and retail sectors. Together, Council and the community worked to recover and move on.

Our most recent local government election welcomed six new councillors to provide governance over the strategic direction of the Council and our community. Through their leadership and contributions we have developed a new Community Strategic Plan reflecting the community's aspirations of being Healthy, Wealthy, Sociable and Safe. This is a long term plan to enhance our quality of life and those of< future generations through access to the services we need and desire.

It has been an exciting year where we have laid the foundations for investment in our future through strategic planning and key partnerships with state and federal governments. More than that, we have started doing what is needed to achieve our goals of being Healthy, Wealthy, Safe and Sociable.

On behalf of myself and my fellow councillors, I present to you our achievements during the year.

Mayor, Councillor Liz Campbell