Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2016-17
and General Purpose Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2017

Kempsey Shire Council, November 2017

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Cover of Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2016-17

Message from the Mayor

During the 2016-2017 year, the Kempsey Shire has continued to strengthen as a healthy, wealthy, safe and connected community.

Our region is successfully redefining itself following the Pacific Highway Bypass, with a range of projects, developments and programs continuing to stimulate the local economy. Council commissioned an independent study based on interviews with 124 businesses located along the former highway corridor. Since the opening of the bypass in 2013, the study found a 22 per cent growth in employment, with 249 new jobs created, bringing the total number of jobs to 1,386 and a gross annual revenue increase of $50 million (45 per cent) to $160 million.

Work is now underway to finalise the transformation of Lachlan Street to an inviting local thoroughfare, and sculptures have been commissioned to revitalise the two gateways into our region at Frederickton and South Kempsey, to further create a distinct identity and enhance pride of place within our Shire.

Council has continued to focus on strengthening community connections, building trust and improved planning for what we can deliver together.

Much of the work of local government depends on strong and productive partnerships with our community, including volunteering, sharing information and working together on projects, events and valuable community assets. We’ve had great success this past year in collaborating with a range of local organisations to deliver positive initiatives and assets. Several recent projects outlined on the opposite page highlight the way Council plans to continue working and engaging with the community.

Over the last 12 months we have worked closely with the community to implement a major change to our waste collection service in July 2017. Council’s investment in communicating, educating and managing the logistics of this change has already resulted in a reduction of waste to landfill through our three bin service.

In September 2016, I was honoured to have been elected Mayor for another term to lead our Council and continue to deliver positive outcomes for the community.

Councillors have identified the need to work more closely with the community on our vision for reshaping the Macleay. We are also committed to reviewing and improving the organisational culture and working towards a more efficient, customer-focused Council.

In February 2017, Council tendered for a company to conduct an independent organisational review to redesign and develop improved communication, employment and structure opportunities for the organisation to become a leading local government area and service provider. This has initiated a significant period of change for Council that will continue into the 2017-2018 financial year and I am confident this process will have a positive impact well into the future.

On behalf of my Councillor colleagues and the Macleay Valley community, I have great pleasure in presenting this year’s Annual Report. Building and growing a thriving community takes hard work, commitment and energy. It also takes a pride in and love for that place we call home. Thank you for sharing that pride now and for the future.

Liz Campbell, Mayor