From the Mayor's Desk

BELLINGEN SHIRE YOUTH HUB

The Bellingen Shire Youth Hub recently celebrated its five year anniversary on August 7th.  The Hub has been a fantastic addition to our community providing numerous recreational, educational and development opportunities for many members of the community. Popular activities offered over the last five years include dance, martial arts, rock climbing, music, art, drama and cooking.  Other educational services have covered drug education, responsible service of alcohol training, environmental education, safe driving courses and youth justice conferences.

Four years ago the Hub established an extremely successful partnership between the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre and a number of local medical practices, GP’s, youth workers and mental health practitioners.  The combined partnership offer a drop-in youth clinic at the Hub every Thursday afternoon providing young people aged between 12 and 24 free access to a doctor, mental health specialist and youth worker.

The number one priority of the Hub is to foster youth wellbeing.  To achieve this, the Hub relies on active collaboration and engagement with the community.  If you would like to lease a space at the Hub or volunteer and participate in its future operation and growth please contact Dean Beasley on (02) 6655 0381.

LOCAL HERITAGE ASSISTANCE FUND

Council is delighted to financially support six local heritage assistance projects through its Local Heritage Assistance Fund.  During the last round of funding, six applications were received and all six projects were successful to receive funds ranging between $2000 and $3000.  The Local Heritage Assistance Fund is funded through both Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage and aims to assist in the conservation and restoration of items that have local heritage significance.  Projects focused on indigenous heritage are also eligible.

Some of the successful projects from this round include restoration works at Dorrigo Heritage Hotel Motel, roof and awning replacement at North Dorrigo Restaurant and re-stumping of the former public.  school building on Tyringham Road which now houses the Dorrigo Veterinary Clinic.  These landmark historical buildings are highly visible to the public and preserving them is essential in order to maintain the unique architectural fabric of our Shire.

 WATER CONSERVATION

Bellingen Shire’s dry spell looks set to continue with no significant rainfall forecast in the short term.  The flow of both the Bellinger and Bielsdown River is falling rapidly and Council is urging the community to reduce their water consumption in order to protect our beautiful river system.

As river levels drop, the aquatic ecosystem becomes disturbed.  Some fish are forced to seek refuge in scarce deep areas, which increases predators for a number of other essential river organisms.  In addition, evaporation causes salinity levels to rise meaning some aquatic plants and animals are more likely to die.  Lack of rain also causes water quality to deteriorate, increasing the release of nitrogen and phosphorus which encourages algae growth that can be harmful to both humans and marine life.

Council have developed an interactive water conservation page that can be viewed at http:create.bellingen.nsw.gov.au.  This page provides access to a number of water conservation educational resources and residents can also add their ideas on how to best conserve our precious water supply.