The Real Deal

Extraordinary Council Meeting

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, relevant legislation has been amended to allow Councils to meet ‘virtually’ (on-line) and observe best practice social distancing and isolation protocols.

As a consequence, an Extraordinary Council Meeting will be held at 3pm Friday 03 April 2020 and will be conducted in a virtual environment (on-line).

The Extraordinary Meeting Agenda will be available online prior to the meeting and an audio recording of the meeting will also be uploaded to Council’s website at:

Please also note that Council’s Bellingen Customer Service Centre, including Council Chambers, remain closed to the public to protect the safety and well-being of our community, Councillors, volunteers, contractors and staff.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Update

To provide our community with the latest NSW Health Advice Coronavirus Community Updates and promote an awareness of Council's Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group's current local response and support initiatives, simply click here to find out more.

Desalination Update

Council has been working with the State Government to proactively investigate options to secure our Shire’s water supply, including the proposed construction of an emergency water supply contingency in the form of a portable desalination plant.

This body of work has been complex and has required detailed planning, design and approval processes to be undertaken, inclusive of the procurement processes necessary to secure the provision of plant and associated infrastructure for a fixed period.

Given the current flows in the Bellinger River and the predicted continued rainfall over the coming months the desalination plant may not be required, however the planning and design phase of these works will continue and be finalised and Council will continue to work closely with DPI Water and the Regional Town Water Supply Coordinator.

Pilot Street Urunga Rail Overbridge - Temporary Closure

Contractors John Holland, on behalf of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, will be undertaking bridge maintenance works on the rail overbridge on Pilot Street Urunga from Tuesday 3 March to Wednesday 11 March.

The bridge will be closed to all traffic between the hours of 9.00am to 3.00pm and detours will be in place during these hours and access through the bridge site will be controlled by traffic control outside of the closure hours.

Thinking of running for Local Government?

The next Local Government election will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2020, therefore it’s timely to consider contributing to our local community and becoming a Councillor.

To find out more about the role of a Councillor and information on the nomination process visit Council's Create Page via the link below:

Bushfire Recovery Fund

As an active and proud member of the Australian community, Budget Direct has created the Budget Direct Bushfire Recovery Fund.

Budget Direct is inviting community groups to apply for grants of up to $20,000 from the fund to help these groups repair or replace damaged or destroyed facilities and/or equipment that aren’t covered by insurance.

Applications are now open and close at midnight AEST, 31 March 2020 so to find out more about who can apply, and the fund’s eligibility criteria simply click on the link below:

Potential disruption to kerbside waste collections

Due to adverse weather conditions and local flooding, there is a potential for some disruption and delays to the kerbside waste collections.

Bellingen Shire residents are advised to place their bin out on the kerbside on their usual collection day and to leave it there until collected.

We thank you for your understanding.

Contact Coffs Coast Waste Services on 1800 265 495 for further collection information or check the Coffs Coast waste Services FaceBook page

Bellingen Shire Benefits from Koala Conservation

The Great Koala National Park (GKNP) operates the Urunga Visitor Information Centre in conjunction with Visitor Information Centre volunteers to raise awareness of GKNP’s efforts to establish sustainable Koala populations in our region and to promote Urunga and all that our Shire has to offer.

This arrangement delivers the best possible outcomes for our local environment and economy as it meets the needs of visitors to our Shire and promotes opportunities for nature-based tourism initiatives.

Council’s previous efforts to attract a replacement tenant were also unsuccessful, so this new arrangement also allows Council to minimise its previous operational and maintenance costs and minimises the risk of graffiti or vandalism that an otherwise vacant facility may have attracted.

Bridge Flood Camera Network Niggles - 07/02/2020

Council’s Bridge Flood Camera Network was not only tested by the weather but by some technical challenges as well thanks to the low-pressure trough which caused flood like conditions across our Shire.

While the camera network performed well throughout much of the severe weather event, unfortunately the Lithium Ion battery which allows the Lavenders Bridge camera to wirelessly send the images it captures failed, which saw the system go off-line for several hours during the night.

The service provider has since replaced the failed battery and is working on upgrading the battery capacity for the Lavenders Bridge Camera and supporting the battery’s long-term charge capacity with a solar panel.

The Lean’s Bridge and Moody’s bridge cameras also experienced temporary difficulties transmitting images over the 4G Network due to signal interference caused by the severe low-pressure storm cells and the service provider is working on upgrading the antennas of these two cameras to boost their signal capacity.

The service provider has also placed a service crew on stand-by to monitor the performance of the camera network while these network upgrades are being delivered and to address any onsite issues should that be necessary.

Parliamentary Inquiry into Koala Populations & Habitat

Council appeared before the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Koala Populations and Habitat in Port Macquarie this week. Council took the opportunity to highlight the critical importance of our Shire’s koala population and the need for landscape wide approaches to koala habitat protection that cover multiple land tenures including private land, National Parks and Forestry Corporation estate.

Fortunately, koala populations within our Shire have remained largely unaffected by the recent bushfires that have ravaged landscapes and koala populations elsewhere within our region, which means Council’s efforts to preserve and support our remaining koala populations are now more important than ever.

Tree Removal at Jarret Park

In response to a call from a concerned resident, Council’s tree crew and a consulting arborist inspected a mature Dunn’s White Gum Tree located in Jarret Park adjacent to the toilet block.

The arborist’s inspection identified that the tree had an extreme structural failure in its trunk approximately two meters above ground level and that the tree was expected to fall at any moment.

Given the risk the tree posed due to its large size (approximately 1.3m wide and 30m tall), the arborist recommended to remove the tree immediately and Council’s tree crew secured the site and removed the tree.

Main Street Vandalism

The reports of vandalism to public and private property along Hyde Street over the weekend are disappointing for all of us.

Disappointing because the bad behaviour of a few people directly affects us as a community and reflects poorly on our town.

Council crews and mains street traders have collectively cleaned up the mess left by these careless vandals and surveillance cameras in the area are currently being checked to try and identify the culprits.

The matter has been referred to the police and anyone with further information is urged to contact Bellingen Police on 6655 1444.

Mayor's comment - Local Housing Strategy

Council’s recent adoption of our Shire’s Local Housing Strategy marks the completion of a journey that started two years ago when as a community, we began working together to identify our shared vison, hopes and aspirations on how we wanted our Shire to grow.

As a community you have all played a key role in shaping our Local Housing Strategy, which reflects our priorities for future housing growth and ideas on how to address the complex opportunities and challenges facing our Shire.

So I’d personally like to thank our community for coming together and working with us to create this shared vision that will guide housing growth in our Shire for the next 20 years and ensure our future housing needs are affordable, sustainable and maintain the existing character of this special place we all call home.