I had thought this would be my last letter to The Courier and people of the shire but a bug called Coronavirus made it different with local elections to council now planned for September 2021.
This past year has been a difficult one for everyone.
Social distancing, no gatherings or functions has limited contact to phone, video, emails and texts.
However, Narrabri Shire Council has continued its business, not quite as usual, but with determination and care for staff.
Grants have come in for roads, community improvements and the latest is for the N2IP – the Industrial Inland Port – so Narrabri Shire can continue to develop and have access to the Inland Rail Project which is planned for completion in 2025.
Planning and negotiations have been in progress for more than six years.
It is hoped more industry will be attracted to the N2IP as a result of quicker, easier access to Brisbane and Melbourne ports.
It has rained! The crops look amazing.
I hope farmers have a good harvest and that prices are high.
It is such a relief to see green and yellow fields of crop after the past two years of looking at bare earth.
I have been told that a farmer is an optimist and a good manager – they believe in the future and go from one disaster to the next and still survive.
CBD development of both Narrabri and Wee Waa are ongoing.
It is slow work and done in stages and when completed these business areas should be inviting to all.
With flower beds and ‘happier’ Jacaranda trees Wee Waa CBD will be a welcoming place.
Next to come are the decisions on the roundabout and the war memorial corner.
The green space is a pleasing development and I am told is used by locals and visitors alike.
It adds a pleasant feel to Rose Street as does the new seating spaced along the shopping area.
The parks in Gwabegar, Wee Waa, Baan Baa, Narrabri and Boggabri have been improved with barbecues, shade areas, tables and seating, exercise areas and some walking paths.
More pathways are planned and will be funded from grant money as it comes to council.
Plans are in place for Pilliga and Bellata park precincts.
Council is also promoting a Small Business Summit (virtual) and skills training workshops, developing increased contact through social media and compiling promotion filming of our shire.
Libraries are open again so there are lots of reading opportunities for everyone.
Covid restrictions apply but reading and games are still an option for all.
This year Narrabri Shire Council has given grants to support education, health and sporting groups, swimming clubs and ADFAS.
As well, grant money has been received for Narrabri tennis court infrastructure, the Youth Shack, Dangar Park facilities, road works for Millie Road, Narrabri Airport upgrade, weed biosecurity, Baan Baa Hall, The Crossing Theatre upgrade, Bellata multipurpose court and signage to name a few.
Money from the Maules Creek VPA was allocated towards a showground pavilion and an outdoor setting at the local school in Boggabri.
Pilliga CWA building will receive roof repairs and painting.
Boggabri Caravan Park should soon be completed and opened.
Replacement of pool filters and chlorine pumps and building upgrades and painting is planned for all pools.
Fencing, seating, toilet amenities and shade shelters are part of Narrabri Shire Council’s ongoing work in and for communities in the shire.
Maintenance work of mowing, gardening, roads and water and sewerage upgrades generally go unnoticed but is a vital part of work to make living in the shire attractive to all.
I like to think we live in a prosperous shire, despite drought times.
When it rains, crop production and agriculture create a growing and prosperous shire.
A local government election is gazetted for September 2021.
I will not be seeking re-election and Wee Waa, Pilliga, Gwabegar and Merah North (the western end of the shire) need representation on council.
I encourage someone to stand in the 2021 elections to represent the interests and people who live here.
A councillor gives of their time, learns enormous amounts of how government works and develops a shire wide interest and understanding of the big picture of development.
I enjoy ‘council life’. It is busy, exciting, frustrating at times, and rewarding as development occurs. I enjoy the the interaction within council and the community.
I am honoured and humbled to be your representative for another year.
Cr Maxine Booby, Narrabri Shire CouncilTo order photos from this page click here