In April we welcomed the Federal Member for Riverina, Hon Michael McCormack MP for the official sod turning on construction of the new Parkes Advanced Water Recycling Facility (AWRF).
The $17.5 million Facility, jointly funded by Council and the Coalition's National Stronger Regions Fund, will underpin a new recycled water scheme for Parkes, strengthening water security for the Shire and bringing water recycling activities up to current regulatory and industry best practice standards.
Parkes is now one step closer to becoming a National Logistics Hub, following the announcement of $1.3 million towards the construction of two new rail bridges along the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail route.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester MP visited Parkes in April to make the announcement, which will see two timber bridges at Tomingley West and Narwonah replaced with concrete culvert structures to future proof the line for longer, heavier and more efficient trains.
The Inland Rail will complete the spine of the national freight rail network, providing a road competitive service.
It will see freight delivered from Melbourne to Brisbane, via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, in less than 24 hours with reliability, pricing and availability that is equal to or better than road.
The next phase of the Bogan Way upgrade are underway thanks to a $900,000 investment by the NSW Government, announced by Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW, Rick Colless in April.
Works for this project include upgrading, widening and sealing two sections of this key freight link, totalling five kilometres.
The Middle Trundle Road upgrade also received $790,000 in funding from the Australian Government that will facilitate the upgrade and seal of approximately 4.5 kilometres, providing improved accessibility and productivity throughout our region.
Congratulations to Tullamore Irish Music Festival Committee for delivering another successful event over the Easter long weekend.
Tullamore welcomed 1300 visitors to town for the festivities and I must commend the community for providing the friendly atmosphere and for their continued support of this tremendous event.
In preparation for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Council's Roads and Footpath crew constructed a new footpath at Memorial Hill, significantly improving pedestrian access to the site.
The new concrete pathway connects to the existing granite walkway further down the Hill, designed to reflect the natural colours existing at the site.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the ANZAC commemorations across the Parkes Shire on April 25.
It was wonderful to see such a big turnout at each of the commemoration services, a reflection of community spirit.
The draft suite of Integrated Planning Reports are now on public exhibition, following the success of the Parkes 2030 community consultations held across the Shire throughout March and April.
These documents outline the programs and projects Parkes Shire Council will undertake over the next four years, and how these will be funded.
These documents can be accessed via Council's website or in person at Council's Administration Building or at any of the Parkes Shire Libraries.
The public exhibition period will conclude close of business Thursday 18 May 2017. Council welcomes and encourages your feedback.
Residents have only a few days remaining to nominate locals that inspire them to become a batonbearer as part of the Queen's Baton ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Parkes has been announced as one of the stops along the longest relay in history, travelling 230,000 kilometres in 388 days.
Nominations are open until 15 May 2017 via gc2018.com/qbr.
Parents and supervisors of local learner drivers are encouraged to attend a free two hour workshop Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers at Trundle Central School on Wednesday 3 May at 6pm, providing hands-on advice on how to deliver effective driving practice for learner drivers.
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling (02) 6861 2364.
I am delighted to welcome the Ambassador of Sweden to Australia, Pär Ahlberger to the Parkes Shire who is making his first trip out to regional New South Wales for the Trundle ABBA Festival.
It's been 40 years since ABBA's first visit to Australia, and to mark the occasion the Swedish Embassy of Australia has announced it will pay homage to their most iconic pop group by taking part in this year's Festival during the first weekend in May.
Now in its sixth year, the Festival continues to attract ABBA fanatics from all across the globe, filling the main street of Trundle with music, flares and sequins for one weekend in May.
To purchase you tickets, visit www.trundleabbafestival.com.
As we head into the cooler months, Council is reminding residents that the collection of firewood from all roadsides across the Parkes Shire is prohibited.
This is to prevent the further degradation of roadside vegetation and to preserve rare plant and animal species within our Shire.
Keep up-to-date with all Council news and events via our new e-newsletter, which you can sign up to via www.parkes.nsw.gov.au.
Have a safe and enjoyable May.
Cr Ken Keith OAM
Mayor of Parkes Shire