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23 July 2013

Seven goats killed, four maimed in dog attack

Another savage dog attack on livestock has resulted in seven goats either killed or put down, one hospitalised and three treated on site. The remaining four goats escaped serious injury but all were traumatised.

Early morning on Thursday 18th July, three dogs were seen leaving a Burra Road property by a passing motorist. The dogs had attacked and savaged the goats, leaving dead and injured animals lying all over the paddock. The person who saw the dogs called the Police and took photographs. This very quick thinking may help to identify the dogs involved and their owner. These photos have been forwarded to the Police.

One of the dogs was described as a Golden Retriever. The other two dogs have been described as blue healer cross. A photo of one of the dogs appears below.

One of the dogs involved in the attack on livestock, July 2013

The Police Officer who was first on the scene organised the RSPCA vet to attend and together with his assistants assessed the situation. By this time neighbours had rallied and the injured goats were treated in the house paddock, a make-shift surgery. Other goats had to be rounded up and put in a secure enclosure near the house. This was not easy as they were very scared – these are goats that once came running to the sound of a feed bucket but are now afraid of anything that moves towards them.

There was a report of the incident on the local WIN News that night. The Police organised this to appeal for information and help identify the dog in the photo. A letterbox drop of near neighbours was made to warn them of the attack and to seek information about the attack.

Incidents like this are extremely distressing for the animals and for all people concerned. There is also the financial cost of Vet bills and loss of stock.

Why does it keep happening? How many times have appeals gone out for owners to keep dogs on their own property and under control? How many people in our valley have had to deal with slaughtered, bloodied and savaged animals? We reported on this problem in 2007 when this website first started. Unfortunately, the reports of dog attacks on livestock continue with sickening regularity. The message is simple: if you have dogs, keep them on your property and under control at all times.

If you have any information about this incident, or information that could help to prevent this happening again please contact Senior Constable Alex Fookes at Queanbeyan Police Station on 6298 0599.

The livestock owners wish to thank the Police Officer who attended, the person who stopped and called the police, the RSPCA, our local Wires Rep who provided blessed relief for the too badly injured goats and for neighbours who provided willing assistance in dealing with bodies, rounding up goats and giving much needed moral support. Since news of this dreadful attack has spread in the community, offers of support and assistance have flowed in, which those dealing with this traumatic event have appreciated.

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2 June 2012

Minister announces postponement to boundary changes across NSW

Local Government Minister, Hon Don Page MP, has announced that any proposal that makes major changes to local government boundaries in NSW will be postponed until the Independent Local Government Review Panel has presented its report in July 2013.

In a Ministerial Circular sent to Local Councils across NSW, Mr Page said "following the recent formation of the Independent Local Government Review Panel, I have determined it is appropriate to implement a temporary policy that will apply to proposals to change local council boundaries. This is because one of the Terms of Reference for the Independent Local Government Review Panel will be to “investigate and identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and boundary changes for local government in NSW.”

Valid proposal that are supported by affected Councils of a minor nature would still be processed in the usual way.

Proposals which would result in a major change to local council boundaries or not supported by all of the affected councils can still be referred to the Boundaries Commission or the Director General of the Division of Local Government for a report as required by the Local Government Act 1993. However, the Minister has advised that he will not be recommending approval to the Governor until the Independent Panel has reported in July 2013.

"In adopting this policy I have also had regard to the undesirability of changes to local council boundaries because of the impact they may have upon the preparation of electoral rolls for the upcoming ordinary local government elections in September of this year," said Mr Page.

In March 2012, Queanbeyan City Council lodged a submission with the Minister for Local Government to alter the Queanbeyan/Palerang Boundary to unite the Burra, Urila and Royalla areas under Queanbeyan. Palerang Council objects to this proposal on the grounds that they need the rate and grant revenue from the area to subsidise operations elsewhere in the Palerang Council area.

More information

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1 June 2012

Palerang Council to cut services and raise rates to balance the budget

Palerang Councilors have agreed to $837,480 cuts to recurrant expenditure and a general rate rise of 3.6% to counter a projected deficit of over $1,000,000.

The savings include cuts to the Braidwood and Captains Flat Out of School Hours Care programs, deferrment of repayments on loans for various council projects in Bungendore, deferrment of various projects in Bungendore and repairs to the Captains Flat pool.

Due to the lack of services provided to the area by Palerang council, Burra and Urila appear to have escaped most the cuts but will be impacted by the deferrment of the rural lands study and the general rate rise of 3.6%.

Palerang's 2012/13 budget, fees and charges is on exhibition until 15 June 2012. Public submissions on the draft documents are invited during the exhibition period and should be submitted in writing to the General Manager, Palerang Council, PO Box 348, Bungendore NSW 2621 or by email (details on the Palerang Council website).

All submissions received will be considered prior to formal adoption of Council's Operational Plan, Budget and Revenue Pricing Policy, and Make the Rates and Annual Charges at an extraordinary meeting to be held on Thursday, 28 June 2012.

More information:

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1 June 2012

Queanbeyan Council predicts cash surplus in 2012-13 financial year

Queanbeyan City Council’s draft Operational Plan 2012-13 shows that the organisation anticipates a cash surplus of $133,219 for the upcoming financial year.

“The draft Operational Plan 2012-13 forms part of Council’s Integrated Planning suite and outlines the projects and programs Council will implement during the financial year and how these will be financed. The 2012-13 financial year will be another of action for Queanbeyan City Council with a number of significant projects to be undertaken,” Queanbeyan Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.

Queanbeyan Council is proposing to undertake upwards of $20 million worth of capital works during the financial year, including $7 million on the realignment of Old Cooma Rd (Stage 1) .

“Funding for these capital projects have come for a number of sources, including grants and contributions from State and Federal Government, developer contributions and reserves. Of the $20 million forecast to be spent, only $1.1 million will be funded by rate revenue with $8.7 million coming from grants and contributions,” Queanbeyan City Council General Manager, Mr Gary Chapman said.

Council’s financial planning shows that it expects to receive $93.8 million in income for the financial year while expenditure will total $108.4 million, including $14.7 million of depreciation.

“When you take depreciation out of the figures, we are left with a small surplus of around $130,000,” Mr Chapman said.

Meanwhile, Queanbeyan Council have increased rates by 3.2%.

Queanbeyan's draft Operational Plan 2012-13 was on public exhibition until Friday 25 May 2012.

More information:

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7 May 2012

Palerang Council to introduce household garbage collection service.

Palerang Council has decided to introduce a household garbage collection service in the Burra, Urila and Royalla areas from July 2013. This decision was taken at Council's meeting held in Bungendore at 5.00pm on Thursday 5th April 2012 (the evening before the Easter break).

The garbage collection service will be in addition to the current recycling collection service. The combined cost of the household garbage and recycling collections will add $267 per year to rates on top of the current base rate and ad valorem charge.

The Council papers for the 5th April meeting contained the results of the recent waste survey. The papers did not contain any recommendation about the expansion of the waste collection service to include household garbage, nor any indication that Council intended to make a decision at that meeting on the expansion of the service.

Earlier this year, Palerang Council issued a waste survey form to 400 households in the Burra and Urila area. According to the Council papers, of the 400 households surveyed, a total of only 115 households (29%) indicated that they favour a household garbage collection service. The letter accompanying the survey did not indicate that Council would be making binding decisions based on the survey responses.

As with the recycling collections, not all roads are suitable for Council garbage trucks to traverse. Council will be organising site meetings to discuss the placement of banks of household garbage bins for residents of Urila Road east of Hardy Rd, Little Burra Road, Moore Road, Kiah Lane, Warm Corner/Little Oakey Roads, Plummers Road.

Although mentioned by a number of the survey respondents, t he Council papers do not indicate that consideration was given to businesses run by private contractors who currently provide a garbage collection service many properties in Burra and Urila. Presumably, these businesses will cease when the new, council-run service is introduced in 2013.

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28 March 2012

Boundary Update

Latest News

Queanbeyan City Council has lodged a submission with the Minister for Local Government to alter the Queanbeyan/Palerang Boundary to unite the Burra, Urila and Royalla areas under Queanbeyan.

In September 2011 BURRA asked Queanbeyan City Council if they would consider supporting a boundary change. At a QCC meeting, the council resolved to write to the Minister asking him to initiate an inquiry into the local government boundary. Since then Queanbeyan City Council has lodged its own submission. You can download the QCC submission from their website (PDF 440kb)

Why is this good news?

This is excellent news because residents now have another opportunity to ensure that our area is united with Queanbeyan from which we receive many of our local government services such libraries, sports grounds, aged care and other facilities in Queanbeyan. All of Palerang's services are based in the villages of Captains Flat, Bungendore and Braidwood. It's along way to travel to use the library or pool, lodge a development application, attend a council meeting, or transact any other business with council.

To get to Palerang Council offices in Bungendore, Burra, Urila and Royalla residents have to drive right past the door of the Queanbeyan City Council offices. Prior to 2004, when the boundary's were changed, the Shire of Yarrowlumla Offices were in Farrer Place, Queanbeyan. Changing the boundary to include our area in Queanbeyan will restore the seat of our Local Government in nearby Queanbeyan.

Have residents been consulted?

The point of lodging a submission to the Minister is to prompt a fresh consultation process. This is why the decision by QCC to lodge a submission is so welcome.

What is the consultation process?

Under the Local Government Act, the Minister must refer any submission to the Local Government Boundaries Commission who must then hold a public consultation exercise. This means that everyone – not just councillors – will get another chance to have a say on which Council area we belong to.

The NSW Minister for Local Government, the Hon Don Page MLA, has also appointed a new Board to investigate all council boundary anomalies across the State. It's not clear at present how this will impact on Queanbeyan's boundary submission, if at all. The Minister's statement is available from the NSW Local Government's website.

Haven't we been here before?

Many of you will remember signing BURRA's petition in 2007 supporting the boundary change. Unfortunately, despite receiving the signatures of around half the area's voters in support of the proposal, and despite the fact that only 2 of the 30 written submissions in response to the Boundaries Commission's consultation process opposed the boundary change, the then Minister for Local Government decided not to approve the boundary alteration.

What's changed since then?

Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Our area continues to be a largely forgotten back water of Palerang. Granted there are been a couple of road sealing and re-sealing projects funded by developer's Section 94 contributions, but what happens now that money has run out?

We've also become part of the inappropriately named ‘kerb-side' recycling experiment. For this we are being charged $102 per year on our rates bill. Now Council wants to charge us up to $297 and introduce a weekly or fortnightly ‘kerb-side' household garbage collection service. How did we manage before Palerang decided to help out with our garbage and recycling collection, and what will happen to our local contractor's businesses if and when Palerang pushes ahead with its plans?

Why is Palerang so keen to keep us?

In simple terms, we are a cash-cow to Palerang. As well as our rates, Palerang Council receives funding in the form of government grants. The amount of grant money they receive is based on Palerang's population. Palerang Council claims that losing the rates and grants funding from this area to Queanbeyan will be a blow to their financial stability. However, Palerang has yet to produce any financial analysis of what savings it will make by no longer having to service this area which is so far from its base in Bungendore and Braidwood. Neither has it produced a financial statement of how much of our rates and grant money is specifically spent in this area.

How can your opinion be heard ?

When the Boundaries Commisssion calls for comment on the proposal, you can lodge a submission as an individual. We will publish updates from the Boundaries Commission as it becomes available. Information about the Boundaries Commission is available from their website.

See also

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28 March 2012

Proposed Large-Scale Solar Farm for Williamsdale

Public comment on ACTEW AGL's plans for the construction of a Photovoltaic Solar Generating Facility at Williamsdale has been invited by the Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Community. Details of the proposal are available from the Department's website.

The deadline for comments is 3 April 2012. The proposal was published on the Department's website on 20 March 2012. Information on how to comment on the proposal is available from the Department's website here.

The site of the 20 megawatt solar generating facility is on the Monaro Highway near the intersection of Angle Crossing Road and the Highway at Williamsdale. The Solar Facility, which would cover an area of approximately 40 hectares, would utilise new 132kV transmission lines and a substation owned and operated by ActewAGL located adjacent to the site.

The property is located at block 1470 and block 1471 in the Division of Tuggeranong, ACT.

If approved, the earliest expected start date for the construction of the facility is late 2012. It is estimated that the construction of the facility will occur over a period of up to 12 months. The Solar Facility will have an operational life of over 25 years.

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Last updated: 24 July, 2013

© 2007 Burra Urila Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc