The NSW election is now over and it is time for Gunnedah Shire Council to move towards working in partnership with a new state government.

Before the election, we presented our priorities for Gunnedah shire to the candidates for the Tamworth electorate. They were: to deliver funding for organisations for much-needed training courses; to create affordable housing incentives; 24-hour policing; increased road-repair funding; and a commitment to proceed with the Gunnedah Hospital redevelopment.

I am assured the Gunnedah Hospital redevelopment will proceed as planned. That is good news for the region. We look forward to the opening of this facility with the necessary staff resourcing.

Less reassuring is the failure to commit to 24-hour policing. We are in the grip of a crime surge in Gunnedah shire, with a disproportionately high rate of motor vehicle thefts and break and enters.

It’s not something our community should have to put up with.

It is unreasonable to expect our current limited policing resources to address what has been an increasing problem in our otherwise peaceful community. We appreciate how hard our police work, but they can only do so much.

People should feel safe in their own homes. They should also be confident their vehicle will still be in the garage when they wake in the morning. 

We have a growing population, and our community deserves sufficient resourcing to ensure that when something goes wrong – when property or even lives are in danger – there are police on duty to deal with the situation.

Gunnedah Shire Council will continue to highlight the need for increased police resourcing in our shire.

We will also work towards securing commitments for assistance with affordable housing solutions, and for funding for TAFE and other organisations to provide training for positions and industries that desperately need skilled staff. While our economy and industry is growing, it makes sense to offer training in those areas in our own region.

Your councillors will also maintain pressure for increased road funding to not only repair the extensive damage done during recent floods, but to improve our roads to a more resilient standard against future weather events.

Our first priority is Gunnedah, and our goal is to continue to work closely with all levels of government to achieve the best outcomes for our community.

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