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Lismore News

Lismore City Council Approves Historic $301 Million Budget

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Lismore City Council Approves Historic $301 Million Budget

In a landmark decision, Lismore City Council has passed an unprecedented $301 million budget, focusing on operational efficiency, liveability, and prudent investment to service the community while promoting sustainability and growth.

Commitment to Sustainable Growth and Operational Efficiency

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Mayor Steve Krieg emphasized that the budget, part of the council’s long-term financial plan, is designed to foster economic and social responsibility, ensuring Lismore’s prosperity. “This budget represents our plan for continuing to deliver on the sustainable rebuild of Lismore. It sets a strong plan to ensure we take strides toward growing as a prosperous, connected, and thriving regional hub of the Northern Rivers,” he stated.

Focus on Essential Services and Community Needs

A significant portion of the budget, $209.9 million, is allocated to essential services including water, waste, sewer, roads, and bridges. Mayor Krieg highlighted the community’s mandate for financially sustainable operations with responsible use of ratepayer funds. “A majority of our budget is invested in the essential services our community cares about the most,” he said.

The budget also includes a $18 million investment in city asset maintenance, featuring a 30.7% increase in drain and stormwater management. Additionally, the council is investing in a vast road network, extensive sewer and water pipes, and maintaining numerous parks and open spaces.

Investing in Liveability and Community Services

Beyond essential services, the council is investing $19.8 million into facilities and services that enhance Lismore’s liveability. This includes pools, libraries, parks, sporting clubs, walking trails, galleries, dog parks, and community events. Nearly $7 million is earmarked for community services and assets that support a safer city, with $2.5 million allocated to affordable housing initiatives.

Support for Vulnerable Residents and Community Projects

The budget also provides $1.43 million in discounts and concessions to ease financial burdens for those in need. Councillors approved additional funds for various community projects, including $25,000 for sharps disposal bins, $20,000 in cash and $20,000 in-kind support for the Lismore Lantern Parade, $1,100 for Magpie Centre administration, and $30,000 for the Eltham Public School safety project. They also amended the Delivery Program to seek funding for a footpath/cycleway between Dunoon and Modanville.

Budget Highlights:

Total Budget: $301 million – Backing Lismore

  • Capital Investment: $134.5 million – Building Lismore
  • Increase in Drain and Stormwater Investment: 30.7% – Investing in what matters
  • Borrowings: $0 – Limiting burden on ratepayers
  • Roads and Bridges Investment: $74.2 million – Repairing and reconstructing our transport network
  • Sewer Charges: $0 increase
  • Rate Increase: 4.7% – Maintaining rate peg set by the State Government
  • Affordable Housing: $2.5 million investment
  • Natural Disaster Restoration Works: $107.3 million total investment
  • Lismore Urban Sports Precinct: $1.3 million to complete
  • Basic Services Investment: $209.9 million – Water, waste, sewer, roads, bridges (including funded capital works)
  • Liveability Investment: $19.81 million – Sports facilities, galleries, libraries, events, pools, dog parks, community assets, playgrounds
  • Community Support: $4.8 million direct investment – Concessions, free events, affordable housing, waiver of leasing fees, free grounds maintenance for community sporting clubs

The 2024-2025 budget underscores Lismore City Council’s commitment to balancing essential services with the amenities that make Lismore a vibrant and sustainable community.

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Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

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Cory James Memorial Scholarship

Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

 

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Lismore City Council awarded the annual Cory James Memorial Scholarship for Indigenous staff to fleet services mechanic Shannan Caldwell. The scholarship honours Cory James, a young Indigenous Council employee who passed away suddenly in 2019. Cory was dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within the community.

Aunty Jenny presented the scholarship to Shannan, 33, at a ceremony held at Council’s Brunswick Street Depot. This scholarship will enable Shannan to pursue various training options to enhance his technical skills and broaden his career opportunities.

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Shannan expressed his gratitude for receiving the scholarship, noting the significant impact it will have on his career. “I am so humbled to have been awarded this scholarship,” he said. “This opportunity will allow me to select training courses to grow my technical knowledge as a mechanic and equip me with the skills I need to continue to advance my career. It opens pathways for my career as a mechanic, which is a job I love.”

Shannan also emphasised the importance of sharing his knowledge with his community in North Casino. “Passing knowledge to my community so they have basic understanding of keeping their car running smoothly is important to me. You never know, they might find the same passion as me and pursue a career as a mechanic, which is a very rewarding industry, especially at Lismore City Council.”

Lismore City Council’s General Manager, Jon Gibbons, highlighted the significance of the Cory James Memorial Scholarship. “This scholarship not only honours the legacy of Cory James, a young Indigenous man dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within our community, but it also reflects our commitment to supporting the growth and development of our Indigenous staff,” he said. “By enabling Shannan to enrol in quality advanced training opportunities, he can further advance and thrive in his career. By investing in our employees, we are investing in the future of Lismore.”

Council will continue to use National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week to recognise the achievements of Indigenous staff and support their development and career pathways.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore

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Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore

 

Women in Lismore and surrounding areas will benefit from improved access to domestic violence and sexual assault support services, with a $130,000 funding boost for Northern Rivers Women and Children’s Services Incorporated (NORWACS).

NORWACS is a community-based charity which provides trauma informed care and services to support women’s health and wellbeing.

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The investment will help to better meet the needs of local women following experiences of sexual, family or domestic violence. It will complement the significant work led by NSW Health Northern NSW Sexual Assault Services in supporting victim-survivors of violence in the region.

The NSW Government is committed to strengthening relationships between primary care, community-based care and the public health system to develop robust local referral pathways and responses for women.

Quotes attributable to Regional Health Minister Ryan Park:

“The NSW Government is pleased to support NORWACS, which has provided confidential, compassionate health and wellbeing assistance for women in the Lismore region for more than 25 years.”

“As Minister for Health, it is one of my priorities to ensure we’re improving access to healthcare services for women, especially vulnerable members of the community who may be impacted by domestic violence.”

Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison:

“This funding boost will help NORWACS continue the important work they do in the Northern Rivers, providing targeted, trauma-informed support for women and children, especially those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

“In addition, their work with other health professionals and services, including the four NSW Health Sexual Assault Services in the area, improves awareness and promotes understanding of the impacts of sexual, family and domestic violence.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin:

“I welcome this extra funding for NORWACS that recognises its great work supporting the health and safety of local women and children.

“In particular this is timely support for NORWACS project addressing the dangers of non-fatal strangulation in sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

“NORWACS is working to educate the community about the serious risk of brain injury from non-fatal strangulation and is identifying gaps in diagnosis and treatment and delivering training for GPs and health workers to get them up to speed on this issue.

“The extra funding will also allow NORWACS to increase its hours of vital DV outreach work in our region.”

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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