Blacktown Council Chamber Chatter

*The Division of Local Government ruled Blacktown Labor councillors had no case to answer about concerns raised about their conduct at council meetings last year.

Mayor Len Robinson (pictured) wrote to the department to seek advice on whether Labor councillors had engaged in improper conduct by repeatedly bringing forward notices of motion and lodging rescission motions to continue the debate on certain council decisions.

Examples included the closure of Mount Druitt pool and sale of small reserves.

A original motion can be lost twice before a three month ban is placed on any councillors putting forward another motion to the same effect.

Based on the mayor’s letter, the department said it was unlikely the council’s code of conduct had been breached.

Labor councillor Edmond Atalla recently obtained the letters to and from the department through the Freedom of Information Act.

*Blacktown City has a jam-packed schedule of activities to celebrate Seniors week, which starts on Saturday.

Activities range from drawing workshops, aqua aerobics and craft morning teas to CPR courses, yoga, indoor bowls, personal safety workshops and computer classes.

One of the highlights is Heartmoves, a low to moderate exercise program suitable for people who have not exercised for some time.

It’s on next Monday (March 17) from 8.40am at Blacktown Aquatic Centre in Boyd Street.

The council is a committed supporter of the senior community, with the number of Blacktown City residents aged over 65 expected to double by 2036.

Details: blacktown.nsw.gov.au or pick up a guide at the council in Flushcombe Road, Blacktown.

*Nine Blacktown City schools have successfully applied in share in $14 the council’s 2014 Eco-Active Schools Grants program.

Since 2006, the grant program has provided funding to Blacktown LGA schools to assist in increasing their individual ’sustainability profile’.

Schools could apply for up to $2000 for creating habitat projects or up to $1000 for biodiversity education.

This year’s grants range from $679 up to $2000.

Projects will include sensory, friendships and bush tucker gardens, planting for the future, creating frog and bird friendly habitats.

Successful applicants included William Rose, Blacktown North, Mount Druitt, Minchinbury, Marayong, Madang Avenue, Bidwill, Tregear and Willmot Public Schools.

*A council report investigating the possibility of installing freshwater outlets across Blacktown City has been recommended.

Proposed options would provide a drinking point and a water bottle filling point, with the option of provision of a dog water bowl.

The council looked at the supply and installation costs at potential sites where ‘‘higher pedestrian volumes can be expected’’.

Sites include Dawson Mall, Old Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill North and South, Riverstone, Schofields,Marayong, Quakers Hills, Seven Hills, Doonside, the Village Green and Main Street in Blacktown.

Three water filling outlets installed in the Blacktown Showground precinct have not been vandalised since the precinct opened last year.

The report recommends the proposed freshwater filling stations be considered and incorporated into any future CBD embellishment works.

*Blacktown Council has ruled that a noise barrier cannot be justified on Doonside Road between Bungarribee and Holbeche roads.

Councillors and council officers met with residents living on the eastern side of Doonside Road twice last last year following an independent noise assessment study.

Residents say the noise is the result of increased traffic volumes, new traffic signals, the duplication of Doonside Road and increasing numbers of heavy vehicles associated with major developments nearby using the road.

They added traffic noise levels have further increased as a the result of noise being reflected on the noise barrier installed on the western side as part of the Bunya estate.

While high noise levels during morning peak hour were noted, the council has ruled they comply with Environmental Protection Authority guidelines.

It added that a noise barrier would cost at least $650,000.

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