TAMWORTH mayor Col Murray says a state government community cabinet meeting will provide a huge opportunity for the Tamworth community to be heard.
Cr Murray said yesterday the meeting to be held by Premier Barry O’Farrell for his 21 ministers in the city on November 5 provided a perfect opportunity for council, the community and other organisations from around the region to have their voices heard.
Tamworth’s councillors met late yesterday to discuss a number of issues they would like to raise with cabinet as its audience.
Front-runners on council’s agenda are likely to include reforms to local government and the impact of cuts to the health and public services budgets around the Tamworth region.
Cr Murray said it was likely over the coming two weeks more topics for discussion would be raised.
“It’s a pretty rare opportunity to have so many state ministers on your doorstep,” he said.
“I imagine things including changes to the Local Government Act and state planning reform will also be high on the agenda for discussion from a council perspective,” Cr Murray said.
Cr Murray said specific invitations for an audience had already been received by members of the Tamworth community, from the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
“I understand someone from the CBD working group has received an invitation,” Cr Murray said.
From a mayoral perspective Cr Murray said he was keen to discuss long-term strategies and outcomes about reforms to local government.
“Crime, law and order will be another item on the agenda,” he said.
“I’m sure the ministers are aware of that, its an ongoing issue and its not going away.”
Cr Murray encouraged community members to take advantage of the invitation to attend the public forum on Monday November 5 at TRECC.
“It’s very rare to have an opportunity to discuss the issues that are affecting you in your own back yard with so many ministers at your disposal,” he said.
Cr Murray said he anticipated police minister Michael Gallacher and attorney general Greg Smith would be “particularly busy” while in the city for the community cabinet meeting.
“In terms of other big ticket issues I think we are in a good position leading up to such a forum,” Cr Murray said.
“We have been on the front foot of discussions with a number of ministers for some time. They are aware of our issues and in terms of benefits to the community this visit will be a means of continuing an ongoing conversation, not starting a new one.”
Deputy premier Andrew Stoner said yesterday the meeting was a chance for local residents to have their say.
“Cabinet ministers will take questions from members of the community at a public forum, as well as conducting community visits and holding face-to-face meetings with local groups,” he said.
He encouraged as many members of the public and community groups to register for the public forum.
“It’s a great opportunity to raise issues with the Premier, myself or the relevant minister,” he said.
“Tamworth represents a key part of the NSW government’s plans to boost the regional economy, and I am also looking forward to sharing those plans with the local