Solar lights and basic services high on councillors agenda

Lights on: Councillor Mark Rodda has proposed a network of solar powered lights to connect major areas and walkways  of Tamworth to encourage health and fitness as well as safety. Photo: Peter Hardin
Lights on: Councillor Mark Rodda has proposed a network of solar powered lights to connect major areas and walkways of Tamworth to encourage health and fitness as well as safety. Photo: Peter Hardin

Councillor Mark Rodda has flagged health and safety as some of the top priorities for the community in 2018, and has come forward with a plan to kill two birds with one renewable stone.

Recently Mayor Col Murray and General Manager Paul Bennett publicly stated that the proposed Aquatic Centre and Performing ARts Centres were at the the top of their “wish list” for 2018, although Cr Rodda would like to “get back to basics first”.

“Some of those major developments and projects are great, although most of the complaints I get are about the smaller things, basic services that make the communities everyday lives a bit more bearable or enjoyable,” he said.

“That is what council should be about and that is the message I keep getting from ratepayers – grading unsealed roads, repairing sealed roads, and planting irrigated street trees for shade.” 

While the appearance of the community is high on his agenda, health and safety are the priority, and the councillor wants to take a leaf out of the Gunnedah Shire’s playbook.

“In Gunnedah they have installed solar lighting along some of their footpaths and public reserve areas,” he said.

“I would like to see them installed along Scott’s rd, in the parts of the the levee bank along the Peel River that aren’t lit, along the Callala ln footpath, and along the Westdale footpath.” 

“It would be for both health and safety. There is no illumination along some of those places and I see people running and walking with headlamps and torches.”

We have so many health issues in Tamworth, and Summer days are not that enjoyable, so maybe more people could go for a walk or exercise at night, anything to improve people’s health is good.”

The councillor has already got some preliminary quotes.

“They are not cheap, about $1500 a pole, although once they are in that is it – they are very efficient, and we can go looking for state and federal grants as well,” he said.

“If Gunnedah can do it surely we can too.” 

Another community project that Cr Rodda is hoping to gain some traction around is turning the seldom used Belmore Park into a “village green” type area.

“It is bordered by all residential buildings and could be a lot nicer.” 

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