The second-last meeting of the year for Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) is promising to be a 'cracker', with everything from housing developments and renewable energy projects, to ownership of the Dungowan pipeline and rates on the agenda for Tuesday night.
The November meeting is being held at the Tamworth Town Hall, where it's expected there will be a big crowd to hear council's decision on a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV).
It's going to be a big meeting, so the Leader has done some of the legwork for you.
Here are the top five issues that you need to be keeping an eye on.
Special Rate Variation (SRV) proposal
Tamworth Regional Council is proposing a 36.3 per cent rate increase over two years, to help dig the region out of a financial hole.
After an extensive period of community consultation, councillors will be called upon to decide whether to proceed with the application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, better known as IPART.
A report will be presented to councillors detailing the results of a recent survey, which showed the community was 'overwhelmingly' opposed to the proposal.
If the vote is 'yes' - as is recommended in the report - then early next year, once it has received the application from council, IPART will launch its own three-week community consultation to determine if the council has done its homework.
Arcadia Estate traffic impacts on Rodeo Drive
As our region grows the impacts are being felt far and wide and residents of Rodeo Drive, which is currently a cul-de-sac, aren't so keen about their 'street' being used as a through-road to access a new estate.
Arcadia Estate will eventually become home to thousands more residents and that means more traffic and safety concerns, say the locals.
A report to go to council recommends the retention of the road connection from Arcadia Estate to Rodeo Drive, and the inclusion of an active transport connection between Arcadia Estate and the Sports and Entertainment Precinct, in a bid to address concerns raised about the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.
Regional renewable energy projects
Since the creation of the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) our region has seen an explosion in the number of proposed renewable energy projects, wind and solar.
In September, TRC adopted a new policy outlining its approach to voluntary planning agreements with renewable energy developers.
A report going to council builds on that existing policy, adding "provisions to the policy to provide for flexibility in Council's approach" in order to "attain the best outcome for the community".
The policy requires all new renewable energy projects to provide a baseline payment of 1.5 per of the project's value to TRC for use in maintaining infrastructure.
Ownership of Dungowan Pipeline
With another drought looming, councillors will vote on whether to accept ownership of the new Dungowan pipeline, which has just completed its first stage of construction.
Stage 1 of the new pipeline construction is from the Calala Water Treatment Plant (CWTP) to the point where the Chaffey Dam Pipeline meets the existing Dungowan Pipeline near the Dungowan Recreation Ground.
The decision to transfer ownership to TRC has come after the state and federal governments pulled funding from the new Dungowan Dam earlier this year, limiting the pipeline's construction to just Stage 1.
Tamworth Council has previously said it would only accept ownership of the pipeline as a gift from the NSW government.
Taking ownership of the pipeline carries major financial implications for TRC, for things like ongoing maintenance.
Reflecting Tamworth's religious diversity
Over the last 45 years, Tamworth's cultural diversity has continued to change and flourish, with more than 92 nationalities now represented in the community.
Councillor Marc Sutherland wants to see that cultural and religious diversity better reflected in council chambers.
He is proposing the religious prayer said at the start of each council meeting is replaced with a statement of affirmation.
Across NSW, an estimated 44 per cent of local councils have already replaced their religious prayer with a statement of affirmation to enable the creation of a safe cultural space for the whole community.
In 2021 census data, 43 per cent of Tamworth residents said they did not identify with Christian beliefs, and more than one third of residents identified as Buddhist, Islam, other minority faith, or non-religious.
- The next meeting of Tamworth Regional Council is being held in Tamworth Town Hall from 6:30pm, Tuesday, November 28.