At the last Council meeting before the end of the financial year, a number of important matters were discussed and resolved. The meeting was also the last that will be attended by outgoing General Manager Craig Butler. In her Mayoral minute Mayor Maree Statham took the opportunity to thank Mr. Butler for his four years of dedicated service to  Council.

 A significant item on the agenda was the Council’s Operational Plan for 2024/25. This plan outlines a comprehensive Capital Works program which totals at $29M. Key projects that will be funded through this program include the second stage of the Main Street CBD revitalisation, and road works on Glen Davis Road and Hartley Valley Road. The Operational Plan also outlines $7M in allocations from the Special Rate Variation which will fund projects including sealed road preventative maintenance, the purchase of a new grader and JetPatcher for additional road maintenance, capacity building across a number of Council departments and funding for the Lithgow Emerging Economies Plan (LEEP). The 24/25 Operations Plan was adopted by Council and can be viewed on the Council website.

Council authorised the submission of the application to the NSW Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements for the construction of a new access road to the Wolgan Valley to replace the destroyed section of the existing Wolgan Road. With a value of more than $325 million, the project is by far the most significant ever to be undertaken by the council.

The council approved a budget variation of $738,476  for the West Bowenfels Sewerage Pumping Station. The variation resulted from additional cost incurred by the contractor, Keane Civil Construction Pty Ltd., for excavating extensive unforeseen hard rock material. The work also required under boring to avoid a site of cultural heritage value during construction. An additional $250,000 as part of the Council’s Capital Works program was also approved which would be used to complete the rising mains construction from the new sewerage pumping station to Tweed Mills Sewerage Pumping Station. The additional funding will be offset by cost savings achieved from other recent Council water and waste water projects.

The Council reviewed changes to the onsite sewerage management policy which will be placed on public exhibition. The policy would see the approach to the management and regulation of onsite sewerage systems streamlined. This continues the Council’s commitment to improving the delivery of water and wastewater services residents.

A motion was put forward that would see part of Council’s existing lease of land at Lake Lyell returned to Energy Australia to allow for the study of a temporary worker village to house employees hired for a pumped hydro, if this proposal was to be advanced and approved. There comments from the public gallery against the matter. After carefully considering the submission made by Energy Australia and residents in the public gallery, the council approved the motion.

The Council agreed to the proposed rates and charges for the coming financial year. A full breakdown of the updated rates and charges for 2024/25 is available on the Council website. The Council also agreed to placing an updated Debt Management and Hardship Policy on public exhibition.

The Council approved a motion that would see a minor increase in remuneration for both the positions of Mayor and of Councillors. This increase was proposed in line with the Local Government Tribunal’s categorisation of the Lithgow LGA as a Regional Rual Council. The remuneration is set to fairly compensate Councillors and Mayors for the work that they are expected to do as elected officials. The Lithgow Council’s remuneration fees are historically low compared to other regional rural councils. The debate canvassed the importance of ensuring that remuneration is fair in order to encourage and recognise skilled councillors for the work they do, while also encouraging other members of the community to consider undertaking the role of councillor in future.

The Council meeting can be viewed, and the full reports accessed, online at

The next council meeting will take place on Monday, 22 July at 6pm in the Council Chambers, 180 Mort Street, Lithgow.