After a long break due to COVID-19 restrictions, the executive of the Probus Club of Goulburn and District have hit the ground running with a great line up of guest speakers and visitations in the planning.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council mayor Bob Kirk was our guest speaker this month and the main thrust of his talk was to update us on council's role and the projects underway in Goulburn.
Cr Kirk began by giving a brief account of how, after eight years as deputy mayor, he more or less "fell" into the position of mayor with the retirement of former mayor, Geoff Kettle.
Now in his second term, he is enjoying the role and would like to continue.
He has described the progress of Goulburn as going through a "bit of a purple patch" with several major projects well funded and currently underway.
An important consideration of council is to look after the current residents while having to contend with growth pressures from Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra and the Southern Highlands.
These pressures have been made known to council through a recent administrative project called the "Urban Fringe Housing Strategy" which is a crystal ball view of future expectations, likely numbers and requirements.
This began in 2016 and looks to 2036. It is an array of statistics gathered by various government agencies and is put to council for comment and proposed planning.
The planning needs to account for about 12,000 to 15,000 new residents which equates to about 3,500 houses.
Key items such as railway line, rivers and highways all cause constraints as to where the growth can take place.
There will be some in-fill housing in Goulburn but most will be to outlying areas with about 500 in Marulan which is the fastest growing area in our community.
Already, there are D.As in for close to the expected 500 blocks.
Whilst it is council's responsibility to consider the need for infrastructure such as roads, water, sewage, electricity and communications, there are other matters beyond council control which have been drawn to the attention of NSW State Government such as the probable 4,000 or 5,000 additional children.
READ ALSO: Music NSW to host social media masterclass
There will need to be more primary and secondary schools and the government will need to focus on creating job opportunities rather than the past tendency toward moving government headquarters and offices to other areas.
In the meantime, council is concentrating on looking after the existing residents with large projects which include the sewage treatment facility upgrade and discharge-water re-use scheme, performing arts centre, redevelopment of the aquatic centre, ongoing enhancements to Victoria Park and Seiffert Oval.
Council has done very well out of government grants for projects which are creating a lot of work.
Having the resources to do the work is a problem as we are competing with other councils for contractors but, it is good for the economy of all communities.
Council is in good shape financially and is meeting all the government benchmarks.
During question time, Union Street left turn lane, damaged pavers, fake grass and the allowance of independent construction certifiers were all matters discussed.
Kevin Thompson gave the Thumbnail sketch in which he outlined his current interests and his wide-ranging community involvement.
For enquiries about joining Probus, contact Terry Sharman on 4821 1491 or Mick McGhie on 4821 3328.
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.