From Cabonne Mayor Kevin Beatty
HOT AIR BALLOONS will fill the skies above Canowindra this month in what is expected to be the most successful Canowindra International Challenge yet staged.
The Canowindra Challenge is now one of the premier tourism events in NSW and promises to be even bigger and better when it is held from April 21-29. One of the highlights will be the Cabonne Country Balloon Glow which will be held at the Canowindra Showground on Saturday April 28.
Cabonne Council has been a major sponsor for a number of years and has allocated $20,000 from its Events Assistance Program to help promote this year’s Challenge.
Any festival that attracts thousands of people and regularly injects more than $1 million a year into a country town’s economy is something very special. You only have to look at what this festival returns to the community to see that Council’s contribution is a very sound investment.
Some of the world’s elite hot air balloon pilots will be participating in a range of events. This year balloon-ists from the USA, France, England and New Zealand will compete against Australia’s best.
The status of the Challenge continues to grow on the international ballooning calendar, which is helping to put Canowindra and Cabonne well and truly on the tourism map, not only in Australia but overseas.
The event has grown to such an extent that organisers have moved the balloon glow from the Canowindra Sports Ground, where it has been held in recent years, to the showground to cater for the growing number of spectators. They have also expanded the program to include a concert after the glow to provide even more entertainment. The number of people camping at Canowindra showground during the Challenge has quadrupled this year, with 250 sites fully booked for the week.
VOLUNTEER POOL COMMITTEES deserve high praise for their work in running the Council’s swimming pools at Eugowra, Yeoval, Cumnock, Manildra and Cudal.
Our pools are often the social hubs of these villages and I’m amazed by the dedication of the volunteers who operate them every summer. While Council provides for the employment of casual life guards, the smaller villages rely on volunteers committee members to give up their time to carry out all the other duties needed to provide residents with public swimming facilities.
THERE WAS AN AMAZING RESPONSE to the 13 community projects to be submitted for funding under the second round of the NSW Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Just under 1,500 letters of support and petitions were received when public comment and feedback was sought, which should considerably enhance the applications when they are submitted early next month.
The projects, with a total value of more than $3.6 million, range from the expansion of long day care facilities at Molong and Cudal to sporting venue upgrades, major showground improvements and the construction of shared mobility access pathways in various towns and villages.
Cabonne Council received $270,000 for shared mobility pathways in Manildra, Cudal and Mullion Creek in the first round of the NSW Stronger Country Communities Fund and is hopeful of being allocated about $2 million for successful projects in n round two.
MORE COMMUNITY PROJECTS will be funded under the second round of the Council’s Community Assistance Program.
Applications for projects worth more than $45,000 have been received from organisations in Cudal, Eugowra, Manildra, Canowindra and Molong. Just under $32,000 is available under this round of funding. Applications are being assessed and a report will be prepared for Council’s May meeting for Councillors to determine the successful projects. These grants are for not-for-profit groups undertaking projects on non-commercial facilities in the Cabonne Local Government Area. Grants are provided on a 50:50 basis, but communities can provide their half of the funding through voluntary labour or in-kind contributions.
CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION is being considered for public places in relevant Cabonne towns and vil-lages.
Council has formed a working party to undertake a detailed assessment and address the necessary criteria needed to install the technology. This follows an initial request to investigate installing CCTV in the Molong and Canowindra business districts.
The assessment will determine whether there is a need for the CCTV and whether Council proceeds further with project.
A FURTHER $2,950 HAS BEEN DONATED to worthy causes in the past month, with Council contributing $1,600 to the Canowindra RSL Sub-branch for two seats to be placed in the grounds of Canowindra hospital; $1,000 to Borenore CWA for repairs to the hall kitchen; $250 to NAIDOC Week school initiatives; and $100 to Borenore student Paris Capell to represent the Orange electorate at the NSW Youth Parliament. This brings the total value of donations provided to local organisations and individuals in 2017-18 to just under $7,000.
Council also allocated $1,000 from its Events Assistance Program to Cudal Camp Draft Association for its two-day event to be held later this year and $500 to the Make It, Bake It, Grow It Market to be held in Canowindra on April 27 and 28 to coincide with the hot air balloon festival.