2023 has started off strong around the Valley with several events for everyone to enjoy.

We launched the January School Holidays Program with 28 different activities to be enjoyed by both school children and our youths on their holidays.

Some of the great activities included a Circus Workshop, Pacca & Paint which was held at Blackwattle Alpaca Farm, an Inflatable pool party at Binalong, Rocket making and finished off the 4-week calendar with a trip to the Powerhouse Museum.  We have received great feedback from the parents as well as the children.  So nice to see them enjoy their holiday break with their friends.

Our Reconnect Program continues, in January we had a fishing competition in Wee Jasper which was a great success. They had 43 Anglers registered.

Council kicked off Australia Day celebrations on 25 January at Crisps Gallery where I had the opportunity to meet and talk with so many wonderful locals who were nominated for Australia Day awards who work hard for the benefit of our community, to thank them personally for their efforts, in the lovely gardens.  I also met and welcomed this year’s Australia Day Ambassador French-born, David Bitton.

Australia Day started with Yass Rotary Club and CWA breakfast at Riverbank Park.  Congratulations to all the Australia Day Award winners. This year’s Mayoral Award went to our Volunteer Emergency Services – Yass SES, Sutton SES and Binalong VRA. A well-deserved recognition to these wonderful first responders.

Still on our first responders, it was wonderful to join Steph Cook MP Minister for Emergency Services, deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell, Captain Scott Lang and the 511 Crew in Yass Fire and Rescue Station to hand over the keys to the new $530,000 fire tanker. This tanker will enable our firefighters to access fires in difficult terrain as well as respond to structural fires, rescue, and other emergency incidents with the very latest equipment.

Yass High School Hall upgrade is now completed. The new multi-purpose hall at the school contains a full-size basketball court, storage, and amenities.

It was so nice to join the parents, pupils, teachers, and residents to celebrate the opening of the new primary school in Murrumbateman.  This wonderful building and grounds were officially opened by our local member and Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman MP.  I pay tribute to my council colleague Councillor Mike Reid for his tenacity in pursuing the establishment of a school in Murrumbateman.

If I thought January was a busy month, I have a sneaking suspicion February will be even busier.  In the first week we celebrated the completion of the $2.5 million Stage 1 of the Yass Water Treatment Plant upgrade. Member of Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and the Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson were in Yass and welcomed the investment.

Then I spent a lovely, but all too short stay in Bookham joining with local residents to unveil the plaque to mark the completion of the trees planted to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. I enjoyed a quick cup of tea and a good yarn with some of the welcoming locals at Barney’s Café before heading back to Yass for Hon. Wendy Tuckerman to announce $500,000 for the expansion of the Yass Skatepark.  We were lucky enough to have some of the talented children who showed us their tricks on their skateboards, and when we told them the good news, they were very excited indeed.

Then our last stop for the day was at the Yass Community Centre where we announced a $250,000 grant for improvements.  It was definitely a great day spreading the good news around the village for the community.

Looking forward to giving you my monthly update next month, until then I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Allan McGrath

Yass Valley Council Mayor