Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes.

Council set to deliver $80m despite ‘disruptive’ year

Central Highlands Regional Council is on track to deliver another $80 million of capital works this financial year, continuing to build local communities and ensuring all its utilities are well managed.

While there are many projects on the horizon for 2021, the largest is the continuation of the Emerald airport upgrade, improving the security and usability of the facility.

Although the one thing Mayor Kerry Hayes is hoping for next year is rain, and to overcome the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Without restating the obvious, 2020 was disruptive, difficult and sometimes divisive, however, our response to its challenges was exemplary and extraordinary,” he said.

The highlight of the year, for Cr Hayes, was how the council worked together to respond to the year’s challenges.

“Places like our libraries and transaction centres adapted how they provided customer service and our communities team worked hard to ensure that our seniors and youth were supported.

“Together with councillors, our teams delivered pamper packs to over 600 seniors right across the region and split our school leaders’ summit so they could all attend; and present to our councillors at venues where social distancing wouldn’t allow the whole group.

“Our disaster management team deserves a special mention too, as it became the single point of daily updates of the Covid situation and ensured that our medical fraternity right through to our key industry managers consistently received the most up-to-date and practical advice available.”

Cr Hayes was mostly proud of Central Highlands communities, showing perseverance and determination to make it through challenging times.

“Throughout this year our communities leaned hard on the very decent and inherent culture that binds us all together when faced with challenges; care and respect for family, friends and community,” he said.

“That’s what I’m most proud of but not surprised at.

“I’m confident that we have a great future and that’s where we look to; not at what’s behind us.”



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