Mayor’s introduction

Clarence Valley is very much ‘On the Move’, with its economy growing in the last calendar year at a record eight per cent.

Much of this growth has been underpinned by the ‘can do’ attitude of the new Clarence Valley Council.

Clarence Valley Council was formed in 2004, as a result of forced merging of the former Copmanhurst, Grafton, Maclean and Pristine Waters Councils.

Since amalgamation, Council has been able to enhance existing services, streamline planning processes, and provide a range of new community services in the areas of economic development, environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural enhancement.

Located in northern New South Wales, Clarence Valley Council is a ‘sea change’ destination. Geographically, it is the largest coastal Council in New South Wales with a population of 51,000 people and growing well above State average at 1.1 per cent per annum.

Council’s population is dispersed, providing a myriad of lifestyle opportunities, with people located in Grafton – the jacaranda city, the major towns of Maclean and Yamba, and more than 40 villages. This population spread creates service delivery challenges and increases service provision costs.

Despite these demands, Council is still able to continue a rating base below the State average and has not yet applied for any special purpose rate increases since amalgamation.

Council is proud of its achievements since amalgamation. Many of these are featured in the accompanying articles.

Some of the major achievements include:

  • adoption of an award winning sustainability framework, which places the thread of sustainability in all Council decisions
  • playing a strong leadership role in adapting to and mitigating against climate change
  • construction of the $180 million Clarence/Coffs Regional Water Supply
  • investment of $150 million in new sewerage infrastructure
  • planning best practice – achieved by amalgamating Development Control Plans to one per parcel of land; the recent submission of a new Draft Local Environmental Plan for Department of Planning approval to display publicly; and fast Development Application turnaround times
  • record investment in road and bridge replacement programs
  • an Economic Development Plan, ‘Clarence Edge’, with 75 per cent of its actions now either implemented or completed
  • a Social Plan with an associated Affordable Housing Plan and Crime Prevention Plan
  • facilitating improved services and employment opportunities for the Aboriginal Community in consultation with the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Consultative Committee
  • a Cultural Plan
  • award winning heritage programs involving heritage LEP’s, financial assistance and advice.

Clarence Valley, on the mighty Clarence River, is a wonderful lifestyle region offering exceptional opportunity.

Council is determined that it will be a leader in Local Government across our nation.

Ian Tiley