Our Sister City Relationship
The two local
government areas, Lane Cove and Gunnedah, have a number of things
in common. Primarily, they both have a strong sense of local identity,
with natural bushland extending into urban areas. They are both
desirable places in which to live. In November, 2001, Lane Cove
adopted Gunnedah, NSW, as its Friendship Town under the “ Green
Hands ” Initiative. This program aimed to link metropolitan
and country councils where tree planting and other environmental
works were needed.
A group of Lane Cove Councillors and Council staff visited Gunnedah
and, following the visit, it was agreed that the two Councils would
work together to develop Gunnedah's Wandobah Reserve Wetlands. This
“ Green Hands '” project was developed to the design stage,
but unfortunately drought conditions delayed further works.
In fact, by late 2002, the Gunnedah region was being severely affected
by the worst drought it had experienced in living memory. Lane Cove
Council rallied to the cause, and the two Councils joined forces
to put on a “Drought Breaker” concert. The drought aid concert was
held at St Ignatius College Riverview Hall on Friday, December 6,
2002 . It featured performances by about 60 of Gunnedah's finest
young talents, including musicians, dancers, singers, whip-crackers
and gymnasts. Proceeds from the concert went to the Red Cross Farmhand
Drought Relief Appeal.
On the night of the concert, the two Mayors announced a formal Sister
City relationship. Since then, the two regions have been developing
their ties, through reciprocal visits and communications.
One of these visits occurred during 2004 Country Week Expo at Homebush
when Lane Cove's Mayor, Council's General Manager and the Lane Cove
Chamber of Commerce President visited the Gunnedah stand to assist
in promotion of their rural sister city and its business community.
The Shire of Gunnedah is located in north-west NSW, about 450km
by road from Sydney . It covers an area of 5,092 sq km and has a
population of around 12,000. Gunnedah is located in the Upper Namoi
Valley and is the service hub of the Shire.
Gunnedah is at the centre of an important grain, cotton and cattle-producing
district which supplies both domestic and export markets. Tourism
is also a large and growing industry. Known as the “Koala Capital
of the World”, it boasts to be home to one of the largest and healthiest
koala colonies and features an impressive wildlife park.
For more information about Lane Cove's Rural Sister City , phone
Gunnedah Shire Council on (02) 6740 2100 or go to their website
Lane Cove and Gunnedah Councils are currently planning a number
of strategies to strengthen their relationship. Some of these plans
include organising competitions between the two regions, holding
on-line discussion forums, school visits and exchanges in culture,
information and training.
Council once again supported Lane Cove’s rural sister-city
Gunnedah by encouraging Lane Cove residents and businesses to attend
the Country Week Expo and visit the Gunnedah display site. The expo
was held in August, 2005, as part of a campaign aimed at promoting
country living to industry, companies and individuals. For more
information about the annual Country Week Expo go to www.countrynsw.com.au