The following Vision and Mission are the basis of Council's Strategic Direction (and reflect the input received from the community as part of the Community Strategic Plan processes):
Council would like to show its respect and acknowledge all of the traditional custodians of land within the Richmond Valley Council area and show respect to elders past and present.
The following guiding principles (which are regarded as essential elements for good local government) are to be utilised as part of the every day decision making processes, actions and management of Richmond Valley Council:
- good governance (delivers good performance, minimises risks, ensures transparency and accountability, and promotes efficiency and effectiveness)
- representative democracy and community support. (Council's direction/activities are to broadly reflect its community demographics and to have community support)
- sound policy (a strong and sustainable local government area requires clear direction via a policy and planning framework)
- sufficient resources (a vibrant local government area needs human and financial resources to implement its decisions and to fulfil statutory obligations)
- meaningful planning (planning is a process to translate community needs and aspirations into Council services. To be meaningful plans must result in actions and outcomes for the community)
- connectedness (a strong local government environment requires a high level of connectivity across all of the community)
- strong leadership (effective local government and outcomes can only be achieved via strong community leadership through Councillors and staff)
In preparing the Community Strategic Plan it became clear, via the various engagement processes, that there were a range of "values" that the community sought to retain into the future; these are summarised in the following:
- a quiet , friendly and relaxed lifestyle
- access to natural attributes (waterways, national parks, natural bushland)
- open space and recreation
- wanting to contribute to the community
- economic diversity
- the expectation of community leadership
Richmond Valley Council History
Richmond Valley Council was formed in February 2000 as a result of the amalgamation of the former Casino Council and Richmond River Shire Council.
The area of approximately 3,050 square kilometres has a total population of 22,000 and is growing at a rate of 0.4% per year (State average 1.2%).Pastoral settlement in the Richmond Valley began in the earliest years of the 1840s, more than a decade after the Richmond River had first been entered from the sea by Captain Henry Rous. By the end of the 1840s, most of the valley had been occupied by large pastoral holdings under government leases. The town of Casino was the main entry point into the Richmond Valley for overland travellers; it was the district’s front door.
On 30 April 1879 a public meeting held in the School of Arts in Casino began the process of forming a municipality for the town of Casino and neighbourhood. Following a petition of 76 ratepayers, elections were held 22 March 1880 and Messrs Simpson, Gulley, Jordan, Grouch, Vesper and Carlill were returned as alderman. From these men, the first mayor was chosen as Frederick Burgess Gulley, the owner of the largest store in Casino. Gulley would be mayor eight times, spanning his 17 years as an alderman for Casino. Their first challenges were many: streets were rudimentary and boggy and rubbish was dumped in the streets; and no drainage existed in the flood-prone area and trade focussed on delivery of goods via the river leading the provision of infrastructure to become a priority for the thriving township.
In 1890 the first Casino Town Hall was built and in 1900 a drainage plan submitted by the State Government’s Department of Works was adopted, despite an economic depression putting curbs on Council spending.
Progress was slow for Casino’s water supply and street lighting with 1906 seeing the advent of water works, with another four years of debate and negotiation with suppliers before Casino would see sewerage works begin and 11 years before 12 gas lights were installed in the CBD area of the town, supplied by Casino’s own gas works. In 1916, the first sale yards were opened in the heart of town.
Through further economic depression, the First World War and battles with plague and influenza, the Council emerged in the 1930s with a new town hall building and augmentation to its water plant to supply the burgeoning population. The new Civic Hall opened 1937 before war again curtailed government spending. Following World War II, Casino celebrated the opening of a library service in 1945, the aerodrome in 1947 and the Casino War Memorial Olympic Pool in 1952.
The year 1954 was marked with a royal visit from Queen Elizabeth and by a record flood which washed away the Irving Bridge. The third Irving Bridge was opened in 1959. A time of prosperity into the 1960s and 1970s saw the building of the new Casino High School, expansion of residential areas to encompass North Casino and western Casino and the first popularly elected Mayor, JCD Lane in 1977.
In 1980 Casino celebrated 100 years in local government with an extensive procession and an official dinner attended by Premier Neville Wran. In 1982, the first year Beef Week was celebrated, Council held a referendum to decide the method of election of mayors. In 1983 the saleyards opened at its current location of Nammoona and the Jabiru Geneebeinga wetlands was opened in 1988.
In 1994 Council opened the Casino Visitor Information Centre and became sole trustee of the showground. In 1997, Casino officially became a sister city to Cassino, Italy.
The end of 133 years of Casino Council began with the merging of Tomki Shire Council with Woodburn in 1976 to become the Richmond River Shire Council, which amalgamated with the Municipality of Casino into the Richmond Valley Council in February 2000.
These unions recognised not only the social, economic and historical connections between each local government area, but also highlighted the importance of the Richmond River in linking the communities.