13 November 2019

What a wonderful couple of weekends for the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA)!  On the first weekend of November we hosted more than 150 visitors for the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW (KABNSW) 2019 Sustainable Communities - Tidy Town Awards and on Sunday the Australian Postie Bike Grand Prix.

The Tidy Town Awards kicked off with a BBQ at the Cessnock Men’s Shed and our visitors had the opportunity to experience all we have to offer during local tours on Saturday. The event culminated with the awards presentation at Pokolbin Hall where Murrurundi was named the KABNSW 2019 Overall Tidy Town Award. Congratulations to the community of Murrurundi. In 2018 we were named the NSW Tidiest Town and this was a reflection of our fantastic community members. It is wonderful to see the Murrurundi community working closely together despite the tough times they are enduring in the midst of a harsh drought. It is a reminder of how getting community involved and engaged makes for successful community outcomes.

Hosting the awards was a big effort and we could not have done it without the huge amount of community support we received. A big thank you to all the community groups who were involved including members of the Cessnock Tidy Town, Kurri Kurri Tidy Town, Wollombi Tidy Town, Cessnock Men’s Shed, Cessnock Branch- Country Women’s Association and the Rotary Club of Cessnock. Council was also supported by Tara Naysmith, Aunty Cynthia, Trinity Woodhouse and Reece Hamilton. Well done! It was a real team effort. For more information about these awards visit https://kab.org.au/.

Congratulations to the organisers of the Postie Bike Grand Prix. This event now six years on is much loved and is becoming a huge attraction. It was a great day watching the riders zoom around the track in an attempt to cross the line first. Well done to all competitors. Council is a proud supporter of this unique event.

Last week I had the opportunity to appear in front of the Senate Select Committee, with an inquiry into Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas. It was an opportunity to advocate for more investment in the Cessnock LGA to see an increase in local jobs and more training. There needs to be a commitment from the Australian Government to training and investing in future talent relative to the needs of jobs of the future. In our LGA it is tough being a young person, with only so many jobs available yet many young people looking for work locally. One apprenticeship position could easily receive over 100 applicants. We want to retain our talented young people and have them contribute to our local economy.