14 November 2018

Millfield Public School held their 150th anniversary celebration on Saturday 3 November which was a fantastic day out for the local community. As part of the celebrations, we officially opened the school’s new garden which had a remarkable makeover as part of the 2018 Garden Blitz project. The Garden Blitz has been the key education project of the Garden Organics service which was designed to demonstrate how the green waste from your green bin is processed into high quality organic soil conditioner. This soil is then used by home gardeners and farmers, ultimately completing the cycle from your organics bin to the garden bed.

On Monday 5 November, our council was invited present to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources inquiry hearing at Singleton Diggers Club. During the presentation, I voiced to the Committee Chair, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP how mining challenges for communities endure long after the mining boom and how local businesses could be better supported. This invitation followed a detailed submission to the inquiry into how the mining sector can better support businesses in regional economies. I am proud of the submission Council made and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak at the public hearing.

I also attended the Cessnock Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Awards last Friday evening, which are always a wonderful opportunity to recognise those who go above and beyond providing outstanding customer service across our region. We are certainly spoilt when it comes to experiencing exceptional customer service in the Cessnock LGA. Whether you are picking up your daily coffee, getting your car repaired, getting your hair cut or dining in one of the many establishments, you’ll always be greeted with a smile and a can-do attitude. I’d like to congratulate everyone who was nominated and those who took home an award on the night, in particular Kellie Auld from Kurri Kurri Library who won the award in the Community Services Category. I would also like to make special mention of the other nominees from Cessnock City Council including Stephanie King, Sandy Ryan, Rachel Naysmith, Council’s Customer Service Team and the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre team. 

On Sunday 11 November, I attended the Remembrance Day Service in Kearsley which had special significance this year as it marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War. In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. Included in this number were local service personnel who we took a minute silence for to remember on Sunday. It was particularly special for the Kearsley, Edenville and Abernathy community as just two months ago, a ceremony was held to unveil plaques for 20 local service personnel who served in WWI. Prior to this discovery, it was believed that only nine local men had served.

The Cessnock Chamber of Commerce held their White Ribbon Breakfast yesterday which was a great opportunity to talk about domestic violence as an issue not only in Australia, but right here within our region. As a White Ribbon Ambassador, I am passionate bringing this issue to the forefront of people’s minds because if we don’t talk about, it simply won’t improve. The local statistics of domestic violence are harrowing to say the least. Collectively, we have the ability shift the culture of violence across the region and as a community we have a responsibility to speak out and prevent this tragedy from continuing.

The Branxton Uniting Church will celebrate their 100th anniversary with a community event this Sunday from 10am. This special occasion will be marked with service at the church followed by a sausage sizzle and fun for the whole family including a jumping castle, face painting and more.

We’ve got some exciting events coming up! Postie bikes will once again roar through Cessnock on Sunday 18 November for the fifth annual Postie Bike Grand Prix. This is an exciting event and I encourage the community to come along and show their support. The popular Carols in the Park event is also coming up on Friday 7 December, so make sure you save the date and bring the whole family along! As always, there will be fabulous live music and delicious food stalls for the local community to enjoy from 6.30pm at the Cessnock Sportsground.