16 October 2019

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Smaller & Smarter Cities International Symposium that was held in Newcastle. The symposium is Australia’s premier forum for addressing the opportunities and challenges facing major, non-capital cities here and abroad. It was great to open the conference in my capacity as the Chair of Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils. It was an opportunity to advocate for collaboration as a region, this is key to achieving prosperity for our region. All local leaders have a responsibility to remove their blinkers and look outwardly across lines on a map to leverage opportunities on our doorstep.

Over the last five years I have seen a renewed focus on collaboration in our region. Each of the local government areas that form the Greater Newcastle Region have unique economies, a different population make up and a variety of natural landscapes. Our differences should not be seen as hurdles but should be used as a platform to be leveraged off.  We can achieve better together but to do this sustainably we must work side by side strategically.  For over sixty years, ten local councils have found significant benefit in working together through positive cooperation and resource sharing. The Hunter Joint Organisation is the hub for local government collaboration, which strengthens our communities by being the voice on regional strategic issues in the Hunter and delivering tailored local government solutions.

Congratulations to all local businesses who have been nominated as part of the Cessnock Chamber of Commerce 2019 Customer Service Awards. Council has had a number of staff nominated, including two nominations for our Customer Relations Team and one for the Hunter Valley Visitor Information Centre. Congratulations to all, you should be proud of your commitment to providing excellence in customer service.

Council is pleased to announce that the hugely popular free mattress drop-off day will take place on Saturday 9 November 2019 from 8am to 12pm.  The mattress drop-off will take place at the Council Works Depot carpark at 2082 Old Maitland Rd, Cessnock where residents can dispose of up to four mattresses or bases, completely free of charge.  

This event is for residents of the Cessnock Local Government Area only and proof of address is required. Mattress drop-offs must also be made using a vehicle as there will be no pedestrian access. For more information, please visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/environment/waste/other_waste.