20 September 2018

Our community welcomed the New South Wales Governor His Excellency General David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) last Monday, for a two day visit to the region. It was wonderful to welcome His Excellency and Mrs Hurley to our local government area. On Monday Branxton hosted the Governor for a morning tea at the Branxton Community Hall and the Governor heard from school students, about the individual stories of local service men who would be remembered as part of the Branxton Greta Memorial Cycleway project. The Governor spoke about the importance of this project and acknowledged the dedication the community has to seeing the cycleway come to life.

The community of Kurri Kurri provided the Governor with an update on a number of projects underway as part of marking the Centenary of Armistice. The visit also involved a special ceremony at Kearsley Community Hall, where the Governor unveiled plaques revealing the names of local men who enlisted and served in WWI. This was an intimate ceremony put on by the Kearsley Dawn Service Committee. It was very moving seeing some of our youngest Kearsley residents lay a rose in memory of each of these men. Congratulations to all the community members involved in hosting the Governor. You have all done our area very proud.

On Tuesday we welcomed 20 new people not only into our community but into our nation. The Australian Citizenship Ceremony was a wonderful occasion providing all the attendees with an opportunity to reflect on how lucky we are to call Australia home. We welcomed people from many corners of the globe including from the United Kingdom, Fiji, Italy, Canada, the United States of America, Thailand and India.

Council has been extremely successful under Round Two of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. Council secured $1.7 million for the Cessnock Local Government Area that will be invested into five community infrastructure projects. Bridges Hill Park Regional Themed Playground attracted the largest dollar figure with $936,315 to be injected into the project. This will be a fantastic long term asset for our community benefiting all local residents. The playground includes fitness equipment, a multi- purpose hard court, a children’s bicycle circuit and adventure playground.

Branxton did extremely well under Round Two receiving $400,616 for public domain works including pavement upgrades and tree planting along Maitland Street and for the development of the Branxton town centre.  A grant of $242,355 has also been offered for the installation of a splash pad at Cessnock Pool and $126,700 will be invested into upgrading toilets at community halls.

Yesterday was a fantastic day for Millfield Public School as an underutilised space in the school underwent a garden overhaul. This was after the school took out the Garden Organics Garden Blitz competition. The Garden Blitz promoted our Garden Organics Service and completed the cycle from the garden organic bin to the garden bed. The mulch and soil conditioner used at Millfield was from our Garden Organics Service. It was great to join the crew who undertook the work for a BBQ and thank them for their hard work to transform the space. The school will also soon celebrate their 150 anniversary. Cessnock Library in assisting the community digitised their 125th Anniversary book and made it available via the online catalogue.