22 August 2018

It was a pleasure to be involved in the launch of the Second Edition of the Convict Trail Map and the new website. The preservation and promotion of this trail is important to our community as it is reflective of the rich history of our area. It represents the hardship and workmanship of those who came before us. It was a monumental task new settlers faced in building infrastructure in rugged terrain and in often harsh conditions.

The relics left behind such as Ramsey’s Leap tell us this story. Council will undertake work on Ramsey’s Leap to see it preserved for generations to come. This is a great example of convict workmanship and it was fantastic to receive a grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage to undertake these works to preserve the spectacular stone curved retaining wall. The project will involve the installation of interpretive signage telling the tale of Ramsey’s Leap and the Convict Trail, how the road came to be from the Hawksbury to the Hunter Valley. The attraction of Wollombi continues to grow and there is a need to provide visitors with information so they can fully appreciate this area. Council was extremely pleased to be able to support the new map and congratulates all of those involved in seeing the publication updated.

The final of the Mayoral Debate is being held today. Good luck to the debating teams from Mount View High School and St Philip’s Christian College who will participate. It is set to be a very interesting debate around environmental sustainability. I look forward to hearing their arguments on this very topical debate.

Once again the Australian Wallabies ran onto the Cessnock Sportsgrounds as part of a training camp earlier this month. The team did the same last year and enjoyed it so much they came back. This is a tribute to our facility. It is great to see Rugby Australia showing their support for the regions. We look forward to welcoming them back into our community in the future and are very positive about the proposal for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, with our vineyard precinct picked as the perfect location for teams to stay.

Happy Birthday to the Cessnock VIEW club who celebrated their 53rd birthday last week and to Branxton VIEW club who celebrated their 30th birthday earlier in the month. Councillor Dagg attended the Cessnock celebrations alongside Mayoress Pynsent who attended both the Cessnock and Branxton luncheons. Council recognises the important contribution of services clubs to our community. Cessnock VIEW club continues to support young people in our community with their educational needs which is a fantastic benefit to all.

This Saturday the community will celebrate the opening of the new Greta Medical Centre building. It is wonderful to see up to date infrastructure being built in our community that will provide residents with improved access to care. Next Monday is a special occasion for our entire community as the Hon Meryl Swanson, MP will officially hand over the medals of Pte William Kelly to Kurri Kurri Public School for safekeeping. The miner from Glasgow, Scotland lived in Kurri Kurri prior to WWI. In 1916 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces and tragically lost his life fighting for Australia on May 15 1917. As William Kelly had no living relatives his war medals were not passed on. The medal handover ceremony will be a very special symbolic moment to welcome William Kelly home to Kurri Kurri. This will be a unique moment as for 100 years he has had no known grave or no one to mourn his death.