26 June 2019

Last week the Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly 2019 was held in Canberra. More than 870 representatives from councils across the states and territories attended. The theme for 2019 was Future Focused and it was fantastic as a sector to discuss the issues and policies impacting us al. This included an opportunity to discuss Federal Government policy following the recent election. It also enabled us to learn from experts on affordable housing, infrastructure and growth. There was also an insightful session on reducing harm into the community. Reducing the impact of drugs and alcohol on our community is a priority for our region. This presentation was extremely timely for our community as last week marked the Special Commission of Inquiry to the Drug ‘Ice’. Last week a hearing was held at East Maitland Court House and I was disappointed I was declined the opportunity to speak at the hearing. Commissioner Howard SC noted the submission made by Council was fully considered in preparation of the Inquiry’s findings and was part of the material tendered at the hearing. It is my sincere hope that the Special Commission achieves positive outcomes for our community.  

Everyone is invited to participate in this year’s NAIDOC celebrations which will be held across the LGA from 1-17 July. NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to come together and support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture. The community have been hard at work planning a wonderful program for 2019 with events and activities for all ages and interests. The 2019 theme for NAIDOC Week is ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.’ The theme is a call to action and acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy. To view the program visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/community/events-ceremonies/naidoc.  

Council is seeking assistance from the community to develop emblems to feature on suburb signage that will assist tourists finding their way when visiting the Cessnock Local Government Area.  This project is funded under the NSW Government’s Building Better Regions Fund. The funding was received to assist in the implementation of the Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism Signage Implementation Project. To help us and share your ideas visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/M9S3F96. The survey will be open until 4 July 2019.   

The school holidays are fast approaching and once again Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Libraries have a great range of exciting activities planned! Be sure to get in quick and book your place, as spots are limited! Bookings open on Sunday 16 of June. Book online at: libraries.cessnock.nsw.gov.au, or by calling Cessnock Library on 49934399 or Kurri Kurri Library on 49371638.  

The Freeman of the City Award recognises an individual for outstanding achievement over his or her lifetime which advance the values we share as Australians. This year the award will be presented to Alison Davey. Congratulations Alison, you have contributed a great deal to our community and Council looks forward to the formal celebrations.