27 November 2019

On behalf of the community thank you to our local firefighters for their fast action during the catastrophic fire conditions we experienced. Fires along Wine Country Drive, North Rothbury, York Street and Harper Street, Greta were escalated to emergency warning. The blazes threatened dozens of homes forcing residents to evacuate. Thanks to the swift action of our local fire fighters the fires were soon downgraded. After speaking with fire fighters first on scene at North Rothbury it was overwhelmingly clear the fact they were on site so quickly is the only reason more damage was not done to property. It is a stark reminder that the closure of local fire stations is not an acceptable outcome for the community. Council will continue to lobby for the Weston Fire Station to remain open.

Unfortunately we are just at the start of the fire season and must all remain vigilant. To stay up-to-date with the latest information, residents are encouraged to download the Fires Near Me App www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me.  

It was extremely clear that our community pulls together in times of need. At the last Council meeting a Mayoral minute was adopted officially thanking the Rural Fire Service and all of those community members who helped each other out. Bimbadgen and the Mushroom Group must be acknowledged for their huge show of community spirit in offering free tickets to Rob Thomas to firefighters, their families and those impacted by the fires. What a wonderful way to show support to our local community.

There was an exceptional turn out last Wednesday to the Cessnock Walks Kawuma where our community came together in solidarity to raise awareness of the impacts of domestic and family violence. It was positive to see over 600 people standing together against domestic violence. Let us always stand together on this issue and reduce the rates of violence in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA). It is everyone’s business and priority to see positive change. Last week Council attended the public hearing into prices for Hunter Water from 1 July 2020-21 held by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART).  It was an opportunity to make our voice heard for the residents of North Rothbury and other villages across LGA that do not have sewerage services. There needs to be a planned approach by the NSW Government and Hunter Water to address the backlog that currently exists across the state. A user pays model is not equitable. The idea that a resident would have to pay $63,000 per property to get sewerage connected is incomprehensible. Following the public hearing IPART will release a draft report in March 2020. For more information visit www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Industries/Water/Reviews/Metro-Pricing/Prices-for-Hunter-Water-Corporation-from-1-July-2020.

The Carols in the Park are just days away! Gates open at 6pm and the caroling kicks off from 6:45pm. Remember it is strictly an alcohol-free event. The event is proudly sponsored by Newcastle Permanent Building Society (our major sponsor), Cessnock City Council, Rover Motors and Aerologistics Helicopters.