29 November 2017

December is almost here and it is already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! As I am sure many of you would have noticed, the new Christmas banners have gone up in both Kurri Kurri and Cessnock which have certainly brightened up the streetscape.

We have also got our annual Carols in the Park event happening this Friday, so I encourage everyone to start warming up those vocal chords and come on down to this fantastic free event. This is one of my favourite events on the calendar as it is always so heart-warming to see family and friends enjoying the atmosphere. Gates open at 6.30pm and there will be market stalls, music, entertainment, a visit from Santa and a spectacular fireworks display to top off a fabulous evening. This event wouldn’t happen without our wonderful sponsors, including Newcastle Permanent Building Society and Rover Motors.

Christmas is always a wonderful time of year to spend time with family and friends and exchange gifts, but we should also spare a thought for those who might be doing it tough this festive season. On that note, our Cessnock City Council Christmas Gift and Food Appeal kicked off on Monday and we’re calling on locals to give generously. This year, all donations will go to the Kurri Kurri Community Centre and Samaritans Information and Neighbourhood Centre Cessnock. The donation drop-off points are under the Christmas tree in our council admin building and over the counter at Kurri Kurri and Cessnock Libraries. For health and safety reasons, please ensure all donations are new and not wrapped.

We officially opened the redeveloped Cessnock Waste Management Centre on 13 November which will provide our community with a modernised, convenient and safe waste service. This new facility will allow residents to lessen their impact on our local environment by increasing resource recovery opportunities. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project come to fruition, it is an excellent facility for our community. If you would like to find out more, visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/wastecentre.

I would like to congratulate Kurri Kurri High School for winning the Waste Ops film making competition. The competition called on students to shift the way our community thinks about waste and encourage people to change their behaviour. Kurri Kurri High’s winning entry focussed on the importance of reusable shopping bags and they went back to school with $1000 to spend on a project of their choice.

White Ribbon Day took place on 25 November and as a White Ribbon Ambassador, I have to say how proud I am to see more and more people in our community standing up and speaking out against domestic violence. In particular, our local schools are leading the way as students from Mount View high and St Philip’s Christian College spoke at the annual White Ribbon breakfast this year. Cessnock High School also held a White Ribbon Awareness Walk on Monday, followed by a breakfast and pledge ceremony, which I was honoured to be part of.  

Tomorrow is International Day of People with Disability which aims to promote the rights of and increase awareness of people with disability in our society. To celebrate, Cessnock Includes You will host a ‘Come and Try Day’ from 10.30am at PCYC Cessnock. It is sure to be a fun day of activities for all levels of skill and ability, so come along and enjoy a great day out!  

The current works happening across the region include the installation of a tourist information bay at Kearsley, kerb, gutter, road reconstruction and drainage works on Wollombi Road, Millfield, traffic facility works along James Street, Cessnock and works on a Whitburn culvert crossing on the New England Highway, Greta.