31 October 2018

Congratulations to Council’s Economic Development team who have been recognised at the National Economic Development Awards held in Queensland. The team took out the top award for Economic Development Strategic Thinking. This was for Council’s Cessnock City Youth First Employment Project and National Toolkit. A program that supported local young people to become job ready and saw the development of a toolkit. The toolkit has now been rolled out nationally to every council in Australia. The team did an exceptional job in making this project a success that addresses such an important issue not only in our local government area but across Australia. This shows that local government can be a leader within their community and an advocate for a major national issue. 

Council was also nominated for an award at the National Customer Service Awards. This was for our project that saw an overhaul to the process for customers ordering their planning and rates certificates. A number of teams worked together to streamline the process and moved it online. This now enables our customers to get their certificates back the same day they order. This is an example of Council always working to achieve the best outcome for the customer. There is a commitment to improving efficiency and customer service. Well done to all who worked on this project.

Last week the NSW Local Government Annual Conference was held in Albury. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn, share and discuss issues relevant to communities across Australia. A real highlight was a presentation from Craig Reucassal who is the host of the ABC’S War on Waste program. The presentation focused on the waste crisis and the opportunities that can be generated by addressing this crisis. Following the presentation the NSW local government sector campaign was launched that aims to solve the worsening recycling and waste crisis. The campaign ‘Save Our Recycling – lets reuse in NSW’ calls on the State Government to re-invest the entire $727 million it collects from the waste levy each year into waste management in recycling. Every year the waste levy costs Cessnock City Council around $8 million. It is critical that NSW develops its on-shore processing capacity for recycled materials, rather than shipping waste to other countries such as China. At the next Council meeting a Mayoral Minute will be included on the agenda supporting this much needed campaign. This campaign is in line with a motion our Council put up in relation to the recycling crisis and the waste levy. It is fantastic to see councils banning together from across the state to push for better strategies to deal with waste and ultimately reduce landfill. 

Council’s thrilled to announce the annual Scooter, Bike and Skate competition next month and is calling young people to sign up. The event hosted by CYCOS kicks off at 10am at the Cessnock Skate Park on Saturday 24 November and wraps up at 4pm. It’s a free event and caters to all levels including beginners, intermediate and advanced. Those lucky enough to take out a prize will be impressed with some great prizes up for grabs. Entry forms will be available on the day, can be picked up from the Cessnock Youth Centre located a 49D Aberdare Road, Cessnock. The form can also be downloaded from Council’s website at www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/community/youth/events.