31 May 2017

Last week I had the pleasure of Cessnock East Public School presenting their special guide to the Hunter Valley, at the Hunter Valley Visitor Centre. This is a brilliant initiative that saw year 5 and 6 students working alongside community partners to develop the one of a kind guide to the Hunter Valley.

The 35 page a book titled ‘Are we there yet? A trip around the Hunter’ took around one year to collate. The publication aims to assist families in getting the most out of what the Hunter Valley has to offer.

Congratulations to the students, teachers, parents and local businesses who were involved. This collaborative approach to learning certainly enriches our young people’s schooling experience and further celebrates our rich local culture.  

The Hunter Valley Legends Awards were held last week, an important event recognising vignerons in our region. Congratulations to Ian Tinkler who has been installed as the 2017 Living Legend and to all the other local vignerons receiving accolades.  

This week marks National Reconciliation Week which is held annually between 27 May and 3 June, this year’s theme is ‘Let’s take the next steps’. This is a very important event for the entire community as it raises awareness, and builds on understanding and relationships.  

The celebration of this event with an Elders Morning Tea follows the completion of Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which provides Council with a framework and vision for reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The one year plan listed 13 actions that were completed during 2016. Council is now beginning to plan for its next Reconciliation Action Plan, the Innovate RAP.    

I am very pleased to announce further upgrades will be occurring on Frame Drive, Abermain following the NSW Government announcement of $4.45 million in funding for Cessnock under the Fixing Country Roads’ program. We look forward to getting underway with these vital safety upgrades.   I am happy to report this week we have completed line marking works along Gingers Lane and commenced works on Frame Drive, Abermain. We have now completed upgrades to the Watagan Creek Bridge number one and Stockyard Creek Bridge. In particular it was a fantastic effort to get the rehabilitation works finished at Watagan Creek Bridge, with minimal disruption to road users seeing staff work around the clock.