Mayoral Column - 14 October 2020

Published on 14 October 2020

Image of Mayor Pynsent

It is fantastic to see more community events happening again for all of us to enjoy. The 2020 Town of Murals Art Show was a great event, with an exceptional standard. Well done to the organisers. This weekend I will attend the Sculpture in the Vineyards Opening. This is such a unique event that attracts impressive artists. It is a wonderful collection of sculptures and makes for a great day out.

It is October Motorcycle Awareness Month and Council has teamed up with other Hunter Councils with the Spot Joe Rider campaign. Local motorcycle riders will be kicking off the inaugural Hunter Region Joe Rider campaign with a ride from Port Stephens Council and travel through Maitland and Cessnock on Saturday. It is a perfect opportunity to remind us all about riders on the road.

While NAIDOC Week is usually celebrated in July due to COVID-19 it was delayed, but the good news is that Council is proud to have worked with the local community to put together a celebration and program of events. NAIDOC Week is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and provides a great opportunity to recognise, enjoy and learn about these cultures in our local community.  The official dates for NAIDOC week are 8 to 15 November. However Council is kicking off early with the Speaking in Colour workshops this month at our libraries. For more information and to be involved visit Council’s website.

Our local young people are being asked to engage with Council about the issues important to them. Feedback is being collected from young people across the Cessnock Local Government Area aged between 12 and 25 in a variety of different ways. These include a survey, an online discussion panel, a social media campaign and a number of planned school consultations. This feedback will then assist in Council developing a Youth Engagement Strategy. It is so important our young people have an avenue for conversations about their community. They are able to provide an insight that we can all learn from and will guide local decision makers. For more information visit Council’s Have your say section on the website.

The official bush fire season has arrived and so has more funding for the Cessnock LGA from the NSW Government. Council has been notified it will be receiving additional funding under the NSW Bushfire Community and Resilience Fund totalling $250,000. This funding is essential as we recover, plan and prepare.  Council is listening to the community and will continue to engage with residents on bush fires. The most recent community engagement activities run by Council’s Community Recovery Officer are a way for our community to share their views. More of these are currently being planned and residents who want more information, have an experience or idea they want to share are encouraged to attend.

Well done to the Cessnock Chamber of Commerce for holding their most recent business breakfast with a spotlight on domestic violence. As a community we all need to be talking about this matter. It is positive to hear Cessnock Walks Kawuma will be on again this year but in a different format. It is an issue everyone in our community needs to understand and be part of ending violence.  In my role as a White Ribbon Community Partner I will continue advocating for change and education in our community.

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