Mayoral Column - 24 June 2020

Published on 24 June 2020

Mayor Pynsent

June started off with a fantastic announcement by the Australian Government, who are providing $1,950,000 under Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects Stream to build an off-road, shared cycleway between Branxton and Greta. Council is contributing $650,000 towards the 3.3km cycleway that will connect the Branxton and Greta war memorials acknowledging the sacrifice of local service personnel. This would not have happened without determination from within the community to see this project funded and brought to life. I acknowledge the hard work of Branxton-Greta Business Chamber and the local RSL sub-branches. It truly is an exciting project and shows how a strong community voice is very powerful. Congratulations to all involved. Council looks forward to delivering this important piece of legacy infrastructure to the community.

It is a relief that shortly the Cessnock Advertiser will return to print and again be accessible to our community. At this time we are experiencing a decline in local news, that is concerning for our community who want to know about what is happening in their own backyard. We want to read stories that matter to us, about local sport or an achievement of a local person. I look forward to the first edition back.

Council’s Administration is once again open to the public. Our Customer Relations Team are now able to provide face-to face service with the installation of a number of glass protection screens.  Thank you to everyone in the community for their patience while the Administration Building has been closed. As of Monday community halls and the Cessnock Civic Indoor Sports Centre reopened to the public. A number of measures are in place to ensure these operate safely. It is great to see things continue to return to normal so we can all again enjoy connections within our community and recreational activities.

Council is calling on local organisations and groups working on initiatives to help our community better prepare for, respond to or recover from a disaster to apply for the NSW Get Ready Community Award.

Coordinated by Resilience NSW, the NSW Get Ready Community Award will recognise a community that has worked together to make their community more prepared and better able to recover from disasters. Applications are open until 5 July 2020. Apply here

The Support Local campaign continues and it is very positive to see more people out and about supporting our local businesses. Remember, your support of a local business can make a huge difference. For more information about this campaign visit Advance Cessnock’s website.

Last week Council farewelled the Director of Planning and Environment Gareth Curtis. I would like to acknowledge all of Gareth’s exceptional work, particularly in relation to significantly improving Council’s timeframes for determining development applications. We wish you all the best in your new role as General Manager of Dungog Shire Council.

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