General Manager's Column - 24 November 2021

Published on 24 November 2021

Cessnock City Council General Manager Lotta Jackson
We're currently seeking community input on a project to help identify and map important agricultural land, along with significant agricultural landscapes and views across the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA). The Cessnock LGA is known for its rural character and picturesque viticultural and agricultural landscapes. As our region grows, urban development and other activities have the potential to encroach on these important areas. Council is looking to retain, protect and enhance these significant areas to preserve the identity and character of our LGA, regional employment and food security. As part of this, we want to hear from the community about what areas they consider to be significant, and why. Residents are encouraged to have their say via an interactive map which will be available via the Have Your Say section of council's website until January 3, 2022.
 
We are also seeking community input via an online survey to inform the development of a draft Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy. A key action from Council's Climate Change Policy, the strategy will provide a framework for improving environmental sustainability and action on climate change in the Cessnock LGA, and identify key actions Council will take to achieve the goals it sets out. Resident feedback and input from community stakeholders will help to capture community sentiment and allow us to identify priorities most important to the region. The survey can be found on the Have Your Say section of council's website until December 10. Following the survey, residents will have the opportunity to attend community workshops to further inform the draft strategy. 
 
Our annual Christmas Gift and Food Appeal kicked off last week, with donations being accepted until December 10. Residents are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items which can be dropped off at Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Libraries or Council's Administration Building on Vincent Street, Cessnock. All donations this year will be given to the Kurri Kurri Community Centre who will deliver to those doing it tough in the local community. I encourage people to give what they can as 2021 has been a challenging year for many and those in the community who were already experiencing hardship have been doing it especially tough.
The Christmas spirit will be on full display across the Cessnock LGA this December, with a huge program of free family-friendly events happening throughout the month. From music to movies, arts and crafts to competitions, magic shows to stories, there's bound to be something for everyone. In lieu of the traditional Carols at the Park event, this year will see a number of pop-up Christmas carol performances across the LGA. You can find the full program of events at www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/ChristmasInCessnockCity.
 
In an effort to promote responsible pet ownership and the importance of ensuring your dogs are wearing a collar and tag, council has launched a 'Tag for a Tag' photo competition on Instagram. There are 40 dog tags to be won which come engraved with your dog's name and your contact details, to ensure your furry friend is returned home safely if they get lost. To enter, simply take a photo of your dog, post it to Instagram, tag @CessnockCityCouncil and include the hashtag #PuppersofCessnock. For more details, including terms and conditions, visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/tagforatag. The competition closes on December 9.
The Local Government elections are coming up on Saturday, December 4 and the NSW Electoral Commission is on the lookout for more people to work with them. There are lots of paid positions available to work across the Cessnock Local Government Area, which is a great way to earn some extra money in the lead up to Christmas. You can find out more about positions available and the upcoming election by visiting www.elections.nsw.gov.au.
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