Mayoral Column - 27 October

Published on 27 October 2021


I was saddened to hear about the passing of Roberta Thomas Brown, who was a great promoter of Cessnock’s wine region. The role she played in the Cessnock Vintage Festivals in the 70’s and 80’s was just amazing. I’d like to pass on my condolences to Roberta’s family and friends during this sad time.

The official opening of the new Police Station in Cessnock takes place tomorrow and I’m very much looking forward to attending the event. As a Council, we fought hard to have the Hunter Valley Command based here in Cessnock and this new and modern facility is top notch, with a wide range of police services available.

I attended the official launch of the 2021 Motorcycling in the Hunter publication on 12 October which was a joint effort between Cessnock City, Maitland City, MidCoast, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter councils. This great publication not only showcases the most popular rides in our region, but is also aimed at ensuring a motorcycle trip to the Hunter is both enjoyable and safe. The publication can be found on Council’s website or you can pick up a hard copy at visitor information centres, council offices and motorcycle outlets across the Hunter.

It was great to see Council’s Customer Service Centre reopen last week to once again deliver face-to-face services to our community. While the Centre has reopened, there will be strict guidelines in place to adhere with the Public Health Order, including only opening to fully vaccinated residents. To find out about other Council services which have reopened, including Cessnock City Libraries, Cessnock and Branxton pools, Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Cessnock Youth Centre and Outreach Service and the Hunter Valley Visitor Information Centre, visit Council’s website.

With the continued fluctuation of COVID-19 numbers in the Cessnock LGA, and regional travel from Sydney set to be allowed from 1 November, it’s so important to take advantage of vaccination centres in our area. Our local businesses have suffered, so as a community we need to do everything we can to support their re-opening and to ensure jobs for our families and friends. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of those in our community who have come forward so far to be vaccinated. While our vaccination rates started slowly, we reached 92% single dose and 70% double dose last week, which is just fantastic, let’s keep it up!

In exciting news, a tender was awarded for the Cessnock Airport upgrade at last week’s Council meeting, and works are expected to commence in early 2022. Council was successful in obtaining a $6,636,100 grant under the Restart NSW Growing Local Economies Fund to undertake significant infrastructure upgrades to Cessnock Airport which are sure to unlock business investment growth. Council is contributing $2,212,097 towards this $8.8 million project and all works must be completed by 30 June 2022. Stay up to date on this project and more by visiting Council’s website.

It’s not too late to have your say on the upgrade of the BMX facility at Carmichael Park in Bellbird, as the consultation is open until 31 October! Council wants to know what the community values in a BMX facility and what elements are important to you, so community ideas can be incorporated into a concept plan. There are a number of ways to get involved (and great prizes to be won) including an online survey, online ideas wall, a drawing competition for the kids, and online workshops. This will be a wonderful community facility and I encourage residents to get involved. Visit the ‘Have your say’ section of Council’s website to find out more.

Tagged as: