Message from the Mayor: 10 May 2024

Published on 10 May 2024


Hello, I'm John Connors, the Mayor of the Dungog shire, bringing you this week's Mayoral message.

During the coming week, there'll be advertisements placed in the Dungog Chronicle, on Council’s website, and on Council’s Facebook page for vacancies that exist in several Section 355 Committees. The ones that will be advertised are the Paterson School of Arts, the Dungog Showground, and The James Theatre in Dungog.

When the advertisements appear, I urge all of you who are interested in any of those particular facilities to fill out a form and make an application to become a member of the relevant committee.

For the Dungog Showground, we will be circulating each of the user groups and we're hoping that in accordance with the Plan of Management for that facility, that there will be applicants from each of the permanent user groups within the showground. So look out for further notifications and for the advertisement in the next week or so.

This week saw the launch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in the Dungog shire. It was an extremely well attended function in Dungog and highlighted the importance of this program to the community. It's supported by a very large cross section of the community and currently, there are about 25 children that have been enrolled, with the aim to ultimately get to 100 children, but in the short term to 50, and they all need funding at the rate of $108 per child per annum.

So it's a great cause and there's masses of evidence that shows how important it is for children from birth to five to be encouraged to read. The program sends in the mail to the home of the child a book once a month. That then builds up a store of books within the home. So look out for it and if you have a child that's eligible, go to the Paterson Post Office, the Clarence Town Post Office, the Library in Dungog, or online and fill out a very simple registration.

This coming Wednesday night is Council's monthly meeting and at that meeting Council will be asked to put on exhibition this year's draft budget. It will be on exhibition for a period of 28 days from next week. You're all invited and encouraged to make submissions to read it and then make any submission you wish concerning the contents of the budget. It's what will drive Council's expenditure over the next 12 months and beyond. So don't ignore it, take the time to have a look.

There have been rumors running around Dungog in the last week that the resident police officers have been taken away. That rumor is not correct. One police residence has to be renovated and as a result of those renovations, the police officer has had to move out of the house. But he's not left the town and the other officer is still in his residence. So there are still two police officers in Dungog and there's been no change I'm reliably informed.

There is constant comment being made about Council's apparent failure to complete the works in Hooke Street, the stretch from Lord Street to Dowling Street. There is only one reason those works haven't been completed and that is due to Council waiting on funding from the state government to enhance the drainage in that area. As soon as that funding is received, then that program will recommence to complete the work. Without the funding the work can't be carried out, and that's the only reason that the work hasn't been carried out. It's not a failure on Council's part to not complete the task it started, it's merely that there's different and additional funding for that section of the street. As you would be aware it's the section that floods and the aim is to enhance the drainage in that area. So as soon as possible those works will be undertaken.

During the week commencing the 20th of May, I will be doing ‘Meet the Mayor’ around the shire in Dungog, then East Gresford at the Beatty Hotel, at Vacy General Store, Paterson at Tucker Park, and then Clarence Town School of Arts on Friday. All those sessions will be 4pm to 6pm. So please come and speak with me about your wishes, complaints, or whatever you may wish to talk to me about during those visits that week.

In addition to that, during the month of May, I'm available at the Council Chambers in Dungog between 9.30am and 1pm each Monday. So please again, if that's more suitable, come in on a Monday morning to the council chambers in Dungog.

I think that's it from me for this week. Until next week, good luck and goodbye.


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