Message from the Mayor: 3 May 2024

Published on 03 May 2024

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

Last Monday night, a community meeting was conducted, the purpose of which was to inform the community and to hear their views on the construction of a new bridge over the Williams River in Clarence town.

60 people attended over the three sessions and there was significant input from the community and issues that they asked that council consider in the tendering process. The next step is for the council to finalise the tender documents, and then it's anticipated that the tender will go out before the end of June.

Tenders will then be considered and it’s hoped that a contract can be awarded in November. There's some delay in that process due to the local government elections in September, but it's underway nonetheless.

The really good news is that the last of the funding deals with the government were signed last week. So, all funding deeds have now been executed by the council and by the government. So it's hopefully full steam ahead.

During the month of May, as I think I may have previously said, I'll be available at the council chambers in Dungog each Monday from 930am until 1pm. There's no need to make an appointment. you can really drop in and talk to me about any issues you might have, any comments you want to make, or anything at all that relates to the Council and its activities.

In addition to those sessions in Dungog, the week commencing the 20th of May, I will be doing the sessions around the shire.

The sessions are from 4-6pm in

  • Dungog Council chambers on Monday 20th
  • Beatty hotel in Gresford on Tuesday 21st,
  • Vacy General store on Wednesday the 22nd
  • Tucker park in Paterson on Thursday the 23rd
  • And in Clarence Town at the School of Arts Hall on Friday the 23rd.

So if it doesn't suit to pop in at Dungog at the council chambers between 9am and 1pm on a Monday during May, pop in at one of those sessions throughout the shire during the week commencing the 20th of May.

We have now seen the completion of the construction of 23 bridges under the Fixing Country Bridges - timber bridge replacement program.

That's a program that was announced by the then Deputy Premier in 2020. And since that time, we have been able to complete the whole program which is a great credit to all those involved.

It's no mean feat to do many bridges in that period of time for a small entity such as our council.

The reconstruction of the bridges in concrete will result in about half a million dollars per annum in savings to the council in bridge maintenance, which is quite significant. So it's been a great program funded by the state government that we've been able to deliver in a very efficient manner.

Regarding roadworks, we've seen the completion of the roundabout at the intersection of Dowling and Mary Streets, and all those who have spoken to me are full of praise for the roundabout, saying how good it is. So that's a great outcome.

Durham Road roadworks continue at the top of the hill and will continue for some time. There's traffic control in place, and similarly Queen Street in Clarence Town, detours are in place and those roadworks are continuing.

Stroud Hill road works are also continuing and will continue for some time. The weather in the last week and probably the next week is not terribly conducive to roadwork. So that will, of course, cause delays and make the roads that are under traffic control even more slippery and dangerous. So please take care in all of those areas over the next couple of weeks.

Today being Friday is the start of the Tocal Field Days, which extends over the weekend into Saturday and Sunday.

This event has a great connection with the Dungog shire - whilst the parking area with the field days is in the shire, the College and the actual location of the field day is in Maitland City Council.

There's a long association with Dungog, and one of the events that led to the creation of the Tocal Field days was originally held at Dungog Showground. So it's the 40th anniversary and there’s significant celebrations taking place. If the weather allows it should be a great few days.

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



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