Message from the Mayor: 21 April 2023

Published on 21 April 2023

Hello, I'm John Connors the mayor of the Dungog Shire, bringing you this week's mayoral message. 

Council had its monthly meeting on Wednesday night of this week and perhaps the most significant matter on the agenda was the development application lodged by Brimble Rail, for a development at Hildale. It's a development application that was lodged in an attempt to regularise activities and have been carried on since about 2020 without approval, and therefore, unauthorised and illegal. The application was withdrawn by the applicant on the day of the Council meeting. So therefore, there was no discussion, the matter was all over because it wasn't then before the Council.  

There was, however, another matter that was before the Council relating to that same proposal and that was the compliance issues relating to the unauthorised activity. That matter was also resolved in the course of the Council meeting when Council resolved to accept an undertaking that had been given by Brimble Rail on the 19th to Council. That undertaking, obliges Brimble Rail to cease some activities within three months and all activities within six months and to vacate the site for the kind of authorised activities and only use it for such things as authorised under the planning regime. So there was a finality to both aspects of the matter on Wednesday night.  

The Dungog library extensions and renovations are almost completed. The landscaping is well underway, and it's planned that the library will open to the public on 1 May. There will, in due course, be a more formal opening and activities for the community involving the library. But the physical opening and availability of the library for community use will take place from 1 May.  

The surface of Bennett Park in Dungog has been replaced and everybody is working hard to get the surface understanded as quickly as possible, however, it is not available for use by sporting groups at the moment. Accordingly, the football teams and the rugby league teams are training at the Dungog Showground where there are lights and the arena is being made available to them to train in lieu while Bennett Park is out of action. Hopefully the grass keeps growing and settling down, it'll be back in action before too long.  

Bingleburra Road continues to be an issue. Those that use that road will see that the traffic lights have been removed and it's now open to two-way traffic again. That regrettably is temporary, there is to be more work done. The contractors have left the site at the moment due the way a shortage of relevant materials. With that, I’m told, they’ll be returning in May to complete the work. Additional materials were required because additional work is apparently required as a result of further defects that were discovered in the course of the initial work. So enjoy the two lanes while they exist, but it'll be back to one line in about a month.  

Work continues on Park Street, East Gresford and on Hooke Street, Dungog. Both of those projects are continuing and hopefully the result will be worth the inconvenience in the short term.  

There is also some inconvenience, near Pateron on Gresford Road where there's been a landslip and those works to stabilise that area should be completed by the end of the week and it should revert to two-way traffic and the traffic lights be removed.  

The more positive news is that from late today and certainly from tomorrow, those that have the Live Traffic app on their telephone will be able to access information with respect to Dungog Shire. Up until now, Dungog Shire has not been a participant in the lLive Traffic app, but that changes later today. The information that will be available will relate to significant roadworks, roadworks where you're likely to be delayed or where there is an actual redirection due to, say the construction of a bridge or the like. So as from tomorrow, use the Live Traffic app if you want to check your travel route to make sure there'll be no undue delays.  

I think that brings me to an end for this week. So until next week, goodbye and good luck. 

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