Message from the Mayor: 25 January 2024

Published on 25 January 2024


Hello, I'm John Connors, the Mayor of the Dungog Shire, bringing you this week's Mayoral Message and the first mayoral message for 2024.

So I wish everybody all the best and hope that Christmas and the New Year was what you wished for.

The new year brings Australia Day, which is Friday the 26th January. And whilst it's acknowledged that Australia Day means lots of different things to lots of different people, and those whose heritage goes back 1000s of years, and those whose heritage goes back a much shorter period, and all those in between, but be that as it may, it's still a date for all of us to celebrate in our own way the things that are meaningful to us on that day.

Australia Day in the Dungog shire focuses on a ceremony at The James Theatre in Dungog, which commences at 8am with a sausage sizzle BBQ breakfast served by the Dungog Rotary Club.

Following breakfast, at 9am the function commences and throughout the function there will be the announcement of the winners of the Citizen of the Year, the Sports Person of the Year, the Environmental Citizen of the Year, and all of the other awards. There will also be two citizenship ceremonies, two new Australian citizens. So it's an all-inclusive ceremony that hopefully reflects everybody's attitudes and views.

Also as part of the ceremony, there will be the National Anthem and other songs sung by ‘A Touch of Blue’, which is Megan Edwards and Sally Hunt. So hopefully the day will be a great success. It's going to be very hot but the Theatre is air-conditioned so hopefully that's an added incentive for everybody to come along and join in the day's celebrations.

The bulky waste collection is on from the 5th -16th of February throughout the shire. So put out the eligible bulky waste shortly before those dates so it's available for collection. There are many things that you can't put out including car tyres, mattresses, building or industrial waste, food scraps or green waste. And you can't put out anything out that's longer than 1.8m. So bearing all those limitations in mind, any bulky waste that you’ve got, get it out so that it gets collected between the 5th-16th of February.

There's been some concern expressed as to those parts of the shire where there's significant roadworks going on at the moment, such as in Dungog at the intersection of Mary and Dowling Streets, or on Limeburners Creek Rd at Ebsworth Rd, or Durham Rd at East Gresford. All of those areas will be collected as normal. So just because you've got roadworks going on, that's not a limitation or prohibition, put out the bulky waste and it will be collected as normal.

The Hooke St Development Masterplans went out on an exhibition and closes on the 29th January. I encourage people to express their view, whatever that view might be, and then Council will take into account the views expressed and ultimately come up with a master plan. Some people will be disappointed I know that the views they've expressed haven't been adopted but it's not possible to adopt everybody's view when Council considers public submissions for things such as this. If have you a view please put it in and make it known before the 29th of January.

The roadworks on Durham Road at East Gresford have caused concern to residents and businesses in that area. It's regrettable, but in any instance where roadworks are carried out in an urban area, there is always inconvenience. Council and contractors have attempted to minimise that inconvenience and have attempted to make the road trafficable at all times.

So I asked for tolerance and patience. The works are now progressing and hopefully will progress quite rapidly to the conclusion and then ultimately to the top of the hill. The rumour that the works are not going to proceed as originally planned is not true. The original plan is intended to be fulfilled.

Today sees a visit to the shire by the Minister for Regional Roads and Infrastructure, Jenny Aitchison. Last year in one of the meetings had with her, she undertook that she would visit the shire and she's fulfilling that undertaking today. She'll be meeting with the General Manager and me, then doing a tour of the roads throughout the shire then meeting with councillors. She will then inspect the Brig O’Johnston Bridge at Clarence Town.

So we're ever hopeful that the better informed she is, the better our chances of getting the funding that we need for not only the Clarence Town Bridge but for other works throughout the shire.

That brings to a close this week's message, but remember Australia Day tomorrow, come along to the James Theatre. Join in the breakfast celebration and the morning tea that follows the main event.  The morning tea will focus on Anzac biscuits and lamingtons. So come along and be part of the day.

With that until next week good luck and goodbye.


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