Mayoral Update

Clarence Town Museum

With the community in mind, Dungog Shire Council has resolved to transfer ownership of the Clarence Town Museum to Clarence Town Progress Association. This decision represents an estimated saving to Council of $23,000 per year, while ensuring the museum site remains in community hands for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Clarence Town was the third proclaimed town in the Hunter, after Newcastle and Maitland. It was originally a port town and it’s where Australia’s first ocean-going vessel, William IV was built, on the banks of the Williams River. Preserving the history of Clarence Town is important.

The old courthouse building dates back to 1869. According to the Clarence Town Courthouse and Site Conservation Management Plan, recently prepared on behalf of Council:

Aesthetically, the Clarence Town Courthouse is a unique example of a Victorian Georgian style timber courthouse, with a Dutch gable roof. The unusual combination of style and materials…presents an uncommon form of building from the mid-nineteenth century. Minimal alteration has occurred to the Courthouse, making the structure an exceptional example of it’s unique type.

In making this decision, Council has weighed up fiscal responsibility with community benefit and we have come up with a win-win situation. Clarence Town’s heritage should be preserved and celebrated.

Dowling St Gets a Facelift

Thanks to a place-making grant, Dungog town’s main street with get a long overdue facelift. A series of community workshops, including a walk-shop through the commercial precinct, were held late last year and many great suggestions came from the community as to how this money should be spent.

The grant money will go towards new street furniture, way-finding signage, improvements to the visitdungog website and the provision of free WiFi at the Visitor Information Centre.

On behalf of Council, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful support and work of the Dungog District chamber of Commerce, with special mention to Jenny Lewis and Janice Bonamy. The Chamber has been involved in this process for several months and worked closely with Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Officer, Ivan Skaines, to get this project off the ground. Thanks for all your help. I look forward to working collaboratively with you on many more projects.

From Local State Member, Michael Johnsen

Infrastructure Grants Available for Community Groups

Local community organisations in the Upper Hunter electorate (can) apply for the next round of funding for local projects under the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Grants program. The Infrastructure Grants support new or upgraded community facilities across arts and culture, emergency preparedness, and sport and recreation.  

The grants are funded through the Clubgrants Category 3 program, which enables registered clubs to reinvest profits from gaming machine revenue to benefit local communities.
$50 million in Infrastructure Grants is being provided to communities across NSW in the current term of government.     

Funding ranges are $50,000 to $200,000 for arts and culture, $10,000 to $200,000 for emergency preparedness and $100,000 to $300,000 for sport and recreation.  

Applications for the next round of Infrastructure Grants are open from 1 May to 21 May.   

For more information, visit

Dungog-Gresford Land and Beef Group Annual Dinner

General Manager (GM), Coralie Nichols, and I attended this dinner at Tocal Homestead last week. We had a delicious meal, got to do some networking, and were brought up to speed on the pasture trials that this group has been undertaking. A variety of legumes and grasses, including some tropical species have been trialled under different conditions, including less fertile slopes to fertile river flats. The group have produced a report, which I’m sure they’d be happy to share with interested parties. Thanks to the group for including the GM and myself.


The GM and I also met with Michael Johnsen last week, as a follow up to my meeting with Roads Minister Pavey. We are working out the best time to invite the Minister to meet some of the people affected by the roads and bridges issues in the Shire.

We also met with Upper Hunter Shooters, Fishers and farmers Party Candidate, John Preston. John explained his reasons for running in the electorate and the benefits that he believes he can bring to the Upper Hunter.

Coming Events

Dungog Common Community Trust, in association with Local Land Services, is holding a Dungog Common Open Day, Sunday April 29, 9.30-12.30. The Open Day will showcase the completed conservation management plans and works that have improved the condition of Common Creek, protected threatened species and habitat, and improved grazing in the reserve. For more information, contact Lorna Adlem on 49384925, or email:

Clarence Town Museum is holding a “Dinner for Peace”, 28 April, at Clarence Town School of Arts, tickets available at the Museum.

Dungog Shire Community Centre’s Nourish program will resume at Clarence Town School of Arts on 14 May, and Clarence Town Boomerang Bags Ladies are in full swing every Monday at the School of Arts.

Bandon Grove Hall will be holding a “Biggest Morning Tea” Cancer Council fundraiser on Tuesday, 1st May, from 10am. There will be a raffle, prizes and handcrafts for sale. ALL proceeds go to the Cancer Council.                                 


Tracy Norman
Mayor, Dungog Shire

23 April 2018