Mayoral Update

Proposed Park and Road Improvements in Paterson
Residents attended a community meeting at Paterson last week to provide feedback to Council staff regarding a proposed upgrade part of Maitland Road, as well as facilities at Tucker Park. The road upgrade is part of the Main Road 101 upgrade, made possible by a $10 million grant from the State Government. Other parts of MR 101 have already been upgraded using this funding and it will, in part, fund the upgrade to Dowling St, which will start later this year.

The Tucker Park upgrades are made possible by the successful grant application for $690K, announced by State Local Member, Michael Johnsen, earlier this year. Works include the siting of a new toilet block out of the flood zone, an undercover BBQ area and upgrades to pathways. Exciting times for the Paterson Com-munity and others in the Shire who utilise this well-loved park.

Grants
Attendees at last week’s “Get That Grant” Workshop received advice about successful grant writing. Thanks to Council’s Tracey Lowrey, Steve Hitchens, Michelle Viola and Coralie Nichols for your input and to those attendees who shared their experiences of going for grants. One of the major lessons I took from the even-ing was to make sure to give yourself plenty of time to write and submit the grant. If you leave it to the last minute you are bound to run out of time to get that crucial piece of information and, according to Murphy’s Law, there is very likely to be a system breakdown around the deadline time. Save yourself the stress and prepare early and often.

Hospital Tour
Members of the Dungog Hospital Local Health Committee were given a tour of the hospital facilities last week. Site Nursing Manager, Nicky Churms, explained works that are planned for the hospital, as well as some aspirations for future works. Nicky, who has been in the role for a few months, has certainly made her mark on the place. She found some great efficiencies and has introduced some great practices. The Dungog Hospital is going from strength to strength under her guidance. Thanks Nicky and Annette O’Neill for taking the time to show us the great work you and your staff are doing at the hospital. If anyone has any questions, ideas or feedback regarding Dungog Hospital, please contact myself or one of the other committee members.

Hunter Councils
The Board of Hunter Councils Inc met last week to organise the proceedings for the Inaugural Hunter   Councils Joint Organisation Meeting, to take place at the end of this month. The other notable item on the Agenda was a presentation from a consultant regarding the best way forward for recycling in the Hunter. Lake Macquarie Council conducted a trial on the use of glass sand as road base last week, as a way of    creating a circular economy for recycled glass. Lake Macquarie Mayor, Kay Fraser, put forward a motion to further investigate the viability of a circular economy solution to the recycling issue. This could represent a great opportunity for the region.

The Hunter Councils Major Events Reference Group was briefed by consultants on progress relating to the Signature Events Strategy for the Hunter Region, and the potential formation of a new entity to drive this Strategy. Part of this strategy is to make sure all of the Local Government areas are working together to coordinate the various events across the Hunter and to see how each of us can benefit from the various events throughout the Hunter.

Dungog Rural Fire Brigade Annual General Meeting (AGM)
I was delighted to attend the AGM, along with Cr John Connors. I want to congratulate and thank the mem-bers for the outstanding work they have done in the past year, as always, not only for fires they attended, but for all of the other community activities that they involve themselves with during the year.  I would also like to congratulate the elected office-bearers and wish them well for the coming year.

Risk and Insurance Workshop
For all of those involved in events, members of 355 Committees and other organisations that auspice events or host them at their sites, please mark this in your diaries. 6pm, Wednesday 4 July, Council is holding a workshop at the James Theatre to discuss risk and insurance cover for events. Council’s insurer, State Mutual will be conducting this free workshop.

Ordinary Meeting of Council
The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place this Wednesday 20 June from 6pm. I urge community members to come and observe how Council operates and how the decisions that affect your life in the Shire come about. We have a sandwich and a cup of tea after the meeting and you are welcome to join us and chat to Councillors and Council Senior Staff. We’re a friendly bunch once you get to know us, and we are keen to hear from the community that we serve.

Chamber of Commerce Monthly Dinner Meeting
The Dungog and District Chamber of Commerce holds a monthly networking dinner meeting, usually on the third Thursday of the month. This month’s meeting will be held at the Norris IT shop, at 224-232 Dowling St, Dungog, this Thursday, 21 June at 6.30pm. Please contact Colleen Duffy on 0400603403, or at din-ner@ddcc.org.au for details and reservations.

Upcoming Events
Tickets are still available for the Masked Ball, taking place at the James Theatre on Saturday 23 June. This fundraiser for Dungog Community College is always a fantastic night out. Get a crowd together to go “Out of the World”.

Organisers of the Dungog Festival tell me that there are a very few tickets left for the Long Table Dinner. If you do miss out, then tickets will soon be available for the Long Lazy Lunch on the Sunday.
 
Dates for Community Conversation Sessions One Special Rates Variation (SRV)
Councillors and Council Staff, along with the SRV Community Reference Panel members, will be holding sessions around the Shire to discuss what came out of the Reference Panel meetings and the next steps in the process. Community members are welcome to attend any of the following sessions:

6pm, Tuesday 3 July - Dungog
6pm, Thursday 5 July - Paterson
6pm, Tuesday 10 July - Clarence Town
6pm, Thursday 12 July - Gresford
2pm, Saturday 14 July - Dungog
6pm, Thursday 19 July - Vacy  

I will let you know the venues for these sessions in next week’s update.

Contact Details

Please note my new email address is tracy.norman@dungog.nsw.gov.au.

Regards

Tracy Norman
Mayor, Dungog Shire

18 June 2018