Message from the Mayor - 15 July 2022

The glimpses of sunshine have been a welcome sight this week following the epic levels of rainfall experienced over the past two weeks. My thoughts have been with everyone, but particularly those who have experienced flooding close to their homes, have had to relocate livestock, and parents who have had to contend with keeping their children occupied during a very wet school holidays!

 

As some of the water levels have dropped, we have been able to take stock of the impacts the floods have had to the integrity of our infrastructure and ensure all our bridges, in particular, are safe to re-open. I know it can be frustrating to see bridge closure signs in place when it’s obvious a bridge is no longer under water, but it’s essential our infrastructure team can conduct the necessary inspections prior to re-opening a bridge, and this takes time after waters have receded. We thank you for your patience while we carry out these inspections. 

 

Next week our July council meeting will be held, and one of the items tabled for consideration by councillors is to place our Dungog Shire Economic Development Plan (EDP) on public exhibition. 

 

This is an exciting time for the Dungog Shire. Our district is in the midst of an important transformation as more people choose to live in, work in and visit our great region. Our challenge lies in carefully planning and responding to these changes and opportunities to bring about the greatest benefits for our community. 

 

Presented as 40 actions under the five themes of Identity, Infrastructure, Industry, Innovation and Income, the EDP outlines a roadmap for the future prosperity of Dungog Shire. The EDP not only defines our community’s aspirations in the areas of economic development but sets a bold direction on where we aim to be in four years. 

 

I recently met with Airservices Australia to discuss the proposed changes to flightpaths from Williamtown airport and RAAF base. Airservices is currently seeking community feedback on 33 improvements that were identified in a 2015 study by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), to improve the operation of Williamtown airspace. 

 

Airservices Australia will be visiting Dungog later this month to present the proposed changes and seek feedback from the community. I would encourage anyone who is not aware of the proposed changes or would like to express their concerns, to please attend. 

 

If you would like further information including the initial report findings, the proposed amendments and the implementation schedule, please visit their website here

 

Finally, a reminder that Dungog has been placed on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s list of approved local government areas to be considered for disaster recovery payments. If approved, adults can receive $1000 per adult and children $400 per child to assist with the financial impacts of the flood. To see if you apply, you can find out more by visiting the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s website

 

I welcome your ideas, suggestions and feedback in regard to any happenings around our shire.  Please get in touch via john.connors@dungog.nsw.gov.au or (02) 4995 7777. 

 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

 

JOHN CONNORS 
Mayor