Jobs lost in the Hunter

Last Friday’s Newcastle Herald had the front page headline, “17,000 jobs lost in the Hunter”

This headline is less than two months after the Labor Minister for Family Services Kate Ellis MP made the bold statement at the Hydro Aluminium jobs market held in Ausgust that there were 6,400 jobs on offer that day with 60% of those being in the Hunter. Now that is 3,850 jobs in the Hunter yet less than two months later we have a bold headline that states 17,000 jobs have been lost to the Hunter over the past two years. Now who is telling us the truth?

Having had a close working relationship with the workers at Hydro Aluminium I can say that they were sold a (pup) false sense of security on the day that the Labor Government said there was light at the end of the tunnel for the workers. Less than 200 have found work and some have already lost their new jobs due to the rapid downturn in coal mining.

It is going to be very interesting to see the ABS results from the 2011 Sensus on unemployment in the Hunter and in particular the Cessnock LGA when they are loaded onto the ABS site.

Dance the night away

Well Carol sure put on a great night to kick start the Kurri Kurri Community Festival. The dinner dance was tops with excellent food, music and support from Kurri Kurri Bowling Club.

Sunday the 21st of October will be the big day for Kurri Kurri with the running of the towns second Community Festival. A first this year without the many dramas in the organisation will be the Billy Cart Derby. This kicks off at 9am in Hampden Street, with the entertainment running all day on the sports ground.

Festival is on the road

After six months of planning the 2012 Kurri Kurri Community Festival is now a reality. 
The day’s festival will kick off at 9am on Sunday the 21 of October at the Kurri Kurri Sports Ground with a Billy Cart Derby in Hampden Street and the opening ceremony by the Mindaribba Aboriginal Dancers, Children’s fun sports events and a full program of variety acts by schools and adults will fill out the days activities. 
There will be heaps of prizes for the children who participate, face painting and rides. 
At around 1.30pm the Ronald McDonald and Birdie Show will take place and afterwards Ronald McDonald will award the best Mascot of the festival. The school with the best mascot on the day will receive a cash prize of $500 courtesy of McDonalds Family Restaurants. 
After the sports events the afternoon’s activities will feature a Variety Concert supported by area schools and local talent.
In addition to the sports and variety concert there will be stalls, rides, vintage trucks and bikes and mini trotter displays for the kids.
A display by the RMS, Thiess and Abigroup on the new Hunter Expressway will be one of the key features of the day along with displays and activities from the Girl Guides and Scouts. A highlight of the day will also be helicopter rides over the Hunter Expressway.
This festival is a lead festival to the big event when the Hunter Expressway officially opens sometime towards the end of 2013.
On Friday night the 19th of October the Kurri District Business Chamber will host a dinner dance at Kurri Kurri Bowling Club. This event will see Phil Tweed and his group playing great music to support the night’s activities.
Food and drinks are being provided by local P&C’s and other community groups.
The festival is an Alcohol free family event so please bring a chair and shade to enjoy the day’s activities..

For information on the event and the activities you can visit the website or phone Carol Doherty at 4938 0510






New Hunter town

Better planned town for the Hunter

The recent Huntlee information day was a real eye opener with some 700 plus people showing an interest in the new town.

The Huntlee new town planned by LWP from Western Australia is exactly what the Hunter region and NSW requires. There is a severe housing shortage and this will intensify as our local population increases.  According to the most recent Lower Hunter Regional Strategy we’ll need 115,000 houses by 2031 and this strategy didn’t include the impact of the Hunter Expressway on the Cessnock Shire.  Huntlee will help ease this pressure and also relieve the population overflow from Sydney.

Coal miners will be able to live closer to work, reducing their commute so they can spend more time with their family and friends and in the community where they work. Huntlee represents an opportunity for our towns to grow and prosper. It provides a future for our children through jobs, new health services and new schools so our kids can go local instead of having to travel hours a day to other towns.   

Huntlee will enable many locals to finally experience new utilities including sewer infrastructure and roads, including improvement to the Wine Country Drive black spot near North Rothbury.

Huntlee will be at the end of the Hunter Expressway and on the north western rail route, giving the residents of this town direct access to Newcastle, Sydney and the employment lands east and west of the new town.



First council meeting

Well last weeks first council meeting for me was a blurr. I had very little introduction into the running of council meetings other than the odd visit as a spectator. Last Wednesday night saw the gallery packed for the first meeting of the newly elected council, I suppose hoping for miracles to happen.

The coming months up until the Christmas break will probably set the scene for the next four years. I personally hope it will be a fruitful one for the Cessnock LGA.