My say

Why does Kurri Kurri Exist (My say)

It was 47 years ago last May that I had my first taste of the Coalfields, in particular Kurri Kurri.
As a young Ambulance Officer with the NSW Ambulance Service, I was transferred to Maitland Ambulance Station to work.
In those days and as far back as the founding of Kurri Kurri in 1902, Kurri Kurri’s roots were historically linked to the Maitland Community.
It is interesting to note that there has always been conflict or competition between Cessnock and Kurri Kurri, with most folklore blaming the two warring coalfields Rugby League sides for the animosity.
I reject this theory as my own research indicates that Kurri Kurri was founded by demands placed upon the government of the day back in 1901, by residents of the villages surrounding today’s township, namely Stanford Merthyr, Pelaw Main and Heddon Greta emanating from the East Greta Coal Seam.
The town was surveyed by the Maitland Lands Board as a new “Crown Town“. The original council met in the East Maitland Courthouse before council chambers were even considered in Kurri Kurri. Most business transactions were directed to Maitland, as was the continued development of the East Greta coal seam and the railway line.
In 1906 the Kurri Kurri Shire was amalgamated with Tarro Shire. It wasn’t until many years after the establishment of the township, that it was eventually amalgamated with Kearsley Shire ( the only communist council in Australia) thereby linking Kurri Kurri to the Cessnock community for the first time. The resultant Rugby League duels are probably the result of the two tribes venting their frustration to forced shire boundary changes.
My move to Kurri Kurri came about as a direct result of extremely cheap Real estate in the area. From 1966 onwards the once prosperous coal mines were closing down leaving the town with very high unemployment.
The opening of the John Renshaw Drive in the mid 60’s directly linked Kurri Kurri to Newcastle reducing the travelling time by more than 15 minutes.
This allowed many retrenched coal miners access to the BHP workforce of the late 60’s and 70’s.
It wasn’t until the establishment of the Alcan Smelter in 1969 and textile factories in Kurri Kurri that the economy of the town looked secure once again.
During those days I searched the lower Hunter for a low cost home. Cheap homes in Maitland ranged from $10-15 thousand dollars, land prices were around $5,000 while in Kurri Kurri you could purchase a reasonable old mining cottage for around $5,000 and land for the council rates owing on them.
I purchased my 1st home in Kurri Kurri in October 1971.
At last the great day arrived. I had sold my house by the sea at Dudley and moved to the wonderful little country town in the Lower Hunter, Kurri Kurri.
They say Kurri Kurri means “The Very First”. Well it was the very first time I experienced a super hot October westerly. As we moved into town the local bush was ablaze with spring bushfires and being hurried along by one of Kurri Kurri’s now famous westerly blasts.
My family said to me, why did you leave Dudley to come to this hell hole, the roads here are next to nothing, there is no curb and guttering, no city support services? They asked “What does this town have to offer a young family”?
I couldn’t answer their questions in those days, but over the next eight years I was to settle into a community with strength of character I had not witnessed in Newcastle.
Over the past 44 years the fights to save Kurri Kurri Hospital are legendary,
Kurri Rugby League team rose to be number one in the Hunter Valley with three Premierships and the town’s elevation to No. 1 town in NSW under the Tidy Town banner in 1993 cemented my loyalty to the town.
During the last 47 years of slow progress, approximately 10% more of town was curbed and guttered. Victoria Street and Mitchell Avenue became four lane roads and the shopping precinct at last took the shape of a regional shopping centre, and the now famous Murals commenced appearing in 2002. Our town is now on the world mural town maps.
Kurri Kurri exists today because of the fighting spirit of the early pioneers and the new resident’s determination to see improvements in the town.
The town today is still controlled by outside influences that don’t have a vested interest in the town’s future.
Coal property, crown land and environmental reserves surround the town stifling development for future housing and indirectly restricting the advancement of the business district.
With the recent upgrades of roads to Maitland, Newcastle and the Hunter Expressway to Newcastle and Sydney, Kurri Kurri can look forward to future prosperity not only in domestic housing opportunities but also in business development.
The history of Kurri Kurri is steeped in political one sidedness where the people of the Kurri Kurri community have been used to shore up Federal, State and local government politics. It is a credit to the strength of the community that this political posturing hasn’t turned the town into a ghost town like other mining communities.
Kurri Kurri exists because of a strong community spirit, strengths that many people in the community take for granted these days. It was genetically implanted in families by the original miners of the area. Scots, Welsh, Geordies and Irish. These families lived in an era when every penny earned and every little bit of progress had to hard won.
I am proud of the fact that I moved to Kurri Kurri in 1971 and then in 1984 built a new home.
Kurri Kurri had in the 1980’s close to 1,000 women working in the textile industry, 60% of the male population working in the coal industry while the rest worked for Alcan and Newcastle industries.
These days the textile industry has moved on leaving few opportunities for women.
Newcastle industry has downsized the coal companies have moved west, HYDRO has closed; with Wine Country, Rutherford and Beresfield/Thornton industrial precincts providing any future job opportunities at present.
Kurri Kurri’s future lies in the development of residential areas (1800 home sites under development), and new industrial development to support future job opportunities. Kurri Kurri’s political leaders, business leaders and community leaders must work together so that the future of Kurri Kurri is as secure as it was back in the days when Richmond Main Colliery alone had 1200 employees.
Kurri Kurri will continue to grow into the 21st Century but as a vastly different community to that which we have lived in and known for the past 116 Years.

Zero waste to Landfill

Changes to the recycling industry in NSW

Until recently, China was a large importer of recyclable materials, accepting more than 30 million tonnes of waste from all over the world every year. Australia alone sent 1.25 million tonnes of recycled material to China in 2016-17 which is now impacted by National Sword. At the start of January 2017, however, China began to stringently enforce restrictions on the importation of recycled materials under its National Sword policy. This policy has impacted the global market for recyclable material, including the recyclable material that is currently collected in NSW.
WE have been sucked into believing that Recycling (The three Rs) is the way to go and we have been dumping our recycling waste onto China.They have now said enough is enough and won’t be taking our contaminated rubbish anymore.
It is about time this nation really looked at how to tackle the waste stream and not be bullied by the green lobby. Just “Google” Zero Waste to landfill in Switzerland to see how it can be done.

Chaos in America

FUNCTIONAL ILLITERATES TRYING TO ERASE HISTORY
“True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which impels them the desire to do right is precisely the same.” ― Robert E. Lee
I consider myself a student of history. I’ve always been fascinated by the personalities who drove events throughout history. I probably would have been a history major in college if I didn’t feel the need to make enough money to support myself and my family. I chose a business major and decided studying history would be my hobby. Over the years I’ve taken a particular interest in the Civil War. You could even call me a Civil War buff.
I’ve probably read 60 books on the Civil War, from Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote and numerous other historians. I’ve visited the Gettysburg battlefield a half dozen times, as it is only 150 miles from my home. My basement office is decorated with six prints depicting various scenes from the Civil War. One depicts Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, another depicts Jackson leading his troops through Richmond, another depicts Grant taking command of Union forces, another shows Chamberlain leading the charge down Little Round Top, another portrays Lee and Longstreet making the fateful decision to send Pickett’s men on their futile charge into history, and the last showing the slaughter during Pickett’s charge.
I’ve even taken an executive education course in leadership where the final day is a trip to Gettysburg where a park ranger guides you through the three day battle and the professor asks you to assess the leadership shown by officers on both sides during that tide turning battle. My fascination with the Civil War isn’t based on rooting for one side or the other. I wanted to understand the motivations of the main characters and understand why and how they fought that bloody war. There were so many fateful
decisions, errors of judgement, acts of courage, acts of cowardice, brilliantly bold maneuvers, and just plain good and bad luck.
Robert E. Lee, before the outbreak of the war, was overwhelmingly regarded as the finest military mind in the U.S. army. Winfield Scott offered him command of all Union forces at the outbreak of hostilities. But he chose allegiance to his state of Virginia, rather than the Federal government. He didn’t fight for slavery. He freed his slaves. He was fighting for states’ rights. He was an honorable God fearing noble man. Stonewall Jackson was an extremely religious man who waged war with a passion, but also taught Sunday School to slaves. Lee and Jackson must be viewed in the context of the 19th century rather than being judged by the standards of the 21st century.
The vast majority of Confederate soldiers who did the fighting and dying during that war didn’t own slaves. They weren’t fighting to maintain slavery. They were fighting because a foreign army had invaded their land. In 1860 this nation was more an amalgamation of states than a centralized government. States still had a tremendous amount of power and leeway to run their states the way they chose. The ever increasing power of a central authority occurred during and after the Civil War. The South were not the bad guys. Their leaders, generals and soldiers were not evil. They were Americans.
The revisionist history now being peddled by the left wing media and their non-thinking acolytes lacks a factual basis, historical context and a true understanding of history. The Civil War was the climax of decades of tension between the North and the South over states’ rights, economic policies, slavery, and a myriad of other complex issues. Examined within the context of generational theory, it was a Fourth Turning that was unavoidable. It was a crucial important event in U.S. history. It wasn’t the shameful episode portrayed by the brain dead faux journalists babbling on CNN and MSNBC.
Illegally pulling down statues of Confederate soldiers and taking videos of “brave” unemployed liberal arts major social justice warriors kicking the Confederate soldier is what passes for activism in today’s warped society. Liberal mayors and city councils across the south are falling all over themselves wasting time and taxpayer money to remove statues of Confederate generals to appease the left and make a display of how anti-racist they can be. Meanwhile, their cities are bankrupt, their infrastructure is decaying, black crime is rampant and their education systems matriculate functionally illiterate deranged snowflakes into society.
These courageous left wing politicians, like the mayor of New Orleans, have statues removed in the middle of the night to avoid protests by those who understand you cannot erase history by removing statues and names. In a hysterical development, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh on Monday said in a statement she intended to move forward in removing several city statutes, including those of Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
I suppose the soaring murder rate, blacks rioting and burning down neighborhoods, crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, and white flight is due to a few Confederate statues. It’s good to see this diverse mayor has her priorities in order.
The ignorance and disregard for history knows no bounds for generations taught to feel rather think in our government run indoctrination centers known as public schools. The left wing media reinforces their ignorance with misinformation, fake news and government sanctioned propaganda. Snowflakes across the land melt at anything they are instructed to find offensive. Everything and everyone who doesn’t agree with their half baked views are declared racists.
Pointing out that leftist antifa thugs, without permits to protest, initiated the violence in Charlottesville is racist. The uproar against Trump’s truthful assessment of the situation by CNN, MSNBC and Fox proves there isn’t a wit of difference among these corporate media outlets. True colors are revealed. The ongoing coup attempt against Trump continues unabated.
Trump’s impromptu press conference and his push back of this false narrative was a thing of beauty. The hypocrisy of the left and their utter contempt for facts must be thrown back in their faces at every opportunity. Across the country, 718 Confederate monuments and statues remain, with nearly 300 of them in Georgia, Virginia or North Carolina. There are also 109 public schools named for Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis or other icons of the Civil War-era South. Will the left be satisfied when all 718 monuments are destroyed and all 109 schools are renamed Oprah Winfrey Middle School? No. They will find something else to be offended about, and violently attack again.
The funniest part about watching these social justice warriors wail and gnash their teeth about the racism of these monuments is knowing these unemployed functional illiterates couldn’t tell you when the Civil War occurred, name two major battles, name five generals, provide a death count within 250,000, or fill in the blank in the phrase Surrender at __________. They don’t know jack shit about history, the Civil War, Lincoln’s true feelings about blacks, or the fact the Democratic Party is the party which suppressed blacks for one hundred years following the Civil War. Only truly ignorant snowflakes think they can erase history by protesting it and trying to destroy monuments to those who fought and died for a cause they believed in.
Do these left wing zealots have any sense of awareness? Maybe they were too busy studying for their gender studies finals to see the reports of the Taliban destroying ancient Buddhist monuments in territory they had captured. Zealots, terrorists, and extremists attempt to destroy symbols that offend them as a way to prove their strength and power. In reality, they destroy what others have built in a feckless effort to boost their self-esteem. Intellectual lightweights attempt to bring others down because they realize their lack of intelligence and inability to get ahead in life has to be blamed on someone else.
If these social justice warrior weaklings were transported back in time 154 years to the Gettysburg battlefield where real men displayed real courage and bravery, they would be covered in their own urine cowering behind a tree as Pickett’s charge commenced. Could you imagine any of the Soros paid professional antifa protestors charging across an open field towards certain death? Those pussies would be high tailing it south as fast as their fashion designer sneakers would take them.
Trump was absolutely correct in asking, “Where does it end?” Washington owned slaves. Do we get rid of all dollar bills and quarters? Do we change the name of our capital? Do
we change the name of Washington & Lee University to Obama & Spike Lee University? Do we blow up the Washington Memorial? Jefferson owned slaves. Do we get rid of nickles? How about the Jefferson Memorial?
Why stop only in our country? The Egyptian pyramids were built by slaves. Should we tear those down? If these are symbols of hatred and racism that must be destroyed, why do we never hear calls from the left for the destruction of the Nazi death camps. Talk about symbols of hate. Why would we want to remember the holocaust? It couldn’t be that it doesn’t fit the left’s narrative.
This Confederate monument narrative is designed by the left to provoke a backlash from whites who are tired of being scorned, ridiculed, belittled and called racists, rednecks and deplorables by so called open minded progressives. It’s working. The cold race war is beginning to turn hot. The president has no intention of trying to bring the two sides together because it’s impossible at this point. That’s how Fourth Turnings roll. The mood of the country will continue to darken. Reactions to these types of events will intensify. More blood will be shed. It’s too bad these functional illiterates didn’t pay attention in history class or ever read a book. They are going to learn some harsh lessons over the next decade.
“We’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive. It’s pretty dense kids who haven’t figured that out by the time they’re ten.” ― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

NSW energy crisis affects business

Large businesses such as Tomago Aluminium in the Hunter Valley are the backbone of New South Wales’ economy providing more than 900 jobs and hundreds more in contract services.

But the ridiculous rising energy costs are hurting their business. Electricity is a major cost for Tomago Aluminium and they have been working hard to be more energy efficient and reduce their consumption.

In February this year the country experienced an electricity price hike to $13,000 Kwh during the hot weather. Aluminium Smelters are very large consumers of electricity and experiencing a price hike of this magnitude could see the smelter close. If NSW were to have the same issue that South Australia experienced the Smelter would possible shut down and never restart, thus depriving the Hunter and NSW of a major export earning business ($1.5billion) and thousands of job losses to the Hunter economy.

These huge power increases put their businesses and the jobs of those they employ at risk. They prevent Tomago Aluminium from expanding and employing more people.

NSW is an energy powerhouse with our natural resources in the Hunter Valley. With our coal reserves, we should have some of the lowest energy production costs in the world. But our coal is exported overseas to provide cheap and reliable energy for coal fired power stations to provide cheap power to businesses in other countries, while we are hit with rising power prices. Australia is now the laughing stock of modern economies with the highest power costs.

The Federal and State Governments need to put a stop to the Cartel behavior and price gouging by the Generators and to put a sensible policy cap on peak load charges instead of the ludicrous $13,000. It is incumbent on the ACCC to investigate the behavior of the Generators.

Experts have repeatedly warned that our zero emissions target threatens to make New South Wales the new South Australia, with blackouts, job losses and businesses leaving.

NSW needs to end its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and concentrate on cost savings Vs emissions before we send the business community broke.

New South Wales needs a sensible energy mix that keeps ours lights on, our business costs down and protects our environment. Without it, businesses like Tomago Aluminium can’t grow and support a strong New South Wales economy.

Voter ID and Potential Fraud

Voter ID and potential fraud.

The phrase “vote early—Vote often” is often used to create an impression that you should vote multiple times during polling.

The phrase is attributed to: John Van Buren a US Lawyer in the 1800s

Experience has shown that in the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them. If these frauds are allowed, the result is not only that the popular person may be defeated, and the result falsified, but that the worst side will prevail. The side which has the greater number of dishonest men will poll the most votes. The war cry, “Vote early and vote often!” and the familiar problem, “how to cast the greatest number of votes with the smallest number of voters”, indicate the direction in which the dangers lie.

We have a moral obligation to ensure that voter ID is introduced here in Australia to reduce the potential for voter fraud.

Some of our seats are held by the slimmest of margins and fraud of no more than 100 votes could see seats lost.

Personal ID is carried by the vast majority of people in the electorate these days and computer systems, set up properly and linked to each other will further reduce the potential for multiple voting.

The Nay sayers will cry that it can’t be done and it will slow down the polling. These are excuses that the opposition and AEC will give to stave off any change.

A policy driven by our side of politics can see the Australian Electoral system improved and the potential for fraud reduced.

Cessnock wins with Government road funding

 

Since 2010 the Cessnock Local Government Area has received in excess of $60 million in road and bridges funding grants.

The first big grant was for $20 Million to rebuild Broke Road, McDonalds Road from Wine Country Drive to the intersection of Hermitage Road in Pokolbin. This has been topped up by a further $16 million to complete the Broke Road/Hermitage Road intersection and upgrade of Hermitage Road through the New England Highway at Belford. This road also includes a cycle way. This brings Wine Country road works to more than $36 million.

On top of this the State Government has allocated funding to upgrade feeder roads for the Hunter Expressway. Work has been undertaken on Lovedale Road and Buchanan Road. (While much more needs to be done on both these roads the funding is welcome).

Lemmings Corner on the old North Road south of Wollombi has been rebuilt for safer road use. This was under the Federal Government Black Spot program. Funding has also been provided for the rebuild of the intersection at Duffy Drive and Maitland Road Cessnock (yet to start).

Many new bridges have been rebuilt due to funding from the Country Bridge Renewal scheme. These include Milgang Bridge at Ellalong, Vermont Bridge at Mulbring, Frame Drive Bridge, Lomas Lane, Crawford Bridge, Congewai, Watagan Creek, Paynes Crossing, Murrays Run and many more.

Forster’s Bridge on Sandy Creek Road is to be replaced with Government money ($2 Million) and the latest announcement of a $4.45 million grant to upgrade Frame Drive adds to the funding from the current State Government and Federal Government.

And further to this there is $17 million in the pipeline to upgrade Testers Hollow to increase the flood threshold of this road.

This all from the Coalition Government into safe Labor seats.

New Lower Hunter Regional Hospital

(Not a new Maitland Hospital)
The site currently selected by the NSW Government on the PGH site at East Maitland does not meet most of the criteria outlined by HNE health in their community briefings
Things that should have been considered when locating a New Hospital in the Lower Hunter are:
Some other locations that could be looked at;
1.Branxton, new Huntlee town development. 20,000 residents over the next twenty years including new residential developments on the border of Singleton at East Branxton.
Greta, Lochinvar area between Hunter Expressway off ramps and access to railway. Note these Ramps are only for south bound traffic. More than 5,000 new residents over next couple of years. Plus new developments at West Maitland.
2. Hydro Smelter buffer zone at Loxford, This site is located 3km west of the Kurri Kurri/ Maitland interchange on Hunter Expressway and at present has a South bound Interchange only. This site has only just become available (May 2014) due to the closure of the Smelter. The area has current bus services, to Newcastle, Morisset and Maitland railway stations by Rover Motors bus service. It also has rail access although at this present time only coal haulage is conducted. Passenger trains have not run since 1960s. The site is only 15 minutes from Maitland Private Hospital. The Kurri Kurri district expects a further 4,000 new residents over the next couple of years.
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The New Lower Hunter Hospital should be located at a location that an Ambulance at the Hexham Bridge or Morisset, in making a call could be directed to John Hunter Hospital or the newly located Lower Hunter Hospital.
Distances from Hexham to; John Hunter: 17km 22min
Greta: 40km 39 min
Branxton: 45km 44 min
Hydro Smelter buffer zone Loxford: 25km 24 min
The Hunter Expressway has opened up untold opportunities for the population of the broader Hunter region.

LOWER HUNTER HOSPITAL
The site presently selected by the NSW Government on the PGH site at East Maitland does not meet any of the criteria outlined by HNE health in their community briefings (Dr. Sue Carter)
Things to ask when considering locating a New Hospital in the Lower Hunter are.
1. The location should have a flood free location with flood free access,
2. Should have public transport access.
3. Plenty of car parking, (free or at a reasonable cost)
4. Close to Hunter Expressway
5. Site not undermined
6. Availability of Power, Water and Gas
7. Within 40 minutes of Newcastle CBD
8. Newcastle Uni Medical School 30 minutes
9. Good access to all Hunter Valley Towns, Port Stevens and Central Coast towns.
10. Away from heavy rail (coal) corridor
The Loxford Hydro site on the Hunter Expressway meets all of the above criteria.
The Loxford site was for many years in the State seat of Maitland but is now located in the seat of Cessnock but close to the boundary with Maitland and has flood free access to Maitland via Bishops Bridge and Buchanan during flooding events.
There is a 50 h+ site in the Hydro buffer zone land next to the Hart Road Interchange that could be used as a Lower Hunter Hospital site, with room for a Private Hospital and an Emergency Service Precinct
Maitland through to Kurri Kurri is recognised as a major growth corridor in the Hunter Regional plan 2016.
Negatives for the Metford site:
The access to the hospital site is not flood free as proven in the past couple of years with the intersection of NEH under water at the Good Guys and under water at the railway underpass.
It is on a contaminated site under remediation and is opposite the old Maitland Rubbish dump at Fields end Oval.
The road access if approved will be a nightmare, even by John Hunter standards as there are residential estates under construction off Raymond Terrace Road and congestion is guaranteed.
It is beside the railway line which allows for over 100 million tonnes of coal to be transported to the Newcastle Port

NSW GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN HUNTER SPORTS HUB

The Newcastle Basketball Stadium will receive an upgrade with $5 million from the NSW Government. The stadium redevelopment will add three new courts to the stadium’s existing six and improve parking and landscaping.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the stadium was a key venue for the local community, hosting a range of sporting and cultural events throughout the year.

“This is the largest multipurpose facility in the Hunter, so it’s vital the Newcastle Basketball Stadium get the high-quality upgrade it deserves,” Mr McDonald said.

“I’m pleased the NSW Government has delivered this funding for this important regional sporting venue.”

The project is among eight projects to receive a share of $50 million from the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund. The fund has provided a total of $450 million for projects to improve infrastructure and public facilities across the region.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the NSW Government was delivering for the people of the Hunter.

“This stadium is a hub for sporting and cultural activities in the Hunter, and this project is an example of how we can help make this facility even better for the local community,” Mr Stokes said.

“We want to make sure we help provide high-quality facilities for Newcastle and the Hunter region as they grow into the future.”

My Ten big ideas for Cessnock

I decided to stand for the position of Mayor after the disgraceful exhibition on Wednesday night the 20th of July Council meeting when the Buchanan Mosque was approved by Labor and the Greens.
I had this dream that I could make a difference if elected to lead the City of Cessnock. Labor voters didn’t see my vision beyond a protest vote against the Greyhound industry and maybe the prison decision.

My vision for the city included:

1. Capitalize on the completion of the Hunter Expressway by increasing signage and tourism destination opportunities over the next 4 years.

2. Work towards local towns having completed Curb and Guttering and properly drained by 2030. We need a plan and actions for this to happen.

3. To lobby for the successful rezoning of the Hydro Smelter site and having a successful business park operating there within 3 years creating new jobs.

4. To have a complete civic design plan and implementation for the CBD of Kurri Kurri by the middle of 2017.

5. To lobby for a 24 hour combined emergency services complex including Ambulance, Fire Station, Emergency Services and Police, Highway Patrol headquarters for the Hunter Expressway and surrounding community.

6. Lobby for a new regional hospital in the central Hunter to service Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, Maitland and Singleton areas adjacent to the Hunter Expressway.

7. Work towards a reduction of energy consumption by the installation of low energy street lighting in the towns, and also promoting a low energy environment for the Cessnock district. Council’s annual street electricity bill is exorbitant.

8. Preserve the country town atmosphere in the LGA while not stifling development opportunities.

9. Set a Goal to lobby for a regional (PWR) Plasma Waste Recycling facility for the Hunter .
Need to bring the Cessnock Waste management facility into the 21st Century. Goal to reduce land fill in the Cessnock LGA to zero.

10. Work with committed community organizations to improve cycling safety and additional cycle ways along with supporting the Richmond Rail Trail project

Cessnock Liberals ask for answers

The Liberals for Cessnock team have called on the Mayor of Cessnock, Councillor Bob Pynsent and Greens Councillor James Ryan to explain to voters why they disregarded the wishes of the local community when approving the construction of a mosque and funeral home in the rural area of Buchanan earlier this year.

Advertising material recently delivered to homes in Ward B on behalf of Cr Pynsent’s team stated: “We’re here to listen to your ideas and your concerns” ahead of the Cessnock City Council elections on Saturday, September 10.

However, Liberal for Cessnock Ward D and Mayoral candidate, Councillor Rod Doherty, said the Labor Party’s and the Greens’ stand was an insult to the hundreds of residents across the Cessnock region that had expressed grave concerns about the size of the development and the resulting impact on the community.

“The Labor Party are embarking on a series of meet-and-greets, which end up meaning nothing if you don’t take notice of what the community is saying to you,” Cr Doherty said.

“The Greens disgraceful exhibition at the council meeting on the 20th of July exposed their blatant disregard for appropriate planning approvals in the Cessnock LGA by approving a development that will create no jobs and add no economic benefit for the Cessnock community.

“Residents right across the Cessnock local government area made it clear that they believed the development at Buchanan was inappropriate and poorly-planned.

“Instead of standing up for the community, six councillors including Labor members, an independent and a Green took the easy option and went along with the Council’s recommendation.

“All councillors need to remember that they are elected to represent the community. They need to only support good planning decisions and not simply agree with everything put in front of them by Council’.

Cr Doherty was one four councillors  to vote against the mosque application said the hundreds of submissions against the development had galvanised his decision to run for Mayor.

“Councillors and political parties that take their constituents for granted deserve to feel the wrath of the community at election time,” he said.

“Mayor Pynsent, his Labor team and Greens candidates can’t ignore the community on a major issue and then pretend it didn’t happen”.

 

For additional comment, please contact Rod Doherty (0409 448 191) or Bryce Gibson (0422 277 668)