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.

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)

Liberals for Cessnock demand answers from Labor and Greens on Buchanan development

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)

A Better Way to Live

 

 Rule 1… for a Better Way to Live

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward toward the life that God intended for you…with grace, strength, courage and confidence.

Rule 2…for a Better Way to Live

Today and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile, and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them!

Rule 3… for a Better Way to Live.

Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.

Rule 4 … for a Better Way to Live

Always reward your long hours of labour and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes f the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.

Rule 5 … for a Better Way to Live

Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider defeat again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life’s blueprint. Smile!

Rule 6 … for a Better Way to Live

Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. The next time you are tempted to boast, just place your fist in a full pail of water, and when you remove it, the hole remaining will give you a correct measure of your importance.

Rule 7 …for a Better Way to Live

Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.

Rule 8 …for a Better Way to Live

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant  things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow.

Rule 9 … for a Better Way to Live

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats. And ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are. “If I had my life to live over again…” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your last day!

Rule 10 … for a Better Way to Live

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person. No matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same e again.

Rule 11 … for a Better Way to Live

Laugh at your self and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat of the moment. Banish tension and concern and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.

 Rule 12… for a Better Way to Live

Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however , what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.

 Rule 13…. For a Better Way to Live

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

Rule 14 … for a Better Way to Live

You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day-not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow.

Remember that you cannot build your pyramid in twenty-four hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal-to do the best you can, enjoy this day, and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.

Rule 15 … for a Better Way to Live

Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.

Rule 16 … for a Better Way to Live

Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen at the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountain top. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discover without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.

Rule 17 … for a Better Way to Live

Realise that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media and your will

Legal people urge YOU to leave social media details including Facebook passwords in their wills alongside family heirlooms, savings and house deeds

  • The move stops distressing comments being left which family cannot delete
  • It also prevents bills mounting up for groceries and electricity accounts
  • People should keep passwords in a separate document for executors 
  • But songs and ebooks cannot be inherited – the rights end when you die

It has long been the place for odd demands, antique jewellery and donations to the local charities.

But the Last Will and Testament should now contain something much more fitting for the 21st century, say lawyers – your Facebook account details.

Experts say handing passwords to executors could stop distressing or abusive comments being left on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram, where they are hard for relatives to delete quickly.

Digital age: The paperwork attached to your will should now include social media passwords, say experts

A password dossier could also stop bills mounting up for a dead person’s online shopping, electricity or gas accounts – many of which can only be managed online and might have credit which can be claimed by relatives.

And leaving clear instructions about what to do with accounts after death could cut short the painful process of having to unravel a person’s complex online life.

One of the most crucial items on the list is a person’s e-mail account – which often holds the key to unlocking the rest of a relative’s world.

Death: Having passwords and clear instructions can cut through the fine print of proving a person’s death

Families find it harder to remove upsetting or derogatory comments about a deceased loved one if they do not have immediate access to the person’s account.

Friends can continue to post on social media profiles, often unaware a person has died – and until a Facebook account is ‘memorialised’, users are reminded of their loved one’s birthday every year.

‘It’s made more difficult because there is no standard procedure across the internet for what happens when an account user dies.’

Facebook and Twitter are both based in the U.S., creating a debate over whether Australian or American laws should be used.

Then there is a far more simple problem – most people have so many online accounts that their relatives have no idea what they all are.

The easiest way to cut through that is to simply have a list of passwords.

It is recommended keeping a separate dossier of usernames, e-mail addresses and passwords which can be handed to executors as part of the bundle of documents attached to a person’s will.

However, passwords should not be included in the will itself, because its contents are made public after it

UNRAVELING YOUR ONLINE LIFE: SITES’ POLICIES FOR DEAD USERS

Hotmail: Closes accounts and does not provide passwords, but can ship the contents to a person’s next of kin on a data DVD.

Gmail: Closes accounts without providing any emails, citing need to keep information private even in death

Twitter: Closes accounts at the request of family members and can make a backup of tweets for posterity

Facebook and Instagram: Closes or ‘memorialises’ accounts so certain features, like birthday reminders, no longer appear

The Hotmail e-mail service, for example, will not pass account passwords to relatives or keep an account open, but can ship the contents to a person’s next of kin on a data DVD.

Google is more tight-lipped – it will close accounts but not provided any of the information within them, saying: ‘Our primary responsibility is to keep our users’ information secure, safe, and private’.

With Twitter, things are simple. Family members must provide the site’s administrators with proof of a loved one’s death, such as a death certificate or obituary, and the account will be shut down.
If people want, they can receive a backup of their relatives’ tweets for posterity.

With Linkedin- go to “Death of a Linkedin member” on the Linkedin site and follow prompts

Facebook and Instagram also allow verified immediate family members to ‘memorialise’ a loved one’s account if they provide proof of death.

 

 

Potted history of the Cessnock LGA

MY SAY

I have been invited here today to speak on the history of the Cessnock and Kurri Kurri district. Firstly, I would like to say that I am no expert on this topic having come from a Coastal dwellers lifestyle, growing up at Stockton the holiday resort for hundreds of Coalfields people over many decades.

As kids we wondered why all the people came from those funny named places such as Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Neath (they said it had a beach) or Minmi (they said it had a breakwater). Us kids living on the Coast were always amazed at the role up of these people from the Coalfields every Christmas in what we saw as some sort of ritualistic event.

It was only two (4) years ago that I spoke to a well-respected person from Kurri Kurri who said that he had purchased a van at Stockton Caravan Park. It dawned on me that even now the beach is a favourite place for the people of the Cessnock district.

In my early years of marriage I lived at another Coastal town, Dudley a mining village. It was in 1971, thirty (34) years ago that my life changed forever. I had just joined the NSW ambulance service and was posted to the town of Maitland. The daily trip from Dudley to Maitland was too much so I looked for a new home. And so it was that my family moved to Kurri Kurri in October 1971 instigating what was to become a major change in my life.

Since that move, the Cessnock and Kurri Kurri district has become my life and the progressive people I associate with on a daily basis inspire me to continue on my path of improving this community’s lifestyle. I have only been here thirty (43) years.

A Mr David Dunlop was one of the first white settlers who established a property at Cessnock in around 1821. One of Dunlop’s better traits was his respect for the Aboriginal communities that lived around the Wollombi Valley.

It is interesting to note that Cessnock’s early history was steeped in agriculture. For example there were established wheat crops and vineyards as early as one hundred and fifty (150) years ago. It wasn’t until the discovery of coal in the late 1800’s at East Greta Junction only ten (10) kilometres from Kurri Kurri that this district became known as the ‘Coalfields’ of the Lower Hunter. The term ‘Coalfields’ is entrenched in people’s minds throughout the Cessnock and surrounding districts

and has become a natural term for those describing the area even today. After the discovery of coal in the late 1800’s at East Greta Junction, Coal Towns sprang up quickly as transient miners fought for better living standards. Heddon Greta, part of Cessnock was one of the earliest Coal Towns with a Pub, the oldest Pub in the district.

Kurri Kurri in fact never had a coalmine but was built after coal employees protested about their poor living standards. The town was surveyed in 1901 and proclaimed in October 1902. In 2002 the town of Kurri Kurri hosted its Centenary. An interesting argument about the origin of Kurri Kurri’s naming amongst local historians still rages today. The most accepted and probably accurate one is that Kurri Kurri is the name given by the local Aboriginal people meaning The Very First (or) “first time once upon a time”. It is understood that Kurri Kurri was so named because it was the first planned Crown Town in NSW.

Anyhow, back to our history. As the mines moved further west towns known as Weston, Abermain, Neath, Aberdare, Bellbird, Pelton, Paxton and Pelaw Main sprang up as the great Edgeworth David Coalseam unfolded. It is said that the Coalseam was the richest in the world. Coal became a major part of Kurri Kurri’s heritage from the early 1900’s until the end of last century. In fact there are now only two mines currently operating in the district.

While the miners tilled the soil underground an energetic group of agriculturalists worked the rich soils of the Pokolbin area to grow grapes for the purpose of wine production. Early pioneers of the once fledgling,  but now prominent industry included Busby, Tyrell, Drayton, Tulloch and Lindeman. But it was fifty (50) years before the discovery of coal that the wine industry began. Many of the early pioneer’s names are entrenched throughout the industry and carried on by family wine businesses today. These businesses have outgrown “King Coal” and are now flourishing and providing new job opportunities for the Cessnock district particularly in the areas of hospitality and tourism.

Now, let’s look at the perceptions and legacies of those bygone days of coal. The perceptions of our community still sticks to this day of small unpainted timber cottages built by miners who when pushed, moved on leaving poor European heritage. The mine owners and managers were the lords of the district but when the mine was worked out they simply packed up and moved on leaving behind a scarred landscape for future generations to repair. This is known as our European Heritage. I call it an eyesore, which retards our image. Today, the Kurri Kurri district is reinventing itself and trying to set a new, more vibrant future for its’ citizens.

Our pioneers were exceptional in conquering the great north road and the development from Morpeth into Pokolbin for the wine, timber and grain industry. Today tourism, clean industry, viticulture and retailing are the prime employers. But we still have a long way to go to win over this country’s’ perception of the Hunter Coalfields as did Newcastle as a steel city.

As leaders of the Cessnock district we are charged with the responsibility of changing these perceptions.

History, by nature is evolutionary and progressive. We need to look forward to the future and respect our past, not to just continue to live in it.

 

 

Hunter Valley Way launched

Welcome to Hunter Valley Way

The newest tourist drive on the eastern seaboard will be launched on Thursday 18th of December in Kurri Kurri at a function at the Hunter Region BEC, Barton Street, Kurri Kurri to celebrate this projects achievement.

Sponsors and partners invite the public to view the tourist drive “Hunter Valley Way” either on Facebook or visit www.huntervalleyway.com.au

Starting at the M1 at Freeman’s Water Hole in Lake Macquarie, Hunter Valley Way covers the small towns and villages throughout the Hunter finishing in Merriwa on the Golden Highway.

 The drive is web based and is accessible on the new Smart Phones, iPads and social media platforms.

The project has been developed over a number of years since the announcement of the Hunter Expressway construction in 2010. A small committee of like minded people from the Hunter came together to build the tourist drive and identify the many and diverse attractions this part of the region had to offer visitors and travellers.

The drive also caters for the caravan and mobile home travellers with commercial parks, RV dump stations and camp sites along the route.

The Hunter Valley Way incorporates six member town and area precincts in three shires of the Hunter Valley all within easy reach of each other beginning at Freemans Waterhole just off the M1, then passing through Kurri Kurri/Weston, Lovedale, Branxton/Greta, Hermitage Road precinct of Pokolbin, Broke Fordwich/Bulga, Jerrys Plains, Denman and Merriwa on the Golden Highway.

Members of the Hunter Valley Way project include Hunter Business Chamber, Cessnock City Council, Singleton Council, Kurri Kurri District Business Chamber, Kurri Kurri Towns with Heart committee, Branxton-Greta Business Chamber, Around Heritage committee, Broke Fordwich Tourism and Denman Chamber of Commerce.

Hunter Hospital should be beside the Hunter Expressway

 

Our Business Community in Kurri Kurri would like to alert the public’s attention the recent Government decision to locate the new Hunter Hospital at Metford in the Maitland Electorate.

It is our firm belief that this was a very poor decision and not based on sound geographic and population growth information.

Many of the Lower Hunter and Upper Hunter hospitals are greater than 100 years old and cannot cope with the 21st Century population growth which is moving North West to places such as Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Lochinvar, Branxton and Singleton Shire.

With the completion of the Hunter Expressway and the recent announcement of the Hydro Aluminium Smelter closure freeing up some 2,000 hectares of developable land, we believe the decision needs to be revisited.

The location of the Hunter Hospital at Metford is right beside a major coal train transport route for the foreseeable future and would expose the hospital to coal dust contamination.

During the Hunter Hospital Submission period for the new hospital Hydro Aluminium, Kurri Kurri put in submission for consideration.

We believe this site adjacent to the Hunter Expressway is a “no-brainer” as it can service Maitland, Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, Branxton, Singleton and further west.  The Smelter land adjacent to the expressway is virgin land with no contamination is flood free and is well serviced by all infrastructures.

This is an opportunity to get it right the first time around.

Small Business Too Big to be Ignored

There are four things we want the next government to focus on when it comes to small business. (1) Cut down the red tape, (2) Simplify the TAX system, (3) Make it easier to employ people and (4) Build better infrastructure. During the debate on Sunday night 11 August only Tony Abbott touched on these four issues. Lets hope both sides take notice. The roadshow will be in the Hunter this week at Muswellbrook, Singleton and Maitland.

Malcolm Turnbull in the Hunter

Malcolm Turbull will visit the Hunter on Thursday the 18th of April. He will be at the Hunter Basketball Stadium from 1.45pm as guests of Jammie Abbott and John Church.

Make sure you get along and hear what Malcolm has to say about the current situation in Australia.