Mayoral Matters: Extraordinary meeting of council, Hunter Water board and Dungog Hospital health expo

Council determined that the Clarence Town Museum site will be transferred to the Clarence Town Progress Association at nil cost, other than the stamp duty payable with the contract of sale. The Conservation Management Plan and the transfer of land to Operational land both need to be approved. Once this is approved, the contract of sale can be executed. Council also determined to engage the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for the provision of financial services.

Dungog Regional Tourism

Councillors, Council staff and stakeholders such as NSW Water, Forestry and National Parks and Wildlife met with Board Members of Dungog Regional Tourism to find ways in which we may work together on funding projects from Destination Sydney North and Surrounds (DSNS). We have been asked from DSNS for our top three funding priorities around infrastructure, product development and/or marketing. Ideas and potential constraints to the implementation of these ideas were discussed around the table. This is definitely a work in progress, but the conversation has well and truly been ignited. Funding is also available for private operators so, if you are thinking about expanding your tourism enterprise, or have a great new idea and need some seed money, then think about this channel.

Hospital Health Expo

This expo was a resounding success, both for the committee, the hospital and those health care providers that jumped on board. Guest speaker, Kate Munro, kept everyone entertained, surprisingly given her topic was the very somber End of Life. We also heard about the New Maitland Hospital and Dungog Hospital’s Nicki Churms gave us an update on Dungog Hospital and what the future may bring. Nicki also announced funding of $2.5 million for the Hospital, which is just wonderful news. She has identified plenty of great ways to spend this money. The community will be consulted on the works that will be undertaken with this funding.

EXPO: There was a great turnout to the Dungog Local Health Expo held at the Dungog Bowling Club on September 25 with several guest speakers. Photo: Michelle Mexon

EXPO: There was a great turnout to the Dungog Local Health Expo held at the Dungog Bowling Club on September 25 with several guest speakers. Photo: Michelle Mexon

Hunter Water wants community’s thoughts 

I was given the opportunity to address the HWC Board as part of their community and stakeholder strategy. I was asked about what I thought the community wanted HWC to hear. As I am most often presented with people who believe that Hunter Water Corporation remove a precious resource from our shire with little recompense, I presented the argument that HWC should pay Dungog Shire a dividend. While I think that I have a long battle to get that argument over the line, I certainly came away with the feeling that they feel a corporate responsibility towards Dungog. I was asked about the residents above Dungog and what the feeling was there with the issue over untreated water. I indicated that there was still some unhappiness and again got the feeling that HWC wanted to resolve the issue with residents.

Community Small Grants 

I am proud and delighted to announce that Dungog Shire’s Community Small Grants Program is now open, until 26th October. Information on eligibility and application forms are on the website (https://www.dungog.nsw.gov.au/news/community-small-grants-program-2018-2019) and available at Council’s office. This grants program is the result of a partnership between Council and Hunter Water Corporation, with council’s contribution coming from a private donation. 

David Gillespie meeting

General Manager, Coralie Nichols, and I met with Federal Local Member, David Gillespie, to continue our discussions around bridge funding for the Dungog Shire. David reiterated his commitment to advocate to his state colleagues on our behalf and to keep us abreast of any federal opportunities.