President’s Column

President’s Column

President’s ColumnFinally, Dungog Shire residents will head to the polls this coming Saturday,9th September, for our Local Council Elections.

In a nutshell, if you’re 18 years or over and enrolled at election time, you get to vote for the people who you want to represent you in Local Government. The people who win become our Councillors. One of the Councillors is then elected by their fellow Councillors to become the Mayor of our Local Government Area (also called a Council).

So what do they do?  These days the Council makes decisions on more far-reaching issues than roads, rubbish collection, footpaths and parks which was recently evidenced following decisions made in relation to Council mergers.

Councils also wield the power to set rates, approve or knock back developments, they are responsible for putting in place plans for the future development of the Shire and are entrusted with managing rates payers’ money, and other income and expenditure.

Pretty important and difficult job, or at least I think so! So make your vote count, and familiarise yourself with the policies of each of the candidates in your Ward. We need strong and effective Councillors and an engaged community.

This week Janice Bonamy and myself from the Chamber, together with Nancy Knudsen and Ivan Skaines from Dungog Shire Council attended the NSW Government’s Regional Growth Funds Workshop in Muswellbrook.  The information session was to find out which types of projects will be eligible for funding, how to apply and how you can get help to make an application.

The NSW Government is investing $1.3 billion in regional areas through a number of different funds designed to activate economies, create jobs by upgrading infrastructure, improving facilities and investing in sports, arts and culture in regional communities. A number of different organisations are eligible to apply for these funds. Michael Johnsen MP, the member for the Upper Hunter, hosted the event and emphasised that he is very keen to help secure funds under these grants and encouraged people to contact him regarding securing funding for projects.

For more information including programme guidelines and application information go to www.nsw.gov.au/regionalgrowth.

Our next DDCC dinner meeting (and combined AGM) will be held at the Settlers Arms, corner Brown and Lord Streets, Dungog on Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 6.30 pm.

Bookings are essential for the dinner and can be made by contacting Colleen Duffy at dinner@ddcc.org.au  or telephone 0400 603403.