Mayoral Update

Mayoral Update

Weight Limits on Bridges
Council staff continue their assessments on the safe load limits of our timber bridge network. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the following load limits being applied:

Ryan’s Bridge – Myall Creek Road – 5T
Based on the test bores and subsequent inspection by Council staff, it was concluded that Ryan’s Bridge has been downgraded to a maximum of 5 tonnes.
We have taken steps to commence the construction of a heavy vehicle bypass and, weather permitting, we hope to have it completed shortly.

Fosterton Road Bridge – Fosterton Road – 12T
Recent inspections of this bridge have concluded that the maximum comfortable limit for this bridge should be 12 tonnes.

According to Shelton’s Buses, a 12 tonne load limit should not affect the school bus which travels the full length of Fosterton Road. We plan to undertake some minor works next week so the 12 tonne limit can continue.

Chesworth’s Bridge – Chesworth’s Road – 10T 
After inspections Council staff have concluded that it should be downgraded to a maximum of 10 tonnes. Council staff are currently assessing the options to bypass this bridge.

Ashard’s Bridge – Massey’s Creek Road – TBA
This bridge currently does not have a load limit but initial inspections have indicated some defective girders. Council staff are looking at solutions.

Q and A
I do a Q and A on Friday after the 1 o’clock news, on Dungog Radio, answering questions phoned in or emailed by listeners. If one person wants to know, many people may want to know. Please ask me your questions and I’ll do my best to get you some answers.

Shading in playground
This week I was asked about the shade, or lack thereof, on the children’s play equipment at Junee Park, and other areas of the shire. This is a huge issue that affects some of our most vulnerable citizens. Council has replaced the shading on several occasions only to have vandals destroy it. It’s ratepayers’ money going down the drain unless we can stop this wanton destruction.

You may recall me talking about setting up a youth advisory group with the help of Tim Norris. This is just the sort of question that I want to pose to this group. How can we stop vandals destroying structures such as the shade cloth and take some pride and ownership? I know this works. I always give the example of Dover Heights Public School which, many years ago had an issue with graffiti on toilet doors. The year 11 and 12 students came up with the solution of doing their major artworks on the toilet doors. Instant fix, no-one then graffitied them.  Our Community Liaison Officer, Tracey Lowrey, had similar success with the Skateboard Park at Clarence Town.

Roads Maintenance
I’ve been asked some questions regarding our roads repair. While I’m not an engineer and don’t have a full appreciation of the ins and outs of roads repair, I can relate this little bit of information. Some Melbee Estate residents have expressed concern regarding why Council would be resealing their road when there are roads in town that are in much worse condition.

Basically, it’s to ensure that the good roads don’t end up in a state of disrepair. Water is enemy number one when it comes to roads and if we maintain our existing good roads by resealing them at regular intervals, then we will lengthen their useful life considerably, thus saving a great deal of money in the long-run.

GM Recruitment
Council is starting its recruitment process for a new General Manager. I’ll keep you up-dated on the progress.

Food Safety
Council this week launched a free online tool to keep all food handlers up to speed with food safety regulations. This is great news for all in the food handling business. The “I’M ALERT” app Food Safety Training Program can be accessed at or through Council’s website. All food handlers should be taking advantage of this app. Well done to the Council’s Environmental Services division for this initiative.

Australia Day Awards
Don’t forget the Dungog Shire Australia Day celebrations at the James Theatre. Come down for a good Aussie breakfast, cooked up by the Lions Club and served by the Lionesses. Our Australia Day Ambassador, James Fry, will give us an address, and we will honour our outstanding citizens, nominated by you. I will have the great honour of officially welcoming new Australians taking up citizenship.

The Australia Day Committee, in association with Dungog Shire Community Centre and Dungog Shire Council, will be honouring those who helped during and after the 2015 April Superstorm, as nominated by the community.

Breakfast is at 8am, and the ceremony will start at 9am.

The Gresford community is also having an Australia Day Award ceremony. The awards ceremony starts at 1pm, with a picnic preceding this, starting at 11.30. Please contact the Gresford Community Group for further details.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Tracy Norman
Mayor, Dungog Shire

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