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Members say …. FROM PREVIOUS PAGE The loan saving it was suggested could come from the savings from Herbert St bridge we received 1.9 million for this loan in the State budget—however we are unsure when we will receive these funds., The point was made this was not taking funds off another road as it was savings from the bridge project but in reality it is actually taking off other roads as the savings were never intended to be spent on one road alone. Cr McNamara was quoted as saying Council had not endorsed the priority list however this is incorrect and again lack of information on the night. Council some time ago approved and endorsed the matrix that is used by Council officers to set the priority listing— therefore the list is approved by Council. Long Gully causeway was number 49 on the list the road was also well down the list—effectively these both jumped the queue to number 1 not only ignoring our own policy but also setting a precedence. 1. The notice of motion changed considerably from the item printed in the business paper –Councillors have a responsibility to be properly and fully informed prior to making decisions and I believe this did not happen. 2. The motion effectively changed the operational plan without seeking comment from the community as a whole---loan borrowing of $500,000 without public consultation 3. Sometime ago Council adopted a matrix to determine priorities for causeways and road sealing—I believe the motion breached Councils own policies in several ways. a. Unmaintained roads policy has been in place for many years and many residents have been informed of this policy which requires that the road is to be a dedicated Council road, have 6 residences and be brought up to Council standard prior to consideration of sealing—Mountain View road does not meet the principle policy requirements

b. Funds being so restricted for the next financial year there was to be no sealing of any new roads—usually we programmed about 1km on 1 or 2 roads—In contrast the motion provided for almost the entire length of one road with only 7 residences to be totally sealed c. The causeway was listed as number 49 on our priority list and instantly jumped the queue to number 1 without any other stakeholders being informed. I could have agreed to the motion if it only included the causeway upgrade to a box culvert at a cost of around $100,000. I am very aware of the issues at the creek crossing however the motion also included sealing the entire length of 2 roads –this I considered unfair and so wrong as it gave no consideration to all other areas in our Shire in need -- did not balance the entire community’s needs and did not allow for community comment on a loan borrowing. Ratepayers should be furious we have many unsealed roads in the Branxton/Belford area that come to mind—Summerhill, North and East Arm Rusty Lane, Durham. Swain St and others at Belford village to name just a few. Cheers, Sue

Clr Allan McCudden Well the Court saga of the Mayor versus the Councillors goes on with ratepayers money being spent hand-over-fist. It would seem that this Council is very financial with all the money being spent on solicitors. I note that an article was written in a large Newcastle paper on the 25 June this year under the heading ‘Former airport manager and council to mediate’. This issue was basically about Council taking back control of the

Cessnook Airport because of alleged breaches in contract. Senior Council staff have taken apparent offence to the article and have threatened to take action against Fairfax if it is not retracted. It would appear that more money could be spent on solicitors if there is no retraction. At the council meeting of 20 June, 2012, Councillor Neil Gorman attempted to have a motion come before Council that would put control of legal actions over a certain amount of money under the control of Councillors and we would make the decision to proceed with court matters other than those in the Local Courts. The General Manager ruled the motion to be unlawful and refused to put the motion into the agenda. So now the senior staff continue to spend, spend and spend on legal actions. Never forget that it is ratepayers money they are using. Dale Troy has resigned as a Councillor. I haven't spoken to him about his resignation but I have spoken to some who have spoken to him and he puts up frustration with working with the senior staff and ill health as his reasons for resignation. I wish you well in what you do Dale and can understand your frustrations. At the 11th hour the senior staff at Council finally relented and gave Councillors a breakdown of how budget funds were going to be spent We allocated and confirmed where funds were going to be spent; Wilderness Rd upgrade, numerous streets in Cessnock, Kurri & Greta being rebuilt, Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism, Towns with Hearts and other tourism bodies funded to promote tourism. In all we have had a couple of good weeks and know that they are going to get better in about 68 days. Cheers, Al

knowledge to take their endeavours to a higher plain! If there is someone out there who can help in this regard it would be very much appreciated. You can contact me on 4838 1553. I mentioned in the last issue that we have some of our group helping/ There are some exciting times ahead for Playgroup. A DATE TO mentoring some students at Greta Public School. This has been very rewarding for both ‘Shedmen’ & the students. REMEMBER – Saturday 21st July 2012 between 8am and 1pm. Our member who has the model trains, HO Series, would like to offer Playgroup will be having a stall at the Lion’s Club Markets on this a special thank you to those who have given help with all sorts of day. We will be having a jumping castle, colouring-in competition paraphernalia. He asked me to ask the community for more tracks if and other exciting activities for children. We will also have on sale they are out there & in need of a home-away-from-home. herbs and cakes. Please come along during those times and support The ‘Craft Free Choice Group’ is growing & has had a good our event. We are trying to raise some much needed funds to improve our facility for all the community to benefit from. With loads response from inception. To contact or get some more information about the group please contact Pat on 4938 3639. of excitement to be had, please come along and have some fun. See I almost forgot to thank the community for their response to the vacyou there.!!!! uum cleaner request. Thank you very much. The ‘Shed’ is Our last guest speaker was very pleased with the number of our memBranxton Greta progressing well bers who attended & stayed around for a cuppa & a chat. largely due to the Cheers, Steve great & ongoing support from our local community. Our gardening When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~Lao Tzu group are very Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you active but do need some direction ~ they have the brawn but not the were. ~Unknown




Branxton Greta Well the Court saga of the Mayor versus the Councillors goes on with ratepayers money being spent hand-over-fist. It would se...