ALL of us who travel to and from Moonan and beyond are watching the progress at Moonan Cutting with great satisfaction.
It was a notoriously bad section of road and there was never going to be an easy fix.
Shire staff have moved a mountain (well carved a big chunk out of a hill) and I am particularly pleased that we haven't had to resort to explosives.
The use of earth moving equipment has made it a slower process, but it certainly is a much safer and quieter way to tackle the problem.
The end of this latest stage of what is a big and complex engineering task is in sight - drivers will have a clear sight line through the cutting for the first time.
The next stage will be more work to stabilise the road on the other side next to the Hunter River, which will also provide some technical difficulties.
For the time being traffic is still diverted from the cutting to a temporary bridge which is load limited to 42.5 tonnes.
If you need access for larger vehicles contact Council on 6540 1100 to make arrangements to navigate your way through Moonan Cutting temporarily.
Residents who would like to be added to an email list to receive regular updates about the project should email their name and address to council with the subject line 'Moonan Cutting'.
It was my pleasure to represent Mayor Wayne Bedggood at Murrurundi's Australia Day celebrations last week and equally my pleasure to have been asked to be Emcee for the day.
Recognising the great achievements of our residents it is certainly one of the best parts of being Deputy Mayor.
Congratulations to the award recipients from all over the Upper Hunter and particularly our citizen and young citizen of the year, Elizabeth Birch and Elizabeth Hagley respectively.
The Ambassador for the day in Murrurundi, Nick Gleeson, was a great bloke, inspirational in the face of adversity with a wicked sense of humour.
If Nick was ever to come back to the Upper Hunter Shire to speak at another event in the future I would be the first there.
The Mayor came along after handing out awards at the Scone and Aberdeen
ceremonies, just in time to see me hit a few boundaries during the Mayoral Cricket Match. Murrurundi were lucky enough to win on the day, that now makes the Mayor’s seven 1 win and Murrurundi 1 win.
Looking forward to seeing you all next year.
Mobile Phone Program
Mobile Phone $20m Black Spot Grant Program Stage 1 of the $20m Black Spot Program involved the establishment of a list of locations that currently receive poor, or no mobile coverage.
Council made a submission in February 2014.
Stage 2 recently closed and Council has made another submission to the Black Spot Grant Program to improve black spots in the Upper Hunter Shire area.
This program will invest in telecommunications network infrastructure to improve mobile phone and data coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters.
Council has made 76 submissions for stage 2, nominating a number of major black spots in the Upper Hunter Shire area.
Submissions include from Scone to Bunnan, Bunnan to Merriwa (MR62), from Gundy to Belltrees (MR105), Belltrees to Moonan Flat, Moonan Flat to Ellerston, and from Gundy to Timor (Waverley Road).
New Plant at Landfills
Council recently received the delivery of a new Tana 26 tonne compactor for use at the Scone Landfill.
The new compactor will replace the 21 year old Caterpillar machine which will now be relocated to Aberdeen landfill, and when required transported to the Murrurundi landfill.
The new plant will assist Council in maintaining the landfills to a higher standard, increase landfill life and to meet Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) requirements for daily cover of waste.
Induction Program at Scone Saleyards
Council is intending to introduce Work Health & Safety induction for the Scone Saleyards which will apply to all those working on site and all those attending.
Dates and further information will be provided in the coming weeks.