Shire Notes with Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood

WE have finally had a public update from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), which was initially promised back in late February and then again in May this year but has been delayed due to the ministerial shuffle that ensued several months ago.

To be honest it isn’t much more than a refresher of previous information but as I have been personally very vocal about the lack of information, I am not going to complain about receiving information.

What I will say though is that we still don’t have any news on the rail-overpass options and this is a concern. I have read in two government releases that there were  “..some submissions questioning the need for the rail bridge once the bypass is completed and others suggesting a bridge over the rail line to the north of town may be more appropriate.”

It may be the case that people said this, but what is not stated is that your council resolved that its preferred option is an in-town rail overpass at the Kelly Street crossing and I don’t see this being mentioned at all even though it is raised at every single meeting that we have with the RMS.

With this in mind it is not hard for me to see why local people are still saying that the government has no intention of building an overpass and/or they won’t have the money to do so.

Council will continue to ask for the overpass options and look forward to hearing the community’s feedback when they are delivered.

The update can be read on the RMS website under Projects, Hunter, New England Highway, and then Scone Bypass Update.

I, and others in the region, have been invited to meet with the Premier and Cabinet Ministers this morning (Thursday) in Singleton. They will be visiting the Upper Hunter to hear directly from the community about important issues and priorities. 

It will be an opportunity to advocate on our shire’s behalf about several of our ongoing major issues which include the Scone bypass and overpass, our lack of association with Lake Glenbawn and its assets, our Saleyards, Airport and the need for economic diversification.

Festival of the Fleeces

Congratulations to the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces committee on yet another very well organised and strongly patronised event.

I was unable to attend but hear things went off well even though the sheep were keen to do some crowd staring rather than parade themselves at pace.

Fortunately the weather was kind and very little of the festival was effected by some early rain so all in all, a great result.

That is a third of our shire’s major events over for 2017 and it’s now onto the Aberdeen Highland Games on 1 July.

Where has the time gone?