Cessnock Wine Country Lions Club plans to open Driver Reviver stop on Hunter Expressway at Buchanan

GREAT IDEA: Patron Senator for Hunter, Hollie Hughes with Cessnock councillors Rod Doherty and John Fagg and Wine Country Lions Club members Veronica Hope, Ash Power and Geoff Butters at the Buchanan rest stop.
GREAT IDEA: Patron Senator for Hunter, Hollie Hughes with Cessnock councillors Rod Doherty and John Fagg and Wine Country Lions Club members Veronica Hope, Ash Power and Geoff Butters at the Buchanan rest stop.

Cessnock Wine Country Lions Club is working on an ambitious plan to open a Driver Reviver station at the Hunter Expressway's Buchanan rest stop.

Wine Country Lion and Cessnock councillor Paul Dunn said the club hopes the much-needed service will fill the gap that was left after the Beresfield Driver Reviver closed in January 2018.

Cr Dunn said the Buchanan rest stop would be run by Lions volunteers from all over the Hunter region; open during the school holidays and on public holidays, serving tea and coffee, with the option and facility to do a barbecue.

"The loss of the M1-John Renshaw Driver Reviver was a loss of one of the largest reviver stations in the country, and the Wine Country Lions are passionate about opening it up again," Cr Dunn said.

"The Lions clubs are completely voluntary and donations raised go back in to the community in some form, and the breadth of member clubs within our zone that we will need to draw on to cover the 24-hour reviver is a testament to the dedication of Lions members to their communities."

The Lions club has appealed to the Federal Government to help fund their ambition, asking Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes - the Patron Senator for the Hunter and Paterson electorates - to support their cause.

Senator Hughes visited Lions Club representatives and Cessnock councillors at the rest stop last week.

"I don't need convincing that this is important work. Driver reviver programs save lives," Senator Hughes said.

"I will follow up their request immediately but this initiative has my full support.

"The fact that this will be fully staffed by Lions Groups across the Hunter region is a reflection on the quality of the dedication and kindness of people within the Hunter Lions Club Groups.

"I'm humbled to have made their acquaintance and I hope to be one of their first customers sometime soon."

Cr Dunn thanked Senator Hughes for taking the time to hear their appeal.

"We look forward to a partnership with the federal government to deliver a much-needed service that saves lives," he said.

"There should be no expense to have a loved one return home safely."