OPINION

Bob Pynsent: From the Mayor's Desk | Cessnock needs a mass vaccination hub

As the NSW Government has announced its intention to bring an end to lockdown living it has come with a sigh of relief for many, but it is also of great concern for our community.

We are still lagging behind when it comes to vaccination rates. At the next council meeting on September 22 I will put forward a Mayoral Minute outlining this issues our community faces when it comes to getting vaccinated.

There is a real need to establish a mass vaccination hub in our area and we want to see more access to Pfizer vaccines. Once the state opens up we need to be vaccinated, as there is no doubt we will see in influx of tourists. We need to ensure our local people are safe and have had the opportunity to get vaccinated before this happens.

WELCOME, NEW CITIZENS

This Friday we're hosting a Citizenship Ceremony virtually!

While it is not the usual way we like to celebrate our newest citizens it was wonderful we could still ensure they were able to achieve their goal of becoming an Aussie. A huge welcome to our newest Australian citizens!

NOMINATIONS OPEN SOON

Our Australia Day awards nominations will open shortly on council's website.

We have so many special community members who go above and beyond to contribute.

The nominations open on Friday, September 17. A new award has been announced for 2022, which is the Environment Award - Young Citizen. This award will provide the opportunity to recognise local young people who are championing environmental initiatives in the Cessnock community.

Visit council's website to find out about how to nominate a very deserving local citizen. Nominations must be submitted by Sunday, October 24.

KNOW YOUR BUSHFIRE RISK

Get Ready Weekend 2021 was on over the weekend and is a good reminder that we are fast approaching bushfire season.

The first step is knowing your risk. There is a fantastic online Household Assessment Tool provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) that can help you understand this risk for your individual property.

Additionally, there are four simple steps you can take to get ready for a bushfire.

To find out more visit the RFS website.

RECOVERY GRANTS AVAILABLE

The National Resilience and Recovery Agency (NRRA) is providing another opportunity for the Cessnock local government area to benefit from grant funding for projects that support recovery and resilience of our communities.

Grants are available for a minimum of $20,000 and applications have been extended to Wednesday, October 6.

Council has worked closely with bushfire impacted community organisations to assist them to obtain grant funding in the past and we are encouraging groups to get in touch with Community Recovery Officer, Melissa Boucher about the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants.

For more information about this grant and how to apply, please visit Black Summer Bushfire Grants website.