13 May 2019
With so much political campaigning over the past few months, first with the NSW state election in March and the upcoming Federal election this weekend, it’s easy to assume that the big issues for our area have consumed our focus in advocating for a fair share for the people of the Singleton local government area. But there’s been plenty of hard work happening in a range of other realms as well, and not least last weekend’s Firelight and the Glencore Singleton Festival that has been running over the past few weeks.
About 4,500 people turned out at the Civic Green on Saturday for our homage to winter, where laser shows, African drumming, firedancers and LED hula hoops took centre stage alongside the Yancoal Singleton Art Prize and the Singleton Amateur Theatrical Society’s performance from Les Miserables. It was great to see so many people of all ages rugging up for a fantastic night of free entertainment, and while the Glencore Singleton Festival aims to showcase the creative inspiration that comes from our area in a range of fields from filmmaking and music to quilting, the happy faces at last weekend’s events were further inspiration for why we need to keep the pressure on all levels of government, even after the polls have closed, for the benefit of our community.
We’ve seen the benefits of a bypass of the New England Highway in Branxton as further evidence that heavily trafficked highways no longer belong in modern towns. That’s why Federal funding for a bypass of Singleton is a major issue in this Federal election. Labor has committed funding, which we enthusiastically welcome. But we need this project to come to fruition - ideally by 2024 - regardless of who wins on Saturday. So we’re calling for bipartisan support from all levels of government, and for our State and Federal politicians to work together to deliver this vital project not for voters, but for the people of the Singleton local government area and beyond.
And we’ll be holding the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro to his word to overhaul the Resources for Regions program, following news our area missed out yet again in the latest round of funding designed to benefit mining-affected communities. In a personal visit to Singleton, Mr Barilaro also committed to finding an alternative funding source to deliver Singleton Council’s $8.5 million Roads Upgrade program, targeting four major transport routes servicing the area’s 17 coal mines.
In the meantime, as well as Saturday’s Federal election, the Glencore Singleton Festival wraps up this weekend with plenty of events celebrating the artistic and cultural abundance in our area. For all the information you need, visit www.singletonfestival.com.au
Cr Sue Moore
Mayor of Singleton