Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush hoping Upper Hunter is big winner on budget night

Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush
Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush

THEY might not have received the news they were hoping to, but – overall – the NSW Premier’s visit to the Upper Hunter has been praised.

Gladys Berejiklian, along with her ministers, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald and host Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, met local community members at a special morning tea at the Singleton Civic Centre on Thursday.

And, while topics such as bypasses, roads, buffer zones, schools and hospitals were discussed, some felt the forum was a bit under-whelming as representatives from Scone, Singleton and Muswellbrook searched for answers.

“It was great to have the Premier and her Cabinet here to hear from the community,” Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush said.

“However, it’s disappointing no specific announcements were made for the Upper Hunter.

“Perhaps, the government is holding off until the upcoming State Budget.

“We’ll have to wait and see.”

Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mike Kelly was also delighted the politicians ventured to the region.

“It’s not often you can speak face-to-face with them,” he said.

“On Friday, June 30, we’ll also have Deputy Premier John Barilaro at our chamber breakfast in town, which will be timely after the State Budget.”

Ms Berejiklian admitted it was important to listen to the community.

“I’m excited to be here in Singleton, with a full Cabinet,” she said.

“Well, 22 of the 23 ministers – but you can forgive Treasurer Dominic Perrottet from being absent with the State Budget due next week.

“We want to hear what people have to say, as well as their concerns.

“They can be vast and varied, from region to region.

“And I can assure you, it won’t be the last time the government comes to the Upper Hunter.

“There are some exciting announcements to be made soon.”