Posts Tagged “Newcastle City Council”


Merewether’s most prominent sports ground is set for an impressive upgrade after Newcastle City Council unveiled plans to renovate and extend the existing grandstand at Townson Oval.

The $2m redevelopment will be jointly-funded by council and Merewether Carlton Rugby Club and is set to provide a vast improvement to the playing and viewing experience at the ground, also known as Mitchell Park.

A  top-floor glass pavilion which can be opened to the sea breeze tops the list of upgrades, which includes a new gym, change rooms, refurbished public amenities and installation of a lift.

The project will benefit Townson Oval’s other tenants, South Newcastle Rugby League Club and Merewether District Cricket Club.

“I am delighted to announce this much-needed upgrade for Mitchell Park or Townson Oval,” Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“This proposed project is a fine example of how sporting clubs and associations are able to contribute and partner with Council on refurbishing their home grounds.

“The upgrade will deliver an asset for the entire community and provide the footballing, cricket and cycling groups that use Townson a boost.”

Council has listed the project in a draft budget which they are considering placing on public exhibition on Tuesday night, before final adoption in June.

They will fund $1.5m for the grandstand’s base build, with Merewether Carlton set to provide $500,000 from club reserves and funds raised by the Merewether Greens Rugby Foundation.

Merewether Carlton’s contribution will fund the interior fit-out of the new glass pavilion, which will be known as the club’s new ‘Green Room’.

John Davis, a board member of Merewether Greens Rugby Foundation, said the new grandstand and Green Room are a game changer for the club.

“We are extremely grateful to be able to partner with Council to help redevelop the grandstand,” Mr Davis said.

“Not only will it offer our players, members and supporters better facilities, it will give fans a better vantage point from up behind the bleachers and also allow administrators to host in-house presentations, sponsors functions and club events.”

Construction is likely to commence after the football season pending final approval of the council budget.




Young classical musicians will be performing at events across the Hunter thanks to a new support program.

The money comes from Newcastle City Council’s Support for Arts and Cultural Organisations program.

The Newcastle Youth Orchestra (NYO), Catapult Dance and The Lock-Up were announced as the first recipients for the funding.

“The project based funding is designed to support the growth and vitality of Newcastle’s arts and cultural,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

NYO’s project includes over a dozen public performances over the course of its two-year grant period, professional development opportunities for its musicians, expanding its performances beyond Newcastle to Singleton and the Central Coast, and the purchase of new music.

Orchestra Manager Sally Ebert said the organisation was grateful for the opportunity.

“NYO is a relatively new organisation, we’re entering our sixth year, and this support will help us take our performances to the next level and cement our reputation in the region,” Ms Ebert said.

While the first round projects are getting underway, other Newcastle based arts and cultural organisations are invited to apply for the second round of funding, with expressions of interest now open.

The next round of funding will be allocated to two eligible organisations for projects to commence in the 2018-19 financial year. A total of $100,000 is available, subject to final adoption of council’s annual budget for 2018-19. An organisation may apply for up to $70,000 per year for up to three years.



THE new boss of Newcastle City Council has vowed a fresh start, pledging to end division and an “unhealthy” association with politics at city hall. Jeremy Bath – a former executive at Hunter Water – was on Wednesday announced as council’s new interim chief executive officer, taking over from Frank Cordingley. The appointment comes after bitter infighting between councillors that began in December, with some councillors criticising the recruitment drive for the $390,000 a year position as predetermined, an accusation that sparked the Office of Local Government to be called in to investigate. However, Mr Bath told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday night his previous experience working with both major parties should serve as a sign he could work with everyone. He said he wanted his appointment to be an opportunity for council to “put some of the politics to the side”. “Newcastle City Council for too long has been enwrapped in politics in a very unhealthy way – not just at a council level but at an administrative level as well,” Mr Bath said.

“I hope, given the opportunity to perform, we can put an end to that.”

Mr Bath, who is 41 and grew up in the Hunter, declared it was an exciting time to be a Novocastrian and said he wanted to continue the city’s resurgence with an “impressive array” of council-led projects.

“Newcastle’s future will be built on our willingness to work and dream,” he said.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the appointment and paid tribute to Mr Bath’s previous experience with Hunter Water.

“Jeremy Bath brings to Council a proven ability to work effectively with all sides of politics as well as a focus on customer service and community consultation,” she said in a statement.

Liberal councillor Brad Luke – a critic of the selection process – was more cautious and said he would reserve judgement until he saw Mr Bath in action.

He warned that council’s “very good” senior staff should be retained under Mr Bath’s leadership.

“The senior executive of council is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen in an organisation,” he said.

“I would say to Jeremy coming in it would be good not to have pre-judgements on those people.”

Mr Bath’s tenure begins on May 15.