We only have one Maitland, let's take care of it
I have been inspired recently by the action our nation’s younger community has taken around the issue of climate change. I recently received a letter from a passionate young school student who shared with me her serious concerns around global warming.
I spoke with Council’s Environment Team who provided me with some background in order to forward a response to the student. It was great to be reminded about all of the different things Council does to address its carbon footprint. In 2002 for example, Council was one of the first Local Government Areas to develop a Greening Plan and in 2004, Council joined the Cities for Climate Protection Program. In recent years, Maitland has developed a Climate Change and Adaptation Plan to direct Council in not only preparing for climate change, but also to provide actions to assist reduction of impacts. It was great to be able to provide the student with all of this information and really demonstrate the great work Council’s Environment Team do.
Another popular service Council provides is our seedling giveaways, and we actually had one at Maitland Regional Art Gallery last week which was very popular. This type of initiative and other vegetation rehabilitation projects benefit the environment greatly and I am glad Council can provide these services.
On a personal level, I believe trees are key to tackling this issue. Trees have the ability to cool suburbs, reducing the need for power, while at the same time taking on CO2. At home, I have a lot of big, green trees that I use to cool my home and backyard. As Mayor, I want to continue to work hard to have more trees planted in and around the city and get more cycleways and footpaths installed, which help to get more cars off the road too.
Making Maitland as green as possible is very important and I think however small a place we are in the world, we should always look at reducing our impact on the environment. We only have one Maitland so we must care for it, nurture it and ensure it is a great place to live for our grandchildren’s children, and beyond.
The Riverlink shines once more
I know I talk about it a lot because it is one of my favourite buildings in Maitland, but it would be remiss of me not to mention The Riverlink this week.
Last week, the building won three awards at the Newcastle Architecture Awards, including the sought after ‘Jury’s Prize’. I attended the awards at Merewether Surfhouse and the Judges said the building, designed by CHROFI with McGregor Coxall and commissioned by Council, felt like it was 'meant to be' and they were particularly impressed by the structure's unification of the business district to the Hunter River. I could not agree more.