Dianne and I have attended the Aberdeen Highland Games most years but unfortunately this year Canberra commitments didn’t permit.  I’m sure that once again the event drew hundreds of visitors to the township and a great time was had by all.

Congratulations to President Barrie Lawn and his team for another successful event. Barrie surprised me last week when he told me that after 10 successful years at the helm he has decided to step back a bit and let others carry the main burden of the enormous amount of work involved in organising and running the Games.  I thank the capable Charles Cooke for agreeing to take the Presidency and wish him every success.

The Australian Energy Regulator determines what those who own and operate the State’s power poles and wires should charge to receive a fair return on their investment.  As a result of its latest determination small businesses are set to save between $152 and $528 every year and households should save between $106 and $313 per year.

But Premier Mike Baird wants to sell the State’s polls and wires.  So he has mounted a challenge to the AER’s decision.  You see, the more the network owners are allowed to change you, the more the asset they want to sell is worth!

It’s great to hear that the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Eisteddfod is again a fantastic success this year. Congratulations and thank you to the Eisteddfod’s President, Suzie Troon, and all the wonderful people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the Eisteddfod’s success.  I’d also like to acknowledge and thank the sponsors, competitors and parents for their support. Now in its 24th year, the Eisteddfod is one of the Upper Hunter's big events.

Want to feel smarter, happier and more decisive? The solution is simpler than you think. This year's Sleep Awareness Week promotes getting between seven and nine hours shut eye a night as a means to feel more alert, energized, decisive, happy and less prone to catching winter bugs.

Almost 10,000 serious workplace injuries and more than 25,000 serious road crash injuries are caused by poor alertness each year. The cost to the Australian economy is substantial—over $5 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare costs, and over $31 billion a year in the loss of healthy life.

Are you getting enough sleep ? Visit for further information.

I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.
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To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.

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