First up congratulations to our newly elected state member Dave Layzell.
We wish you a very constructive 18 months representing our communities, listening to our concerns and needs and being active in pursuing, in Macquarie Street, the best outcomes for the Upper Hunter.
Succesful local members are the ones that listen, learn and act.
As to what the result means to the Upper Hunter well that depends on where you sit politically and whether you are happy with the status quo or if you think its about time we took action on a transition plan.
No doubt the Nationals were helped by incumbency, with only the United States kicking a worldwide trend, for the re-election of current governments.
Add to that the Coalition and in particular Premier Gladys Berejiklian's handling of the pandemic and it provided a strong reason to vote again for The Nationals in a seat they have held for more than 90 years.
Like One Nation and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers the Nationals ran on a pro-mining, protecting mining jobs platform. Although unlike the other two parties they did not call for new coal-fired power stations to be built.
The Nationals also committed to the Royalties for Rejuvenation fund, which will see $25 million worth of coal royalties go back into mining-impacted towns annually. An expert panel will advise on where the funds are directed.
This a big step forward by the Coalition to recognise the need for a transition in the region.
As the state government is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 - they need to be honest with the constituents, and, in particular with mine workers and say we can only reach this figure by transitioning to a low carbon energy future.
Nothing stood out more in this election really than standing beside the 50-year-old Liddell coal-fired power station on the penultimate day of the campaign.
To close in 2023 the power station was the symbol of an era when coal was king, when Labor Premier Neville Wran wanted to turn the Hunter Valley into an Aussie equivalent of Germany's Ruhr Valley.
Germany is successfully transitioning their valley, now its our turn to do the same.
At Liddell, for the birthday celebrations, all the talk was about the site becoming a renewable energy hub there was no mention of fossil fuels.