In November 2017 and March 2018 we hosted 170 guests at two Seat at the Table community dinners in Muswellbrook & Singleton. The dinners, inspired by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, brought local people together to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the Hunter Valley.'
Over a delicious three course meal of locally produced ingredients we discussed and recorded ideas about:
- What a healthy and prosperous future for the hunter looks like
- What an inclusive and equitable plan for the future includes
- What the role of govt, industry & community should be in planning for the future
We collated and sorted over 1000 comments from the two dinners into common threads for further conversation and development into a vision. This gave us a basis to start engaging more deeply with key stakeholders and decision makers about the idea that we need a long-term plan.
Our shared vision
~ we want to protect and promote our natural environment, our lifestyles and community connections. Preservation of agricultural lands and growth of agricultural industries is important to us.
~we need job creation and security through investment in non-mining industries, an urgent transition to renewable energy production, rehabilitation of mining lands, and increased tourism ventures. We require subsidised training and more education opportunities, small business incentives and supports so that we can stay in the region and grow stronger communities.
~ we know that the best way forward is through robust and committed political leadership and a dedicated coordination authority to plan for the transition to a future beyond coal. And most importantly, the process must involve meaningful community engagement and empowerment.