Kurri Kurri Community Events

Kurri Kurri is a significant town in the electorate of Cessnock, and the home of the Giant Kookaburra.

Mr Troy Grant: And the Bulldogs.

Mr CLAYTON BARR: And the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs. I will get to them. September is Mural Month in Kurri Kurri. When people think about projects that attract visitors and tourists to our area murals are probably not at the top of the list, but they have been a windfall for Kurri Kurri. More than 50 murals are painted on the walls of various buildings, shops and premises in Kurri Kurri. Every day up to a dozen buses carry 50 people at a time around the town to see the murals. The murals are designed to capture the history, heritage and culture of our area. One of the most notable and significant murals is painted on the Chelmsford Hotel at the top of the hill and, unfortunately, it looks like Mr Potato Head.

Mr Troy Grant: Did you pose for that one?

ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Gareth Ward): Order! While I could ask the member for Dubbo to withdraw his remark, I will not do so as I want it to be recorded in Hansard.

Mr CLAYTON BARR: I kept quiet because I did not want it in Hansard. Of course it depicts mining. Another mural depicts Rover Motors Coaches. It is a great family industry that has been in the area for more than 100 years. There is also a magnificent World War I tribute on the side of the workers club. Art in the Park is the theme of this year’s Mural Month in Kurri Kurri. On 14 September at Rotary Park families and children can take part in different activities to help celebrate Mural Month. There will be art workshops, craft activities, a blackboard snake where kids can produce their own chalk masterpieces, as well as community markets where local crafts and fresh produce will be on sale. There will free entertainment and a host of other activities.

The most recent mural to be unveiled is located on the corner of Lang and Merthyr streets and is a collaboration between Cessnock artist Sandii Walker and the children of Kurri Kurri Preschool. Sandii acknowledges that she sketched the outline of the work, but says very graciously that it was the children who did most of the painting. We thank Sandii for her work. Although September is Mural Month in Kurri Kurri, we should not overlook the fact that the Billy Cart Derby will be held in Kurri Kurri on 26 October. The inaugural Billy Cart Derby was held last year. In the match race between the State member of Parliament and the Mayor of Cessnock the winner was of course the State member of Parliament.

Mr Troy Grant: Mr Potato Head.

Mr CLAYTON BARR: Mr Potato Head himself. I am looking forward to the rematch. When given the opportunity to build my own billy cart, I was keen and all gung-ho and looking forward to the derby. But after being made aware of the rule that the billy cart had to have brakes, I immediately withdrew my support for the event. However, I will be available to drive a cart on the day. The Billy Cart Derby is another sign of a community that has an outstanding feel for civic responsibility, bringing people together and mixing generations to build a sense of pride in who we are and what the community has to offer.

The Billy Cart Derby will be the highlight of the Kurri Community Festival on 26 October. The carts will race down Hamden Street, reaching speeds of up to 600 kilometres, 500 kilometres, 50 kilometres or even five kilometres an hour. Hamden Street will be closed for five hours for the race. Last year there were only 29 competitors in the inaugural event, but this year we are hoping to triple that number. Immediately after the Billy Cart Derby the festivities will continue at the Kurri Kurri sportsground, where there will be other events, music and stalls, including the ABBA tribute act. I pay tribute to the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs. Two weeks ago they knocked the Cessnock Goannas out from the real National Rugby League, which was a sad and unfortunate day. But it is onwards and upwards for the Kurri Bulldogs. They won their match last weekend and this weekend will play against the dirty, stinking South Newcastle team for a chance to go to the grand final and play dirty, stinking West Newcastle.

Mr Troy Grant: Go the Rosellas!

Mr CLAYTON BARR: Go the Bulldogs and go Kurri Kurri—a great community.