In a shock move, Melanie Dagg has severed ties with Cessnock City Council.
The two-term former Deputy Mayor, who represented Labor against Nationals incumbent Michael Johnsen for the seat of Upper Hunter at the last state election, tendered her resignation from civic office to general manager Lotta Jackson earlier this week.
And, in a stunning twist, her opponent on that occasion, Mr Johnsen, officially quit his position with the NSW Government overnight after he identified himself as the politician accused of sexually assaulting a sex worker. He has denied the allegations.
Ms Dagg was first elected in 2016, on behalf of Ward C, and served almost five years.
She said it was a difficult decision and thanked the Cessnock community for the opportunity to represent them.
“I’d like to thank the people of Cessnock for their trust and confidence, which has allowed me to serve them with dedication and commitment over this time,” Ms Dagg stated.
“With increasingly demanding work, family and study commitments, after nearly five years as a councillor and two terms as Deputy Mayor, I believe the time is now right for me to step aside, knowing my ward and the broader community are in safe and competent hands.”
Cessnock City mayor Bob Pynsent expressed his appreciation for Ms Dagg’s professionalism and tenacity during her term.
He made special reference to her tenure as Deputy Mayor.
“On behalf of the Cessnock community and my fellow councillors, I thank Melanie for her hard work and dedication,” Cr Pynsent said.
“She always demonstrated such great commitment and genuine love for the wider Cessnock community.
“Melanie did a fantastic job of undertaking mayoral activities during her two terms as Deputy Mayor.
“I had great confidence in her and was always proud to have her represent me.
“From the Branxton-Greta Memorial Cycleway and development of the Miller Park and Greta Oval Masterplans to her creating the Maree Callaghan – Young Female Achiever Award, Melanie has been instrumental to so many fantastic projects over the past four years.
“I wish her great success.”
Ms Dagg also represented council on a number of boards and committees including the Association of Mining and Energy Related Councils, the Hunter Water Consultative Committee, the Mine Subsidence Board and the Cultural Facilities Committee.