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Mayor's Message - 1 February

Mayor's Message - 1 February

Tuesday 1 February 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

Congratulations to Inverloch’s Kerrie Beauglehall, who received an Order of Australia Medal for her outstanding contribution to the community in this year’s Australia Day honours. Kerrie was recognised for 25 years of dedication and hard work raising funds for the Inverloch Diabetic Auxiliary, for the Royal Children’s Hospital. To date, with the support of the Inverloch community, Kerrie has raised just over $950,000. What an amazing effort and her recognition is very well deserved.

It was really exciting to turn the first sod for the Cowes Cultural and Community centre and Wonthaggi’s Guide Park redevelopment together with Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale MP last Thursday.

The Cultural Centre redevelopment will create a wonderful asset for the Bass Coast community, located in the heart of Cowes. The 14-month construction program will generate 69 jobs and once built, 30 ongoing jobs and provide $51.8 million in economic benefit over the life of the project. The $27.2 million project has received funding support the State Government, including $2.5 million from the Growing Suburbs Fund, $800,000 from the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program and a $10 million loan from the Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme, as well as $5 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Program.

The Guide Park redevelopment is a really exciting project for not only Wonthaggi, but the whole of Bass Coast. We are creating regional scale playspace catering for all ages and abilities, with a design that reflects Bass Coast’s coal mining history and amazing natural environment. It will include a unique mining themed tower, an accessible carousel, double flying fox, creek bed, nature based play and a trampoline. This wonderful community project has been made possible with support from the State Government, with grants of $700,000 through the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund and $350,000 from the Growing Suburbs Fund.

Also announced last Thursday was $3 million from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund for a new 14 kilometre walking and cycling trail between Inverloch and Wonthaggi. Council has allocated $4.7 million to the project. The trail will follow unused road reserves throughout farmland and take in spectacular coastal and rural views and will also link into the Bass Coast Rail Trail at Wonthaggi forming a 57km continuous trail through to Cowes. The project has been one of Council’s top advocacy priorities so this funding announcement is excellent news as it will provide fantastic economic, social and recreational outcomes for residents and visitors to Bass Coast. We expect this project to get underway in 2023.