Mayor's Message - 17 August
I recently attended an online forum held by the Salvation Army – on the increasing numbers of people who are sleeping rough or facing homelessness in Bass Coast. The statistics and stories that I heard during the forum were really sobering and makes the work we are doing at Council around health and wellbeing and social and affordable housing seem even more important, if that was even possible. Circumstances are different for everyone - homelessness is not a choice – there is any number of things that cause it.
We support the work of all of our partner agencies to address homelessness and improve living arrangements for so many in our local community. Council has advocated this very need to all levels of government. The State Government should be acknowledged for their strong commitment in their $5.3 billion Big Housing Build program and it is pleasing to see $25 million committed for Affordable Housing in Bass Coast. Council is developing its Social and Affordable Housing Strategy, which looks into housing provision and support services across the Shire for all residents. Consultation on this project has started with stakeholder discussions and will include a public exhibition of the draft Strategy in the coming months. This will provide the Bass Coast community, including active youth networks, a chance to share their thoughts on this important issue. I encourage our community to get involved.
If you have a deep understanding and interest in the arts and cultural aspects of the Bass Coast community – you might like to consider submitting an Expression of Interest to join our Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. We are looking for up to five new people to join the existing Committee, who have a direct association with the local arts community, who are passionate about the sector and are proud of a community that showcases its arts and encourages participation. A lot is happening with arts and culture in our community. Being part of the Committee is a great way to be involved. All the details, including information on how to apply, can be found at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/acac.
If art isn’t your thing – there are plenty of other community consultation opportunities open at the moment. We are currently seeking your feedback on a number of plans and initiatives, including our Community Vision 2041, Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-25, Healthy Communities Plan and Disability Action Plan, Dinosaurs Trail Masterplan and the Smiths Beach Town Plan. Keep an eye out on our website or Facebook page for more information about how to get involved and help us shape the future of Bass Coast.