Mayor's Message - 18 August
It’s been another productive week for Council with a big focus on advocacy, both in response of the impacts from the pandemic and to progress key opportunities and priorities for the benefit of our community.
Although our regular face-to-face meetings are still off the table at the moment, we’re continuing to meet virtually or via phone with State and Federal representatives and our community. This allows us to keep Bass Coast front of mind with government and raise important opportunities that can not only help our municipality recover from the impacts of COVID-19, but to prosper into the future.
Last week officers and I met with our Federal Member, Russell Broadbent and a representative from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, to continue discussions on the development of Wonthaggi as a Regional Centre. Council has made significant investment in planning for the future of Wonthaggi and with our region’s economy impacted by COVID-19, now is the time to seek support from other levels of government to see those plans come to fruition. We continue to talk to all levels of government about how they can support us by providing much needed funding support towards key projects like the Wonthaggi North East Precinct Development that will stimulate our local economy and keep jobs in our area.
Over the last few months, one area of particular interest has been the future of the Holden Proving Ground and our need to preserve this important site and its significant vegetation and environmental value. We are fortunate to be partnering with some of the most passionate people from across our community to raise awareness of the site’s significance. We have and will continue to meet with our community and represent their concerns to State and Federal Government to make sure this important site is protected.
To add some further weight to Bass Coast’s representation for the region, I was very pleased to be elected as Chair of the Peri-Urban Group of Rural Councils (PUGRC) last week.
The PUGRC is made up of Baw Baw, Moorabool, Surf Coast, Golden Plains and Bass Coast Shires. All of these councils are on the fringe of metropolitan Melbourne and have similarities in terms of population growth, infrastructure needs and tourism assets. I look forward to leading this group as we work together to advocate on shared issues to state and federal governments and apply for funding opportunities through programs such as the Growing Suburbs Fund.
As always, please keep looking out for each other and checking in on your friends, family and neighbours even if you can’t see them right now, staying connected has never been more important.