Mayor's Message - 23 March
Myself and CEO Ali Wastie travelled to Canberra last week, representing OneGippsland. We were joined by Gippsland Food and Fibre’s Nicola Pero and together we met a number of senior cabinet Ministers and MPs to advocate for Gippsland. Meetings were held with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communication and Local Government Mark Coulton, Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and Member for Monash Russell Broadbent. On the agenda was to discuss OneGippsland’s key messages and top advocacy priorities.
We spoke at length about Gippsland’s applications for funding for the Building Better Regions Fund - for Bass Coast, this is the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre. We also spoke to several Ministers and advisors about the need for better Broadband and to address the 495 mobile blackspots that have been identified across Gippsland. CEO of Destination Gippsland Terry Robinson dialled in to talk to the Minister for Tourism’s advisor on further tourism related funding opportunities across Gippsland. Specific to Bass Coast was the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre and the Dinosaur Trail. While emails, phone calls and online meetings are the easier, faster ways to state our case, there’s nothing like meeting with someone face-to-face and making the effort to show how passionate we are about our region. This has worked for us in the past and we hope this will continue into the future.
While in Canberra, we also received some wonderful feedback from the senior advisor to the Minister for Education about our Bass Coast University Application. He said that he and his team all thought it was the highest-calibre application that they had received for a country university.
In some more excellent news for Bass Coast, our application to the State Government’s second round of the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package has been successful and we have secured an additional $200,000 in funding, to allow us to continue to support local hospitality businesses. We received $250,000 through the first round of this program in late 2020. The impact that COVID-19 has had our hospitality industry is still being felt, so we would like to thank the State Government for their continued support and their commitment to helping the Victorian economy recover from the pandemic.