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Mayor's Message - 23 November

Mayor's Message - 23 November

Tuesday 23 November 2021
Cr Michael Whelan

I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for giving me an opportunity to lead this Council. I am proud that Bass Coast has been a leader for some time and am sure that we will continue to go from strength to strength over the coming years. I commend outgoing Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, for the excellent leadership he has given to the Bass Coast Council and community and more broadly across Gippsland and the Peri Urban area over the past three years. I would also like to congratulate Cr Leticia Laing, who has been elected as Deputy Mayor for this term.

Bass Coast is a diverse area – encompassing hill country, the waterline area, the Bunurong coast and Phillip Island. We are farmers, volunteers, small business and tourism operators, musicians, sportspeople and carers. We work in and love this area. I like to get things done, but I recognise that in Council you can only do that with the support of your fellow Councillors. Together we can do well.

We are in in an election phase with the Federal election due by May and the State election in November next year. The required focus is clear; advocacy efforts are constant for local government, but must be ratcheted up at this time.

There are some key areas that I am keen to see pursued as part of our ongoing advocacy efforts and in particular, in the lead up to the coming elections. Our strategic positioning for both the Bass Coast and Phillip Island aquatic centres is strong and we have not been this well prepared before. There is strong support in our community to develop a regional gallery, which is another project I am keen to see move forward. Bass Coast is crumbling at the edges from coastal erosion, it is beyond the resources of local government to deal with. Strong support is required from both the State or Federal governments.

Climate change adaptation requires that we become more resilient communities. Projects such as the big battery initiative with Mondo could lead to more innovation with micro grids servicing more local refuges and create more safe places for people to go during disasters and provide lessons to apply across the Shire.

I am really looking forward to the next 12 months, working with the community and my fellow Councillors to make the most of the opportunities that come our way.