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Mayor's Message - 24 January

Mayor's Message - 24 January

Monday 24 January 2022

We have much to be proud of in Bass Coast, including a bright future for our students. I recently had the privilege to speak with the Regional Skills Committee for Gippsland. The Committee is another avenue for Council to build on our relationship with Bass Coast Country University Centre and other universities that our students may wish to study at. Nowadays, the pathways through education that exist offer so many more options for our younger generations, including studying locally and not needing to relocate to Melbourne or elsewhere, away from family and friends.

It’s always heartening to see Bass Coast elevated to the national or world stage and we just had both! The New York Times just ranked Phillip Island’s Penguin Parade 24th out of 52 places in the world to visit. Our pre-pandemic international visitors numbered around 64,000 per year, so this welcome spotlight will put our region on travel itineraries as global tourism options open up. The article gained a lot of attention in the Australian media too, so we’ll have domestic travellers circling us on their maps as a ‘must see’.

Another spotlight shone on Bass Coast with one of our local dinosaurs being voted as Victoria’s new State Fossil Emblem. A fossilised jawbone of Koolasuchas cleelandi was discovered in 1990 in San Remo by fossil collector, educator and Bass Coast local Michael Cleeland, with Melbourne Museum research associate Lesley Kool, spending months preparing the specimens. It is great recognition for Mike and Lesley as well as a boost for the proposed Bass Coast Dinosaur Trail, which will showcase our spectacular coastline and help our visitor economy.

We also have amazing people in our community to be proud of and celebrate. The 2022 Bass Coast Citizen of the Year was announced last week, with Carol Blair from San Remo as the winner. It has to be said that Carol’s passion to make a difference to her community shows through her many hours of volunteer work across multiple community organisations. The field of nominees also highlighted the contributions of others in the community, including Michael Cannata from Dalyston, John Eddy from Ventnor, Klaus Edel from Inverloch, Maddy Harford from West Creek, Amy Jones from North Wonthaggi, Lija Matthews from Wimbledon Heights, Liz Purvis from Wonthaggi and Graeme Sprague from Kilcunda. I congratulate and thank Carol and all the nominees for their outstanding efforts.

Cr Michael Whelan