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Mayor's Message - 24 May

Mayor's Message - 24 May

Tuesday 24 May 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

The Federal Election results are in! We will be heading to Canberra next month to advocate to the new Federal Government for funding for priority projects in climate change, infrastructure, education, aged care and tourism. Bass Coast has a lot in common with the new Government; we both want to be leaders when it comes to environment sustainability, fighting climate change and gender equality, so we welcome the opportunity to work closely together throughout the next three years.

Our fast-growing population means there is an urgent need for extra federal funding assistance for infrastructure projects, such as sealing urban roads and roundabouts at three key intersections in Wonthaggi to facilitate development. We will also work hard to convince the new Government of the need for two new pools, enhanced digital connectivity and job-producing tourism projects such as the Dinosaurs Trail. Residential aged care requires more than 300 extra beds to cater for the aging population, and we would like to see ongoing funding for the Country Universities Centre Bass Coast, which has been a huge success in educating local young people, particularly female students.

The continuing emergence of promising young leaders in our local community was highlighted by the efforts of Phillip Island teenager Joey Thompson recently. Joey organised a School Strike for Climate and came together with his fellow students to call on Governments to do more to combat climate change, to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for the next generations. The protesters took to the Cowes footpath with chalk, to make their feelings about climate action known to the community – with slogans like ‘solution not pollution’ and ‘we are the future – give us a chance’. The student strikers are calling on political leaders to commit to net zero emissions by 2030, which is something Council is fully supporting through our strong Climate Change Action Plan. We are already using 100% renewable energy through the Victorian Energy Collaboration, a program that will see greenhouse emissions reduced by 260,000 tonnes every year, and we have started to convert our vehicle fleet to electric. Action on Climate Change imperative, so it is very inspiring to see school students taking such a visible stand against something that they feel so passionately about.