Mayor's Message - 28 September
As Mayor of Bass Coast Shire, I am also lucky enough to be involved in several advocacy groups that work together to benefit a group of local councils, including the Peri Urban Group of Rural Councils, where I am currently the Chair. As part of this role, I recently attended a meeting with the Victorian Planning Authority’s Regional Victoria Strategic Reference Group. It was great to get the opportunity to discuss and plan for regional growth. With our population in Bass Coast expected to increase by nearly 30 per cent over the next 15 years, it is important that Bass Coast is well represented in these sorts of discussions.
Speaking of representing Bass Coast, I also attended a OneGippsland event recently, to hear from guest presenter, CEO of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) Karen Cain, who spoke to us about the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Gippsland. Smart Specialisation is a place based approach to innovation and sustainable regional development, which aims to help boost growth and employment by helping Gippsland to identify and develop region-specific products and services. It is a really wonderful project, so I look forward to working with the LVA on some Smart Specialisation Strategies for Bass Coast in the future.
In other news, it was great to see that more than 85 per cent of eligible people over 15 have received their first does of the COVID-19 vaccine in Bass Coast, with over 56 per cent now fully vaccinated. What a milestone to reach! There is still a way to go though, to get that second dose number up above 80 per cent. Let’s keep rolling up our sleeves and help our state move forward, towards life beyond COVID-19.
We have had some positive COVID-19 cases in Bass Coast recently, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank not only our local health workers, but also our community for their response following the announcement. Our local testing facilities are like well-oiled machines, with friendly and compassionate staff, who get the lines of people through the testing process as quickly and painlessly as possible. I also want to say a big well done to everyone in our community who responded by getting tested. We all know it’s not the most pleasant experience, but it’s such a necessary precaution to take. Keep it up Bass Coast.