Mayor's Message - 29 June
Last week, myself, Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Whelan and CEO Ali Wastie travelled to Canberra to advocate for all things Bass Coast. It was three full days of meetings with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Advisors, Departments and Senators – as well as attending the National General Assembly Conference – a great opportunity to meet with representatives from other Australian councils.
Our mission was to present the opportunities within Bass Coast, highlight the challenges we face as a growing municipality and represent our community’s key priorities and interests. It was an important opportunity to share with Federal Government the impacts of COVID-19 on our community and economy, especially our tourism sector. Council is prepared to continue raising the profile of Bass Coast at all levels of Government and to promote opportunities to help us recover and stimulate the economy. Some highlights of the trip included talking about roads infrastructure with the Department of Infrastructure, catching up with our local member, Russell Broadbent at Parliament House and presenting him with our advocacy plan, to seek support of our priority projects.
We were pleased to speak with Minister Tehan’s advisors regarding tourism, with our Dinosaurs Trail and Tracks and Trails infrastructure sparking quite a bit of interest. It is important that our advocacy projects align with recovery and growth opportunities.
We also presented our Climate Change Action Plan to Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, The Hon Chris Bowen MP and met with Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee, Senator Richard Colbeck and Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino. It was pleasing to see the acknowledgement and interest in Bass Coast and the proposals we are presenting, including Aquatics, Cowes Cultural and Community Centre, Wonthaggi North East, Urban Roads investment, Digital Connectivity and Transport.
Advocacy is a really important part of our role at Bass Coast, and this trip allowed us to put our priority projects right in front of decision makers. Keep an eye out for an updated Advocacy Priorities list that will come before Council in coming months.
Lastly, the school holidays are upon us, and with the timely relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions – it will be great to welcome visitors to our region from near and far. There are some amazing things to see and do in Bass Coast, as well as some incredible places to eat, drink and be merry – so get out there and enjoy!