Mayor's Message - 3 March
The first sitting of the Local Government Mayoral Advisory Panel was held last week – it was great to meet the other 14 Mayors on the Panel and Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek, and to get a feel for what the Panel will be able to achieve over the next eight months. As a group, we took the opportunity to discuss Local Government issues, in particular the reforms that are coming as part of the Local Government Act Review, the effects of Coronavirus on our tourism economy, at both Local and State level and recovery after the fires, in directly and indirectly impacted areas. Also on the Panel’s agenda is homelessness and affordable housing, waste and recycling, the climate emergency and erosion, all things that are affecting our Shire. I welcome the opportunity to put views and concerns forward on behalf of Bass Coast as a member of the Panel and I anticipate that our input will have a meaningful impact going forward.
I spent a few days in Bairnsdale last week for the Gippsland Local Government Network meeting. It was a fantastic opportunity to support the East Gippsland Shire by holding the meeting there, after their region was ravaged by fires over most of summer. It is so important that we support our neighbours as they now attempt to recover from the impacts of this devastation, which will linger long after the fires are extinguished. Consider keeping your next holiday local, there are some incredible places to visit in the east of the state, and I know they would love to see you!
The bikes were back at Phillip Island over the weekend, with the Superbike World Championships kicking off its 2020 competition with Round One at our world class circuit. It is always a thrill to see these incredible riders taking on the demands of the Phillip Island track with so much skill. It was also great to see the Island buzzing with people since the recent bushfires and the impacts of the Coronavirus have seen a marked reduction in tourism and visitation to the Island.
I attended the opening of local artist John Mutsaers’ exhibition ‘The Infinite Birdcage’ at ArtSpace Wonthaggi recently. It was one of the biggest openings I have ever been to, definitely standing room only! The exhibition asks us to question the notion of human freedom and I must say, it is very thought provoking. You can check it out for yourself until 29 March. ArtSpace Wonthaggi shows wonderful exhibitions year round, celebrating artists from Bass Coast and the wider Gippsland area. It is located at the Centennial Centre, on Bent Street in Wonthaggi.