Mayor's Message - 5 July
We held a presentation afternoon for our 2022 Round 1 Community Grants recipients last Thursday and it was great to catch up with some of the successful groups, to find out what their grant has helped them to achieve. Our Community Grants program provides an excellent opportunity for local groups, organisations and clubs to access funding for projects, equipment, events or climate action across two rounds each year. In round one this year, we distributed more than $104,000 to 32 community groups. For more information about the Program, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/grants.
I was honoured to attend the Wonthaggi Fire Brigade’s annual dinner recently, particularly as it was the first one in two years – which meant there was a number of service awards to be presented. These awards are presented for every five years of service, with a total of 540 years of service been awarded on the night. As we all know, the CFA relies on the generosity of volunteers - who not only service the community by responding to emergencies, but who also work tirelessly behind the scenes. I would like to pass on a huge thank you to all members of the Brigade, past and present, you are all such a wonderful asset to our community.
While we were in Canberra a few weeks ago, we were able to meet with Senator and Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Murray Watt. The Emergency Response Fund Act 2019 came into effect in December 2019 and it allows the Australian Government to draw up to $200 million in any given year to fund natural disaster emergency response, recovery and preparedness. Natural disasters currently cost the Australian economy $38 billion per year and that is expected to the increase to $73 billion per year by 2060. This means that it is really important that an appropriate portion of this funding is allocated to preparation - we need to start looking at climate change through a natural disaster lens. As the population of our municipality grows, so too do the risk and consequences of natural disaster impacts on the community. These past few years have made it only too clear that the reality of climate change will inevitably lead to an increase in both the frequency and intensity, as well as the consequences of natural disasters. It was great to start the conversation with Senator Watt around this, and I look forward to continuing it in the future.