Taking Bass Coast to the City
Earlier this month, Bass Coast Shire Councillors and selected staff visited Melbourne Town Hall for a day of collaboration and sharing with councillors and staff from City of Melbourne.
Despite the obvious major differences between metropolitan and regional councils (City of Melbourne's budget is seven times bigger than that of Bass Coast), there were many synergies and relatable stories to share.
Presentation topics included: Homelessness, Social Inclusion, Precinct Planning, Urban Forest, Waste Management, Communications, Innovation and alternative funding opportunities.
Cr Pamela Rothfield presented Bass Coast's experience in introducing kerbside organic waste collection. As they are about to begin a similar transition, City of Melbourne were eager to hear about Bass Coast's education campaign and the exceptionally high level of waste diverted from landfill that our community has achieved.
A highlight was a presentation on homelessness by Major Brendan Nottle of the Salvation Army. Major Nottle explained about the many services they provide including the lighthouse cafe where rough sleepers can seek refuge and a hot drink, a choir who come together weekly, and the Magpie Nest program, a partnership with Collingwood Football Club.
A presentation on City of Melbourne's Urban Tree Strategy explained how Council plan to increase Melbourne's tree canopy with species resilient and appropriate to future climate trends. Tree canopies play a large role in providing shade and cooling the city, as well as improving the amenity and landscape, and offsetting carbon emissions.
Delegates from Bass Coast were also very interested to hear about social inclusion at the City of Melbourne from a member of their Pride Network. Through internal conversations and policy development, City of Melbourne is working towards a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, explained how Council gained a lot of great insight through City of Melbourne's learnings.
"It was great to hear first-hand about innovative practices, challenges and some really impressive strategic work that City of Melbourne are doing," Cr Tessari said.
"While our townships have nothing on the size of Melbourne, we can still apply similar principals towards a strategic, sustainable and social approach."
Bass Coast Shire Council are committed to learning and improving through collaboration and partnerships and sharing with other Councils is a great way to learn and be inspired by the work that others a doing in similar areas.