Councillor column – 18 May 2023
Published on 18 May 2023
Working with our community to deliver outcomes
Hello to all residents, ratepayers, and visitors to the Borough of Queenscliffe on Wadawurrung Country.
Council’s work is always varied, and that’s been particularly evident this past fortnight, with some key documents out for consultation, new federal income streams, and progression of initiatives to keep our community connected.
Leading with the biggest item, our draft 2023/24 budget is now out for consultation. This important document proposes a way for funding delivery of the Council Plan and the expectations of community for the upcoming financial year. The draft has been informed by community consultation and submissions, but ongoing feedback ensures we deliver a budget that delivers outcomes. We encourage all residents and ratepayers to make submissions to ensure we’ve got the balance of proposed projects and initiatives right. Submissions are open until May 25, and can be made in writing, submitted online, or be scheduled to be delivered in person. Learn more about the budget on Council’s website via boq.news/budget.
The Federal Budget was also delivered last week, and it’s great to see that ongoing advocacy from the Australian Local Government Association helped secure $3.1 billion for Financial Assistance Grants. This will be distributed to councils across the country in the coming months. Additionally, $484 million will be added to the Roads to Recovery Program, which supports councils to maintain and build more resilient roads. In a final funding win, the Borough will receive just over $60,000 through Phase 4 of the national Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, to assist in the delivery of a priority community project.
Council has now put the call out for local not-for-profit organisations and community groups to apply for a share of $20,000 of funding through the Borough’s Community Grants Program. The program offers individual grants of up to $2,000 for projects and activities that enhance the wellbeing of Borough residents, promote leadership and civic skills, and support positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes for community. Applications opened on May 1 and will close on June 12. Head online to boq.news/cgp or visit Council at 50 Learmonth Street for full program guidelines and application forms.
On Wednesday the Borough marked IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against LGBTQIA+ discrimination – by raising a rainbow flag at Town Hall. May 17 marks the date on which, in 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases, but sadly, the LGBTQIA+ community still experience disproportionate amounts of discrimination. Raising the rainbow flag signifies that the Borough welcomes everyone, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, or appearance, and stands firmly against discrimination.
On the important issue of inclusion, workshops for the Borough’s Lived Experience Disability Group continued this week. There was a great diversity of experience in the room and a huge amount of expertise in the disability space that will support the group’s ongoing partnership with Council to make our community more accessible. A key output of the group is to develop an updated Disability Action Plan in line with State legislation. The group remains open to those in the community with any experience of disability who wish to contribute, so get in touch if you’re interested.
Council’s next Listening Post will held be at the Queenscliffe Community Market on Sunday 28 May between 11am-12pm. Come down and have a chat to Councillors on issues of importance to you, to learn more about local government, or simply say hi. This is a great opportunity to meet with community in-person across different locations in the Borough, but if you can’t make it, you can always get in touch with Borough of Queenscliffe Councillors via the contact details on our website.
With the weekend almost upon us, I highly recommend checking out the Queenscliffe Literary Festival, with 30+ events running over three weekends. The Borough of Queenscliffe is proud to be the Principal Partner of the festival and we thank all organisers, volunteers, authors, and storytellers for running an event abundant in both wit and wisdom.
In the next column, you’ll hear from our Councillor Ross Ebbels, who holds the Local Economy portfolio.
Until next time,
Mayor Isabelle Tolhurst
Councillor, Borough of Queenscliffe