Mayor's Column – 18 November 2022

Published on 18 November 2022

Cr Ross Ebbels headshot

Hello to all residents, ratepayers and visitors to the Borough of Queenscliffe.

This week’s column marks the last time I will be speaking to you as the Mayor of Queenscliffe. It’s been a busy three years, marked by a time of global unpredictability, yet highlighted by some truly remarkable achievements at Council. After this amount of time in the role, I now feel it is time to hand over the reins of Mayor to a new face – one of my fellow Councillors, each of whom are in their first term on Council. I know the new Mayor will continue to lead Council with dignity and respect and continue the great work that we as a group have achieved over the last three years.

I have always considered the position of Mayor to be one that I have honoured. We have completed a lot over the past three years, including the new Wirrng Wirrng (Queenscliffe Hub), work on the P1 huts, new amenities at the Queenscliff Recreation Reserve and numerous small but important road safety initiatives. I am also proud of the progress we have made in building the relationship with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners.

But never did I think that after a few months in the role we would be hit with a global pandemic that forced us to reconsider every aspect of our daily lives. I commend the compassion, teamwork and dedication of our local community for keeping our most vulnerable safe. Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale became a model of achievement across the country with our high vaccination uptake and respect for the rules and regulations.

I would like to thank my fellow Councillors from both my previous term and also this term of Council. Of course, it was very sad to lose my long-time friend and Councillor Susan Salter to illness earlier this year. Her passion for serving the community was no more evident than during the moving speech she gave in December 2019 at the Ordinary Meeting where we declared a climate emergency, as she spoke about the need to protect future generations of the Borough from a changing climate. That declaration, which occurred in my first month as Mayor, was followed up in May 2021 with the release of our award-winning Climate Emergency Response Plan, and I certainly consider both those achievements as some of the biggest highlights during my time as Mayor.

Another achievement I am proud of is the decision Council made in April 2021 to continue the delivery of home care services in the Borough, in light of consultant reports and advice from the federal government of the day. It was the sheer groundswell of support from our aged community that highlighted it was in our best interests to continue providing these valued services to our grateful clients.

Thank you to our CEO, Martin Gill, and to all the staff at the Borough who make us all look good. For such a small Council to keep doing what we do with little resourcing, and to still be debt-free and in surplus, certainly shows the strength of the organisation.

But most importantly, I have been fortunate enough over the past three years to be continually amazed with the resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and what an amazing community we have. I am repeatedly blown away by how generous you all are. When meeting people on the street and they thank you for the hard work, which at times you think goes unseen, it reminds you of the compassion of our townspeople.

I wish the next Mayor all the best and you will have my full support.

Best wishes,

Cr Ross Ebbels
Mayor, Borough of Queenscliffe

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