Mayor's Column – 19 May 2022
Published on 19 May 2022
Hello to all residents, ratepayers and visitors to the Borough of Queenscliffe. It’s been another busy week at Council – raising the rainbow flag for the first time, presenting our draft budget to a live audience, and continuing our community grants program. I even got to sit on the judging panel for a competition searching for a collective noun for a group of lighthouses! And what was that winning word? “Relief”. A fitting term for the comfort and shelter that lighthouses provide in our treacherous seas.
Raising the flag for IDAHOBIT
On Tuesday, the Borough reinforced its commitment to diversity and inclusion by raising the rainbow flag outside Council offices in a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community. The flag-raising ceremony was held to commemorate IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia, which is recognised each yearh on May 17.
I am extremely proud to be the first Mayor of Queenscliffe to raise the rainbow flag. It’s a visible reminder that the Borough welcomes everyone, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity or appearance. We take our motto as a ‘safe haven’ seriously – no one should feel threatened or excluded, here or anywhere else.
As you may know, one of the key priorities in our 2021–2025 Council Plan, which we developed in collaboration with the Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale community, specifically calls for the promotion of diversity and gender equality. So much of our decision-making and operational activity at Council is now framed through that lens, which also ties in to our ten-year Community Vision pillar of encouraging an inclusive and engaged community.
It’s clear that the community cares just as much about making the Borough welcome to all as we do at Council, and I’m excited for this to be the first of many initiatives in which we champion and celebrate our local LGBTQIA+ community.
Community grants are now open
Council has put the call out for local non-profits and community groups to apply for up to $20,000 of grant funding as part of the Borough’s annual Community Grants Program.
After a forced hiatus due to the pandemic, we welcomed back the program in 2021–22 and distributed funding to 13 successful applicants. Now we’re ready to do it all again! The program offers individual grants of up to $2,000 for projects and activities that enhance the wellbeing of Borough residents.
This year, the assessment guidelines also promote projects that support the objectives of our Climate Emergency Response Plan. We’re encouraging organisations to make submissions that highlight protecting our environment and addressing climate change issues.
From itemising costings to identifying community needs, the Community Grants Program empowers organisations to be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Council’s reference group, who assess and recommend projects to Council, is looking forward to receiving applications with clear objectives and achievable outcomes that benefit the whole of the Borough.
Applications opened on May 2 and close on June 12, with successful applicants notified in mid-August ahead of a presentation ceremony. Visit boq.news/cgp for full program guidelines and to start your application.
Watch back our draft budget presentation
The budget is one of Council’s most important documents. It’s prepared annually, not just as a financial document but as a reflection of our goals and priorities for the year ahead. This year’s draft budget and draft financial plan were endorsed for public exhibition at the April 2022 Ordinary Meeting of Council, and as part of that process, we held a presentation night in the Town Hall last week to explain the intricacies of the budget in greater detail.
It’s a credit to Council’s finance team that both the budget and the presentation contained a significant amount of numbers and data which was then able to be interpreted in an easy-to-understand manner. If you’d like to view the presentation, you can watch back the video online by visiting boq.news/budget. While you’re there, you can read the draft documents and make a submission.
Approaching the halfway point of the Literary Festival
Week one of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival is in the books, headlined by Matt Preston’s sold-out ‘World of Flavour’ luncheon which took place last Friday to an eager crowd. With two weekends still to come, there are plenty of shows worth checking out. The Borough of Queenscliffe is proud to be the Principal Partner of the festival and we congratulate the organisers on what is again proving to be a wonderful drawcard for the region.
To purchase tickets, visit boq.news/qlf.
As always, if you have anything you’d like to discuss with me about the Borough, drop me a line via the contact details on Council’s website.
Cr Ross Ebbels
Mayor, Borough of Queenscliffe