Mayor's Column – 5 May 2022
Published on 05 May 2022
Hello to all residents, ratepayers and visitors to the Borough of Queenscliffe. It’s been a busy week at Council with the release of our draft budget and draft financial plan, which were both presented for public exhibition at April’s Ordinary Meeting of Council – the first for our newest colleague, Cr Isabelle Tolhurst. With festivals and events happening everywhere you look, the Borough is still the place to be as we enter the cooler months.
Budget delivers on Council Plan
It’s budget time, and I’m so pleased that Council has endorsed a draft budget for consultation that includes substantial investment in key priorities of our Council Plan. From supporting community wellbeing, to protecting our environment, to promoting the Borough’s rich heritage, this is a budget that delivers on some of the key initiatives residents told us matter to them.
Our Council Plan identifies a need to create an active and accessible community, and this year’s budget funds $350,000 in improvement works for public toilets in the Borough. The new and upgraded facilities are expected to make public spaces more accessible to families and older residents, as well as those with disabilities.
The budget also responds to key environmental and climate change priorities identified in the Council Plan, with more than $60,000 of funding being directed to energy efficiency capital works and audit programs. $40,000 of funding will also help the Borough and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners achieve Council Plan objectives to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan and install new Wadawurrung historical signage throughout the Borough.
I want to thank everyone in our community who took part in consultation to develop the Council Plan – your ideas and advice have helped us create a budget that reflects your priorities.
If you’d like to learn more about the inclusions in this year’s budget, we’ll be holding a draft budget presentation at 6:30pm on 11 May in the Queenscliff Town Hall, and you can also make a submission online. More information is available at queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/budget.
Remembering our troops
The Anzac Day dawn service is always a solemn yet reflective occasion and last month’s ceremony at the Ocean View car park was no exception. The Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale RSL continue to put on a tremendously professional morning of understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices that our fallen soldiers made all those years ago. It was a privilege to play a small part in this as Mayor.
If you have never been to a service, I highly recommend you make next year your first. Whether it is the dawn service, the Fort Queenscliff service, or you simply watch the procession through town, it’s important to pay your respects to those that have helped make this country what it is today. My fellow Councillors and I were honoured to attend these services.
Give back to the community via a new reference group
Expressions of interest are closing very soon for Council’s Community Grants Community Reference Group, and you can take part! The Reference Group is a collection of local citizens who help decide the recipients for the Borough's Community Grants Program. No previous board experience is required, and there’s only one meeting a year – an ideal chance to give back to your community by helping assess some grant applications. Expressions of interest close this Sunday 8 May, so jump onto boq.news/cgp today and open the ‘Join the reference group’ slider.
Festival season rolls on in the Borough
It seems like just about every weekend there’s a major event happening in the Borough, and how good is it to have so many visitors back enjoying our twin towns for all their beauty. I had the honour of speaking at the launch of the 2022 Sacrededge Festival last Friday night. I’m so glad that there is an outlet for these ‘outsider’ voices to have their stories amplified to the masses, and to have that opportunity in our own backyard is just wonderful.
The Queenscliffe Literary Festival is also not far away and will be bringing its own host of voices to Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale over three weekends this month. You might have seen my book recommendation on Council’s Facebook page, which I discovered thanks to attending one of the festival’s shows – you never know what you might find! Tickets are still available at queenscliffeliteraryfestival.com.au.
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