Published on 06 February 2024
It’s hard to believe that we’re in February already, with the first Council meeting for the year coming up on Tuesday 20 February at 6.30pm.
I’m looking forward to the coming months, which will be the last term for this current Council ahead of local government elections in October.
If you’re considering standing for Council, you can find information on the Local Government Victoria website, and we will share updates over the coming months as it becomes available.
It’s such a rewarding role – one that gives you an opportunity to advocate for your community, which is the reason I stood to become a Councillor in 2020.
There’s still plenty that I know our current Council wants to achieve before the local government elections later this year, and as always, they’ll be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved by having your say.
In December last year at the final Council meeting for 2023, Councillors unanimously agreed on a proposal to allocate leases on two parcels of Council land in Maldon and Newstead for the purposes of affordable housing.
Under the plan, Council will lease land at 10 Steele Street, Maldon and 2A Canrobert Street, Newstead to Wintringham Housing to build and provide long-term, affordable rental housing for older shire residents on the Victorian Housing Register’s priority waitlist.
I’m really proud of our Council for making this decision, and for the support this received amongst many people in our community.
Finding ways to increase affordable housing is one of my ambitions as a Councillor, and I’m pleased that this is another avenue we are exploring to make this happen.
This is just the start of the process, and we’ll be continuing to update our community as this project develops so keep an eye out on Council’s website for updates.
Supporting businesses and identifying areas for economic growth is another area of interest for me.
Right now, we’re doing some development work which will inform our new Economic Development Strategy for the shire.
We’re asking people to provide feedback on what an ideal economy looks like for you, considering both paid and unpaid work.
We’ve held workshops and interviews with specific groups already, including members of our business community, and are now encouraging the wider community to get involved.
To participate, visit www.shape.mountalexander.vic.gov.au, which is our community engagement website, and have your say. We also have hardcopy surveys available at the Civic Centre in Castlemaine.
In closing, I had the pleasure of attending the recent Australia Day – Survival Day community event, where we welcomed six new Australian citizens to our shire.
We also acknowledged some incredible people during our Australia Day Award ceremony, and enjoyed some fantastic live music as part of our Survival Day concert, which was programmed by Dja Dja Wurrung Elder, Uncle Rick Nelson.
Each year, the concert just gets bigger and better, with more people attending and telling us how much they love being part of the day, so that’s great to hear.
We’re so lucky to have people in our community who give generously, and who work hard to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Well done!
Mayor Matthew Driscoll
Mount Alexander Shire Council
Image: Mayor Driscoll and baby koala at Jirrahlinga Dingo Conservation & Wildlife Education Centre.