Council Beat: April 16 2024 ordinary meeting

Council Beat with Ben McArthur

AT an hour-and-a-half, the year’s longest council meeting has possibly already happened.

The meeting began with an acknowledgement from Councillor Marcus McKenzie of the Coastal Ward with a speech about ending violence against women and referencing the attacks in Bondi Junction in New South Wales.

Councillor Carmel Ripper of the Northern ward had a much more light-hearted acknowledgement, thanking the school crossing supervisors at the Guthridge Parade.

Then, Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye talked about going to the recently opened Rosedale Hotel on Friday night and how he was happy that locals decided to restore this old restaurant, which had originally opened in 1858. Cr Bye ordered a chicken parma.

Cr Bye also went to the Rubik’s Cube competition in Sale on Sunday, two weeks ago.

Youth Mayor report

Wellington Shire Youth Mayor Tahlia Schneider provided an update on the youth council’s recent activities and upcoming plans, mentioning the election of the leadership team and the adoption of an action plan focused on youth engagement and wellbeing.

She added that the team successfully organised a colour run event in partnership with the Parks Unit, which had over 250 attendees. They also attended the FReeZA Youth Summit in Melbourne, where they learned about live music production and collaborated with youth volunteers from across the state.

She stated the plans for upcoming events include a social media post for the ANZAC Day services about the date’s importance, organising a community event for Autism Acceptance Month, commemorating Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week, and plans for UPSWING, a youth mental health festival.

VicGrid transmission options

The region could be a massive Victorian region of offshore wind supply, and are considering the optimal infrastructure development plan. Council seeks consultation meetings with the Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, and with VicGrid.

Petition Response- requested sealing of Falls Lane, Bundalaguah.

At the Council meeting on March 19 2024, a petition concerning Falls Lane, Bundalaguah, was received, requesting Wellington Shire Council to seal the road. However, as Falls Lane is within the farming zone and not an Urban Centres or Small and Coastal Townships, it doesn’t qualify for the Residential Road and Street Construction Plan.

Typically, road upgrades in such areas are facilitated through a Special Charge Scheme, where property owners bear the total cost. An estimate to upgrade Falls Lane stands at approximately $1.3 million without factoring in significant upgrades to the rail crossing or highway intersection.

Council has no plans to upgrade Falls Lane as part of its capital works program.

One of the petition signatures, Ken Bailey, spoke in front of the Council, restating the importance and use of the mixed-use road and requesting the council to come back to the topic once funding becomes more available.

Report submissions

As per the Local Government Act 2020, the Wellington Shire Council was required to receive both an Audit & Risk Committee Summary report and a Quarterly Finance Report. More information is available on the website in the Wellington Shire Council Meetings section.