Lesley Hewitt

I am writing this report having just woken up to the news that the Queen has died and that we now have a new King, Charles III. For me, there are very complicated feelings: Sadness that she has died and sadness that someone who embodied stability and consistency in a world that is constantly throwing up challenges has gone. Respect for, and acknowledgement of the work that she has done over seventy years as Queen – such a long period of public service. Acknowledgement of her humour – I loved her skit with Paddington Bear for her Platinum Jubilee and the one with James Bond for the London Olympics. Memories coming back of the pledge that those of us who were at primary school in the sixties or before,  recited every week. Feeling discombobulated reading the word “King Charles III” and starting to think about the possibilities that the change in the Head of State may bring for us in Australia. Such a range of feelings in acknowledging the passing of a woman who as a leader embodied that concept of service above self. Vale Queen Elizabeth II.

Hepburn Shire hosted the Regional Councils Victoria (RCV) forum last Friday in Daylesford. RCV is a state-wide group of 37 small rural councils who work together to find solutions to common problems that cannot be solved individually. RCV has released its State Election Platform 2022 (https://media.ruralcouncilsvictoria.org.au) that identifies and asks for state government commitments to tackle several problems, including the state of rural roads, affordable housing, emergency management and the need for improved essential services in rural areas such as health, education and sport and recreation facilities. This advocacy work is critical and with less than 80 days to go to the Victorian State election scheduled for 26th November and it was a good opportunity for me, along with your other ward councillor, Cr. Bray, and the Mayor to attend on your behalf.

The Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Committee which I chair, is pleased to learn that the Liberal Party has shown such a significant demonstration to fix the state-wide health crisis and committed to a $75M upgrade of the Daylesford Hospital if elected.  Matthew Guy and his team have listened to our community’s pleas for a desperately needed upgrade and delivered. Our hospital infrastructure is disintegrating, and this can lead to disintegrating services. The Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Committee will continue to ask our local member, Mary-Anne Thomas, who is also the Minister for Health,  and who is aware of her constituents’ calls for a desperately needed upgrade to match the $75M announcement by the Liberal Party. Please let Minister Thomas know if this is important to you too.

Finally I was pleased to go to the Daylesford Men’s Shed this week and see how the Wombat Trees project (Wombats to Liven up Christmas – The Wombat Post) is coming together – a great example of community groups and organizations working together with support from the Shire. I’m looking forward to December when the trees will be on display in Vincent Street.

Lesley Hewitt is a Daylesford resident and a Councillor for Birch Ward.

Councillor Columns are a regular feature in The Wombat Post. We offer this space as an information channel from Council to the community. Councillor Columns are not subject to editorial review by our editorial committee but are published as we receive them from our elected Councillors.