Brian Hood

The past month has once again put on display the diverse nature of our wonderful community events including the Daylesford Agricultural Show, the Buddhist Kathina Robe Offering Ceremony in Newbury and the Daylesford Highland gathering all celebrating our hardworking volunteers.

Personally, it has been particularly uplifting to present citizenship awards to those students graduating from Trentham and Bullarto primary schools and to witness their sense of expectation as they approach secondary education.

Within the Council organisation, the first meeting of the Sustainable Hepburn Advisory Committee, comprising ten community members, was held and three newly appointed independent members attended their first meeting of the Audit & Risk Committee. Councillors visited the impressive Creswick Trails project.

The much-awaited ministerial decision on the Raglan St developments was received in the past month. Of great disappointment and concern is the impending loss of a tree in the avenue of honour. Following extensive work by our planners and good faith negotiations with the developer, Council’s resolution in April to award a permit would have prevented such a loss. However, the intervention of others will lead to the avoidable desecration of an avenue of honour tree that commemorates a local lad lost in WWI. This outcome is a timely reminder that with rights come responsibilities. The careful consideration of consequences should always be entertained before acting.

As we complete an eventful and productive year and enter into the festive season we must be mindful of what lies before us. The first half of 2024 will see new and strengthened integrity legislation for councillors. The recently commenced work on developing a Long Term Financial Plan to ensure this organisation’s ongoing viability must be advanced together with a diligent review of Council’s service offering. We will continue the all-important work on town structure plans. And we look forward to a local government election to be held later in the year in the void of unknown electoral structures.

2024 promises to be an interesting time for Council and full of challenges for councillors.

In the meantime I sincerely thank my councillor colleagues, our CEO, Mr. Bradley Thomas, his executive team and Council staff for their support and hard work on behalf of the community over the past year.

And I wish  our whole community a safe and happy festive season.

Cr Brian Hood is the elected Councillor for Coliban Ward and is currently the Mayor of Hepburn Shire.

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