Friday 13 October 2006

Cr Neville Goodwin: Mayor's Message

If only some of our Councillors at the Shire of South Gippsland would show the same leadership...

Great Southern Star
Tuesday 10/10/2006, Page: 26

I HAVE just returned from a trip to Western Australia, where I travelled to Albany to attend a Sea Change Taskforce Conference. The trip brought home strongly to me the importance of recognising and respecting our heritage.

With the centenary of Wonthaggi just around the corner (in 2009), we are all aware of the importance of recognising and celebrating our history.

During a tour of Albany, I was impressed by the work that had been done in preserving their heritage. This was both in terms of maintenance of the older buildings and the attention that was paid to preserving the distinct character of the area.

Preservation of our existing amenity is an issue right across our shire and it was inspiring to see how another shire is dealing with this. I was also impressed by the way development along the coastline was being approached and managed. It certainly showed that this can be handled sensitively and responsibly.

Albany's commitment to renewable energy also resonated for me. With 12 wind turbines located on their coastline, the community has set a goal of Cr Neville Goodwin supporting enough local renewable energy initiatives to cover their own energy needs.

Here at Bass Coast, we are also supportive of renewable energy and will continue to support discussion and investigation of viable alternative energy sources within our region.

Climate change was one of the key topics on the conference agenda. A presenter from the CSIRO talked to us about climate change, citing evidence from two studies - one in WA and one in Gippsland.

The message he delivered loud and clear was that there is a mountain of scientific evidence to support the theory of global warming. It is a very real and immediate challenge we all face. Two thirds of the current effects of climate change can be directly attributed to the impact of man - which is a compelling argument to change the way we behave.

As a council, we are dealing with this issue through initiatives such as our participation in the Cities for Climate Protection and the emission reduction targets that we have set under our Local Greenhouse Action Plan. With cooperation from all areas of the community, we can work together to preserve the natural beauty of our wonderful shire and ensure that future generations get to enjoy it as well.

Finally, I encourage everyone to get out into their gardens and take advantage of council's Weedbuster Week offer. Anyone who removes weeds from their garden between now and November 30, will receive a voucher to spend at native plant nurseries.

If you'd like more information on Weedbuster Week, visit our website or contact council on 5671 2211 or 5951 3311.