Notes from the Mayor June 2022

Notes from the Mayor June 2022 image

RECENT FEDERAL ELECTION

Understanding the outcomes of the recent Federal Election and how the Parties will work together in the future is very interesting. The results may seem confusing, but already, for Local Government, there are signs of some excellent things beginning to change, for example:

  • A letter to Mayors and General Managers across the Nation from the Australian Local Government President confirms that the Australian Local Government Association will soon return to having representation on National Cabinet;
  • It is looking possible that the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants will be returned to a level they were at some years ago;
  • There is a commitment to have all Local Governments able to improve their capacity to be sustainable and to better meet community needs.

If these things come into play the role of Local Government will be made significantly easier.

THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDS FLAGS NOW FLY IN THE PRESS ROOM IN THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT

You may or may not know that Flinders Island Airport was the first in the Country to fly the Aboriginal flag. The population of this Municipality includes 17% of people of Aboriginal heritage. I found it hard to understand that, until last weekend, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags were not in place in the National Parliament - given the percentage of Aboriginal people in the Country’s population. On Flinders, at the Furneaux Islands Festival each year, we  gather to celebrate the diverse culture of the islands. Now the nation’s capital is catching up at last - something to celebrate indeed.

SPEAKING OF THE ABORIGINAL FLAG…

This week is Reconciliation Week. It is a week  set aside for considering how people of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal heritage consider past wrongs as well as envision a future working together. I wish our Aboriginal people to know that moving on together is something I and many other Islanders stand for.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOTING

I received a letter from the State Minister for Local Government, Nic Street, advising that there will be a Bill going through Parliament in the near future making voting in Local Government elections compulsory. One way of looking at this move is that there has been no consultation with the Tasmanian community regarding this big step. Another way to look at it is that Local Government is the level of government closest to the people. Federal and State Government voting is compulsory while Local Government voting is not. Is the underlying message that the various local governments across the country do not really matter so why bother? Of the Bass Strait Islands population around 81% of those eligible votes but in Launceston, for example, the percentage last time was just under 50%. I am simply  providing this information because it is your right to know what is being considered at State level.

LEARNING PACKAGES FOR NOMINATING COUNCILLORS

Something I have learned in the past week is that State Government is planning to put together a learning package to support those standing in the October Local Government elections. This is potentially a good thing, as there is so much to learn. Councils have many more responsibilities now than in previous years and the expectations on them are high. In order to address the issues of tomorrow, Councillors should be supported with up to date learning experiences. Maybe this planned package will help.

TALKING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

This current Council’s term of office concludes at the end of October. Time has galloped along. It is important that some of our Island population consider nominating for the next council term. Following the end of the financial year, Council will be organising a public forum (or two) to provide information on how Councils work. If you are at all interested in representing the people of this amazing Municipality, please give some thought to nominating. More on this in a few months.

SERVICE REQUESTS

I just want to remind our Community of the importance of service requests. Council relies on its community to inform, via a service request, about important things that need to be attended to. So, if you have experienced an important issue regarding any of Council’s buildings, roads, or services - please do not take it to Facebook. Instead, ring Council or go to the Council Website and report the issue in the Service Request section under the “Live” tab. Then the issue will be recorded. It will be attended to as soon as it can be done. A council officer will contact you when the job is complete. Please take this invitation seriously and do the right thing!

BUY LOCALLY WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO

It keeps our local businesses going and enables them to better provide for Islander needs.

MAYOR ANNIE REVIE
TEL: 0477 557 338
EMAIL: annie.revie@flinders.tas.gov.au

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