Last week we received some very positive feedback about where we’re headed as a region.
A group of staff and councillors from Coffs Harbour City Council visited for two days, taking a close look at several of Geelong’s significant locations and the major projects we’re working on.
Coffs Harbour Council has many similarities to us in that they’re developing their waterfront so it’s a great place for tourists and locals to visit, and also planning for cultural facilities and a new civic hub.
During their stay the group was given a detailed tour and briefing on the Geelong Waterfront, before visiting our arts and culture precinct, taking in the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Geelong Art Gallery and GPAC.
City staff also showed the group around the CBD to explain the revitalisation work we’re doing as we aim to attract more people to live, work, shop and do business in central Geelong.
The delegation was very impressed with what they saw and learned – particularly in regards to Deakin University, the expansion of Avalon Airport, and the way we’re using the region’s natural assets to our advantage.
It’s easy to forget about what a great place we live in when we’re caught up in the day-to-day flow of life, so it was valuable to get an outside perspective.
Honouring our veterans
I was honoured to lay a wreath on Council’s behalf at the Geelong RSL Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day ceremony last Tuesday.
VP Day marks the unconditional surrender of Japan on 15 August 1945, and is an opportunity to remember the courage and sacrifice of all who have served our country at war.
As deputy chair of the Veterans Affairs portfolio on Council, I’ve enjoyed meeting some of the ex-service men and women around the region, and learning more about the conflicts Australia has been involved in.
Their stories are a reminder that we should always strive for peace, so that no-one is forced to make the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.
Dogs in public places
At our most recent Council meeting we considered a draft Dog Controls in Public Places policy.
This draft has been developed by the City’s Health and Local Laws team, taking into account a lot of feedback from the community.
It’s an issue many people have passionate views about, and sometimes those views are completely opposed.
But the overarching theme of the feedback was that we need shared public spaces that everyone can enjoy.
We recognise the importance of dogs as a great source of happiness and wellbeing to many in the community, and at the same time the need for dog owners to act responsibly so that everyone feels safe.
One change to the new policy is the requirement for owners to carry a leash at all times, even when walking their dog in an offleash area.
In response to feedback, the City will look at increasing patrolling and enforcement of dog controls, and implementing more educational programs.
There will also be an audit of signage and bins to ensure there are enough of both across the region.
Because there’s such a large volume of community interest in this issue, Council agreed to extend the consultation period for the draft policy to six weeks.
It’ll soon be available online at geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay, and we encourage everyone to log on, have a read and share your opinion.
This is an important policy and we’re determined to find the right balance for all users of public places.