Election wishlist: Shire updates advocacy priorities as polls near

October 14, 2021 BY

The Surf Coast Shire has listed improved mobile and internet coverage with increased data capacity as one of its advocacy priorities. Photo: TELSTRA

THE Surf Coast Shire council has updated its advocacy priorities with a focus on them helping deliver its latest Council Plan.

The update sends a clear signal of what the shire will be pushing for at the federal and state elections, which will both be held within the next 14 months.

A new feature in the advocacy priorities is the introduction of three advocacy tiers – Strategic, Major and Standard – in order of importance and need.

This structure provides focus for the shire and potential partners and helps community members understand where the council is pitching its effort.

Each advocacy priority is linked to one of the seven Council Plan themes.

The Strategic priorities include:

  • A Healthy, Connected Community: Funding for Torquay Walking and Cycling Connections Project; Funding for Walk, Rest and Play Project Winchelsea – Barwon Riverloop Walk, expansion of Eastern Reserve; Provision of local services for family violence, mental health, disability/aged, alcohol and drug use
  • Environmental Leadership: Urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to achieve at least a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and net zero emissions before 2050; Moving to a Circular Economy – waste/recycling reform and solutions
  • Sustainable Growth: Commitment to addressing the causes of the national residential crisis including developing a National Housing Policy
  • Robust and Diverse Economy: Funding for Torquay Town Centre revitalisation; Funding for Surf Coast Trails – Anglesea Mountain Bike Trails and Bike Park
  • Arts and Creativity: Funding for Cultural Facility and Library Project; Improved mobile and internet coverage with increased data capacity, and
  • Accountable and Viable Council: Improved grant funding ratios more favourable to councils, particularly rural councils.

Shire mayor Libby Stapleton said she was pleased to align the advocacy priorities to the themes in the 2021-25 Council Plan, and it was particularly important with elections on the horizon.

“Advocating on issues and for projects is a very effective tool in delivering for our community. It makes sense to align these priorities to the Council Plan, giving us the best opportunity to deliver the right community outcomes,” Cr Stapleton said.

“We work at advancing our advocacy priorities at every opportunity and know that the lead-up to election times is a very important time to form partnerships with other levels of government.

“We will be working hard to deliver these projects and policy wins in the year ahead.”

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