Springdale Messenger column by Cr Jim Mason – 1 August 2021
Many women read this publication and of course, make significant contributions to the Drysdale and Clifton Springs community.
So, I’ll start my column off by telling you about a report that was endorsed recently.
Council commissioned research as part of coronavirus recovery efforts, to truly understand how the pandemic has impacted women and gender diverse people.
This is not to say that the crisis hasn’t been difficult for everyone, but research has shown that women appear to have experienced particular stresses during this time.
For example, our research found that while participants enjoyed more family time, many felt challenged working from home while managing remote learning for children and increased household duties.
A number reported that there were higher expectations on them to care for family.
Others experienced more violence, abuse and/or threats at home and couldn’t leave to get help.
These positive and negative experiences are a valuable baseline of data for the City to ensure the quality of life and opportunities for women and gender diverse people can be improved.
It’s shaped a 12-month action plan across multiple areas, including WIFI access, peer support groups and food security.
Another interesting council decision was the release of the Draft Climate Change Response Plan for community consultation, which is now finished.
This proposed roadmap outlines clear steps to tackle the climate emergency.
The more we mitigate the risks of climate change now, the less future generations will have to adapt to later.
An action plan boasts ambitious targets, including that all City-managed operations will reach net zero emissions by 2025.
Council is choosing to lead by example to reduce the region’s carbon footprint.
And finally, the adoption of the Sparrovale Wetlands Master Plan means exciting things for the region’s environment, community, tourism and economy.
This 20-year plan will see a 500-hectare wetlands park open in Charlemont, on the edge of the Bellarine.
Not only will the reserve protect significant wildlife and habitat, it’ll lead to opportunities for activities like kayaking.
I can’t wait to go bird watching and hiking at this unique reserve, and maybe even give some water sports a try!