Springdale Messenger column by Cr Jim Mason – 1 May 2021
The unique character and diversity of the Bellarine Peninsula are why most of us have chosen to put down roots here.
Enhancing the things that make our ward special through initiatives and services, refreshing community facilities and encouraging economic growth have been my focus during the budget process.
I feel our Draft 2021-22 Budget, which was released last month, overwhelmingly reflects this great diversity, following months of negotiation and compromise between councillors.
Proposed funding for the Drysdale Library is a significant item, with a total of $8.66 million set aside over four years.
The Drysdale Town Square project will take in the new library to create a civic heart and has been given a $450,000 boost in 2021-22 following community consultation on the concept plans.
And don’t forget the 50-metre outdoor pool for the north Bellarine, we’ve allocated a further $4.25 million over 2021-23 to ensure this long-awaited project becomes a reality.
Council endorsed concept plans for the facility last month, promising to work with all levels of government to pursue additional funding for a future stage two of the project.
The $10 million provided by the federal government is an opportunity that must be taken and the Bellarine ward councillors’ strong advocacy for this facility will continue.
We’ve budgeted for major investment and funding, in line with the strategic directions identified in Our Community Plan 2021-25.
The new plan will guide resources to sustainably deliver infrastructure, services and programs, and complements the community’s 30-year clever and creative vision for the region.
We are privileged to live in a dynamic and resourceful region and with so much going for us here, including a rich natural environment and tourism economy, this plan goes a long way towards protecting and enhancing these elements.
Give the Draft Budget and Our Community Plan a good read at geelong.link/our-plan, with submissions being accepted until the 25th of May.
I look forward to strong community input!