JimMasonWebsite Banner2020

Through my work I have learned the principles of good governance, fairness, efficient delivery of services and the importance of meeting all stakeholders’ needs.

I will strive for durable solutions and a fair deal for all.

I will contribute to and support:

    • Mature and Consultative Leadership
    • Ethical Governance
    • Careful planning and clear review of achievements

COGG Clever and Creative Future See Here

The 30 year vison emanating from a broadbased consultation of 16,000 ratepayers

COGG Council Plan 2018-2022  See Here

COVID-19 Recovery Packages  See Here

I have a long track record and extensive experience in helping people, businesses and societies in need. We must keep our eyes on the ball and our thinking clear headed during this crisis.  We need to focus on long term goals. this crisis may go on for a long time, and other crises may develop in the meantime. Support we give must lie within Local Government mandate. We must always support the vulnerable without creating dependency. We must help businesses and people to help themselves. For  those who fail, there is a safety net. 

The Environment and Climate Change See Here

I have been committed to protecting our natural environment over many years. I have demonstrated this with my long association with Environment groups, Bellarine Landcare, Geelong Environment Council, and the substantial restorative and revegetation work on my (and my wife jointly) own property, where we have had 16 Ha registered under covenant with the Trust for Nature.

I understand Climate change is a major existential threat both locally and globally, and have been highly concerned that insufficient mitigation has been taken, locally and globally.

I believe there is also a biodiversity emergency, especially indigenous biodiversity and I often prefer to use the word “restorative” rather than sustainable, in that some things we are sustaining are ”sustainable” but degraded and affirmative action is actually necessary.

I will continue to support Climate Action. I will concurrently be mindful of my statutory duties as a City Councillor and must be aware of what can be actually done at the time and that I need the support of other councillors to achieve results.

Protecting the Coast, Rural and Country Environments and Towns Character  See Here

I have supported the development of the Settlement Strategy and understand community sentiment to protect the intrinsic character of the Bellarine. This includes the individual character of each town and accepting that the boundaries must be permanemtly defined through The DELWP Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL). I strongly support The Restoring the Rural Landscape Projects as Chair of the Rural and Peri_Urban Advisory Committee, the Right to Farm and enhancing connectivity of indigenous species on waterways and on farms. Shared and well connected pathways within the Bellarine which will provide safe access to sporting facilities, schools and popular tourist destinations. 

Social Equity and Affordable Housing  See Here

I will continue to support Mulicultural Diversity and Geelong as a Multicultutally Safe Place. This includes Affirmative Action for First Nation People and the Reconciliation Action Plan. We must continue to assess assistance to vulnerable people according to need and to recognise there is poverty in all Wards.

During 2020 we have developed a policy to increase Social and Affordable housing so that this  housing stock will increase by 6000 by 2031, and 12,000 by 2041. Social Housing must be dispersed throughout the community and not be easily identified as such. It is diverse and serves a diverse set of needs. Developers will be encouraged to contribute and Council land will be made available. A broad based stakeholder Advisory Committee was approved on 14 July 2020 which will increase Council capacity to make the right decisions.

Enhancing  sporting social, cultural and lifestyle amenities See Here

I will ensure there is watchful eye on equitable development of facilities on the Bellarine.

Portarlington, Ocean Grove and Drysdale sports reserves and other facilities need ongoing custodianship. The North Bellarine 50m  Aquatic Facility, The Indented Head Tennis courts, Parking and Footpaths, the St Leonards Childcare centre, Cricket club, Skate park, Town Centre and foreshore need continued advocacy. Leopold Tennis Club, Estuary Reserve and Footb;all netball, Newconb football netball are to be developed.

Then there is the Drysdale Library, Senior Citizens, Childcare Centre, the North Bellarine Film Society, The Potato Shed, Drysdale Glass Arts, the Portarlington Neigbourhood house, the Mens Sheds including "Shedding  The Blues" and the many Art and Literary groups from Indented Head to Breamlea. I will continue to show interest and support.

Improving public transport See Here

There is more work here but the basis of the TNOP plan (see link above)  is the direction in which we are heading. There are many stakeholders - In State Government and Local Government This is the precursor to a liveable, walkable city, with 10,000 extra people living in the CBD. Free parking must be on the periphery and efficient, free shuttle transport to key central locations. Reulated, metered parking must be in the centre and offstreet parking must be commercialised to commercial, sustainable rates.


Localising Agricultural Markets and Facilities See Here

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the danger of biosecurity risks. Climate Change has shown us the dangers of soley relying on overseas markets, and the energy wasted in importing pork from denmark, when we can easily produce the same quality product here. Improving local agricultural facilities, and encouraging local markets and value-add industries incrases our capacity and resilience.

 Engagement with Youth and fostering education and employment opportunities See Here

We are proud of COGG Youth Council. They have given good advice on Mental Health First Aid, Environment and Climate Change, and on the best way they can represent Youth. I look forward to continuing to support them through formal and facilitated mentoring sessions.

 Fostering the Creative Business Spirit See Here

Local businesses are the core of local sustainability. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on most local businesses. We have approved measures such as Tourism and Events, Agri-business, G21 Agri-collective, Targeted Commercial Rent Relief, and the Small Business Expert Support Programme. Though careful consultation, I shall support further programmes which provide support and encouragement to local businesses as opportunities and gaps present themselves. I will continue to support the Local Procurement Policy and its further development.

        Specific Issues

I will work towards reducing the cap on Poker machines and do not approve of raising funds through vulnerable people.

I will continue to support the search for a suitable local Livestock and Information exchange. The closure of the Geelong Saleyards without replacement was ill considered and displays ignorance, and urban centric thinking. Perhaps a Notice of Motion will be in order in the new council.

      Australia Day Position

Australia day is extremely important for the whole nation.

This must include respect and recognition for First Nation People and their culture and custodianship over 60,000 years and regognition of the many wrongs perpetrated since European settlement.

It includes consultation and consent of Firsst Nation People and the finalisation of Uluru Statement from the Heart,  Treaty, Truth Telling and Reconciliation

Citizenship ceremonies could be held whenever it is appropriate for the ceremony authority and this includes Australia day

I would like to keep Australia day on 26 January until, through inclusive discussion and by full consensus a national majority agree to keep it at that date or change it.

So I would want Council to recognise that we all (First Australians to the newest Australians) have a lot more  to learn about our real history, much of which has remained opaque to the majority of the population.

This would include  the examples below and very much more:

        • Captain Cook shot and wounded a First Nation Man - in 1770
        • Governor Philip had instructions to establish good relations with the native people in 1788 
        • The 26 January First Fleet 1788 landing involved arrival of ships laden with convicts who had suffered a terrible voyage
        • A mutual greeting on the beach on the day of the landing –(read the Book Dancing with Strangers)
        • Subsequent tensions and misunderstandings shared by both parties
        • Terrible crimes, murder and illegal land aquistion were perpetrated against the First Nation People by many new Settlers.
        • This resulted in the Stolen generation, Assimilation and the widespread loss of Culture , Language, and Country
        • Consequent widespread intergenerational fragmentation and disadvantage.
        • Reconciliation and many attempts to redress the wrongs

All of the above could become part of a greater celebration of understanding – Australian Nation Week

Until we feel we can do this, I think we should maintain goodwill, remain with the status quo and advocate strongly for reconciliation and all of what that implies. 

I Will Consult, Consider and Act!

 

 

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Various photos of Jim Mason