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Jim Mason AM – North Bellarine Speech

Bellarine Combined Associations 05 Oct 2020

First I want to acknowledge that the Bellarine is on Customary Waddawurrung Country, where Country means Land, Water and Culture. I offer my respect to the Traditional Custodians - elders, past, present and emerging, and any First Nation people at this meeting tonight.

Three years ago, I said I wanted to make a useful and lasting contribution to the City of Greater Geelong, its people, culture, economy and environment. I have achieved that aim, in part.

I’ve worked hard over the last three years; led 3 portfolios, been active on 18 council committees and rarely missed a meeting.

I have built sound relationships and demonstrated resilience, integrity and stamina. I updated my governance skills by completing the high level Australian Institute for Company Directors course.

This complements my professional skillset in international relations, humanitarian disaster recovery, civil engineering and environmental science teaching.

I know, and grew up on the Bellarine and have made a significant contribution to the natural environment and the community through my leadership of Bellarine Landcare over 8 years and membership of Mannerim CFA.

I have a track record of carefully assisting hundreds of Bellarine people, with their problems.

A track Record of independence, and mainstream progressive thought based on Science and World’s Best Practice.

A track record of holding Traditional Labor Values, - Social equity, the Environment, Local business, Agriculture and Community Networks.

I’ll continue to put in and apply my skills because there’s much more to do.

I stood for and support a declaration of a climate emergency, restorative environmental management, a circular economy, where re-use is designed into a product and where Plastics and other materials are eliminated if they can’t be recycled.

Over my tenure, I was Council representative on the

  • Coastal adaption committee and the
  • Association of Bayside Municipalities

We now have planning rules for areas threatened by sea level rise. There is more to do:

  • More community education and to
  • More to Strengthen Planning Policy Targets for Climate and Biodiversity Action

I support ethical, transparent governance. I will support the establishment of a public register of all meetings between Property Developers, City Administration and Councillors.

I support and stand for a culturally safe City and the Reconciliation Action Plan

I support and stand for the Settlement Strategy and the intent of DAL which is to limit future growth on the Bellarine, to control and define boundaries, to protect the rural landscapes and the character of coastal and rural towns.

This also means controlling building heights within these towns, while allowing a moderate increase in diversity and density of housing.

I support and stand for Bellarine Arts Culture and Heritage, in Particular, Drysdale Glass arts, The Potato Shed, Bellarine film, Art and literary groups.

And I have ensured backlogs of flooding, dust, pothole and footpath problems have been reviewed, prioritised or fixed.

And Assisted Community and Sporting Groups in receiving City Grants.

I will continue to work hard and collaborate constructively with my fellow Ward Councillors and Community Associations to ensure a fair share of the budget. In unity there is strength.

That’s why I will continue strong advocacy, and to work closely together.

To work together for:

Social Housing; Transport

Restoring the Natural Environment

For an extra $5m funding for the North Bellarine aquatic centre

And funding for the Implementation of the Shared Trails Master Plan.

There’s much more:

The Drysdale library, elderly citizens’ hub, Portarlington sports reserve, Indented Head and St Leonards public spaces and amenities; The vintage ag machinery group and the Bellarine agricultural show and more…

I will continue to Work Hard for the Bellarine.

To Consult, Consider and Act

I will not let you down.

Concluding Statement

I’d like to thank Phil and the members of the CBCA for their Dedication and Community Service in running this excellent forum and for working so well with us over the last three years

Thanks also to all candidates.

It takes courage and energy and personal resources to take this on.

And Commitment to Community

If elected, I’ll continue to put in, because there’s much more to do.

We need to be shovel ready and to seize opportunities,

To Make loud noises for an early implementation of the Bellarine Bypass.

Especially now during COVID recovery stimulus.

I want to do More to protect our towns, and environment.

Make More improvements to sporting, social and city services.

  • Especially in Aged and Child Care, Social Housing, Mental health and targeted COVID relief.

We need stronger climate and biodiversity Policies and targets

To find out more, please Explore my web site at http://www.jimmason.com.au

Thank you very much.