By TONY FOSTER
Mayor of Brighton
HOPEFULLY everyone has had a great start to 2011. Christmas seemed like yesterday, and here it is already March.
Brighton certainly has a busy year ahead and top of the list is, of course, the recommencement of the Brighton Bypass. There is still to be a signoff on paperwork and then it’s all systems go. As you know, we have been talking about this major piece of infrastructure for our municipality for almost 30 years, and now it really is time to move on and get the Bypass to completion. As I have said many times, the Brighton Bypass is a vital prerequisite for the Bagdad Bypass and possible further Midland Highway upgrades. This will benefit all Tasmanians. With the approvals almost in place, it is time now for work to recommence.
Another issue are the changes to the way water and sewerage is charged. Brighton Council has always supported a user-pays system and it is pleasing to see we are moving towards the most equitable system for all users. While it is fair to say that the introduction of the new water authorities has not been handled well, again it is time to move on and ensure we are ‘not playing politics’ but rather, that we get the most efficient system in place for all ratepayers. Surely, if your next-door neighbour uses more water than you then it is only fair that he or she pays more than you? This is what your Council supports and it commends the water authorities for instituting the fairest system.
I have also been delighted with the positive response to the Council’s Fair Rating System following the release of Access Economics’ review last year. So many community members contacted politicians directly to express their support of our revolutionary Fair Rating System. Thank you to everyone who made this important contact to our elected representatives.
Another issue this year will be the continuing building and growth of our state-of-the-art educational facility, the Jordan River Learning Federation. We are very proud that Brighton is leading the way in Tasmania and look forward to seeing the campuses grow over coming months and years.
Finally I would like to take time to congratulate all of our Australia Day award recipients. Your work in the community is appreciated and very highly valued. This public recognition is testimony to what you are doing on a daily basis for your fellow community members.