By TONY FOSTER AM OAM JP
THE new year is already more than a month old and your Council is already hard at work on what promises to be an exciting period for Brighton.
The next 12 months will see our municipality continue to develop and provide enhanced services for the community. Brighton is already one of the fastest growing regions in Tasmania and while this adds to our diversity and vibrancy it also means that we also have to provide the facilities and services to support this growth.
I have often said that education holds the key to Brighton’s future, and this is particularly relevant for our young people and families. So the promised new high school, improvements to the farm school and support for the Jordan River Learning Federation are crucial.
I am determined to continue my efforts to ensure that the State Government delivers the new high school in the shortest possible time and at the same time, undertakes the improvements to the farm school. Be assured, this will be a top priority for me during 2019.
But this is only one of the many important issues Brighton Council will be dealing with over the next year.
Waste management will receive considerable attention in the coming months. This is a key issue for all municipalities and the Tasmanian community. Brighton Council will be conducting a full review of our current arrangements and what will be required for Brighton in the future. We’ll be working with other councils to get the best solution for our community.
Council will also evaluate our property holdings to ensure that surplus land is released for residential and commercial development. While Centacare Evolve Housing is developing homes in Bridgewater and Gagebrook, Council has plots in Old Beach and the Brighton township that can be made available. Council will also expedite planning approvals to assist in relieving the housing shortage and rental availability.
But with such development it is imperative that community services and public infrastructure, such as bus services, medical and retail facilities are also provided so that the broadacre housing mistakes of the 70s and 80s aren’t repeated. Council will play its part, but the State Government must also come to the party. Brighton Council will keep up the pressure to ensure the necessary facilities come with future housing developments.
In the coming months, Council will call for expressions of interest to take over our former plant nursery. We are hopeful that a community organisation will step up and develop a new use for this facility to benefit all of Brighton.
Important upgrading work will be undertaken at Weily Park following our success in gaining a Commonwealth grant to supplement Council funds to improve the oval’s changerooms and associated facilities. Weily Park is a vital recreational resource for Brighton and the upgrading, will certainly make a difference.
Of course, our emphasis on sound and responsible financial management will remain, as will the continuation of our fair rating system which gives Brighton the lowest residential rates in the State.
On the community front, I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Brighton District Cricket Club on its efforts following this season’s entry to the Cricket Tasmania Premier League competition. Success on the field has brought a significant increase in participation, particularly from women and girls, and this points to a very strong future for the club.
With the club administration, Council worked very hard to secure Brighton’s entry into the State’s top cricket competition because we were confident this would grow cricket in our region, as well as provide new sporting and recreational opportunities for our young people. I have no doubt that Brighton can become a real force in men’s and women’s cricket in the years ahead.
All this represents just a snapshot of Council’s activities over the coming months. I look forward to keeping the community updated through the pages of Brighton Community News, Council’s website and other media as we progress through another exciting year for our municipality.