BRIGHTON Mayor Tony Foster has expressed great confidence in the future of the municipality and says the growth of the region sees it on the cusp of perhaps the most exciting time in his more than 25 years in the leadership role.
In his annual ‘State of the Council’ address, delivered in late November, Mayor Foster said he was looking forward to the next four years with great optimism and confidence.
“Brighton is in a very sound position. We have enormous potential and opportunities in what is probably the most exciting era that I have witnessed, for our Council and the Brighton Municipality, as we continue to grow.
“One initiative alone, the opportunity to be involved in the guidance of a new high school for Brighton will enable us to make a great contribution to our community’s future. There are many more.”
Cr Foster warmly welcomed new Councillors Jessica Whelan and Tennille Murtagh and congratulated all new and returning Councillors on their election at October’s local government poll.
“Our Council is very stable. This is due to the fact that unlike other councils, Brighton, Councillors had not fallen for this factionalism trap. Each had vehemently kept their independence determined to only act and vote truly for what they believe was in the community’s best interest.
“This has been of great benefit to the Brighton community and long may it continue.
“While we have evolved dramatically over the past two decades now is not the time to be complacent. We must continue to be progressive, to embrace new ideas and not assume that the same approaches used in the past are still the best.
“I am confident that we have the people, resources and capacity to do this.”
Cr Foster said in the new year Brighton Council would undertake the important process to develop its Strategic Plan, Financial Plan, Asset Management Plan and associated Council policies.
“This will provide a great opportunity to set Brighton’s course for the coming years.
“Careful long-term planning will ensure that Brighton remains a sound financial Council and a leader in Tasmania’s local government sector.
“On the important issue of rates and cost of living pressures on the community, I am regularly asked, how Brighton Council has been able to keep its rate increases to at or below CPI for more than 20 years when other councils have been unable to come anywhere near matching this achievement.
“Well the answer is very simple,” Cr Foster said. “Good planning, sound financial management and a collective commitment from both the elected Councillors and our staff to do the very best for the people of the Brighton Municipality.”
The Mayor thanked Council staff for their service and commitment and said Brighton was fortunate that it had been able to attract some of Tasmania’s best talent and retain them to work for the community.