Gym a proud purchase by MicroWise

By TONY FOSTER OAM

Mayor

THIS issue of Brighton Community News features the announcement that Council’s wholly-owned technology business, MicroWise Australia has purchased the Derwent Indoor Sports Centre building in Hurst Street, Bridgewater.

I am particularly proud of this purchase on a number of fronts. Continue reading “Gym a proud purchase by MicroWise”

We’re ready to face the challenges of the future

By TONY FOSTER AM OAM JP

AS this is my first column in Brighton Community News for 2016, I want to take the opportunity to wish all members of the Brighton community all the very best for the year ahead.

No doubt, the next 12 months will bring plenty of challenges, but we can take comfort in the fact that Brighton is now better prepared for the future than ever before. Our municipality is recognised for its progress, its support for its people and its innovation in attracting new development, employment and opportunities for all. At Brighton Council we are committed to building on the achievements of the past to create an even better community for the future. Continue reading “We’re ready to face the challenges of the future”

A busy year highlights Council’s work

By TONY FOSTER

GIVEN the amount of negative publicity about local government over the past few months, people could be forgiven for thinking that councils are not doing a lot to benefit ratepayers and support their communities.

In fact, the opposite is the case and certainly, as far as Brighton is concerned, Councillors and our staff have been working extremely hard to ensure we operate as efficiently as possible and provide the best possible services and facilities for our community. Continue reading “A busy year highlights Council’s work”

Pokies impact on our community

By TONY FOSTER

THE Brighton Council had long been concerned at the impact of poker machines on our community.

Indeed, when the machines were rolled out to hotels and clubs statewide some two decades ago, Council refused to allow their installation in our municipality. This decision was upheld by the Planning Commission, but subsequently overturned by the State Government’s Gaming Control Act. Continue reading “Pokies impact on our community”

Mayor says majority of local government works well

By TONY FOSTER

MAYOR

THE community could be excused for thinking that local government is in trouble with all the talk of council amalgamations, inquiries and questions being asked by the Local Government Office.

While there may be difficulties with a small number of councils, these are essentially differences between elected members rather than administrators or officers, and on the whole, local government in Tasmania is working extremely well. Continue reading “Mayor says majority of local government works well”

Locating emergency services centrally makes sense

It makes sense to collocate emergency services

OUR emergency services play a vital role in the community, ensuring public safety and ready to act as a first response in the event of a fire, accident or serious incident. The police, fire and ambulance services and the State Emergency Service are all important to the health and wellbeing of the Brighton community.

As we know, at any serious incident, all four services are often found in attendance, so it make sense for them to be located together to maximise efficiency and make the best use of emergency resources an also to ensure the highest levels of cooperation and coordination. Continue reading “Locating emergency services centrally makes sense”

Brighton proud of its welcome to new settlers

By TONY FOSTER

THE Brighton community has a proud history of welcoming new settlers and people seeking to escape from trouble spots around the world to our municipality.

From the migrants who came here immediately after the Second World War, to those escaping Kosovo and more recently the troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brighton has provided a safe haven for many displaced people. Continue reading “Brighton proud of its welcome to new settlers”

Keeping down rates an important Council initiative

By TONY FOSTER

I AM proud of Brighton’s leadership in keeping down rate increases and to report to you that the coming financial year will be the 19th in succession that we have maintained rises at or below the rate of inflation.

The next 12 months will see ratepayers paying  a rate rise $8 a year, or just 15 cents a week next financial year following Council’s continued support of its fair rating policy. The rate rise is in line with Hobart’s annual CPI increase of 0.9 percent. The highest increase for a residential land block will be $2 for the year, which equates to just .04 cents a week. Continue reading “Keeping down rates an important Council initiative”

Shared service best for Brighton

By TONY FOSTER

MAYOR

ON February 11, with Deputy Mayor Barbara Curran and general manager Ron Sanderson, I will represent Brighton Council at a meeting of Councils with the Treasurer and Minister for Local Government Peter Gutwein to discuss local government reform in this State.

While we are advised that the Minister “does not have a fixed agenda”, we do know that the Government is under pressure from big business and large property owners who want to force Council amalgamations in the hope that it will bring rate savings for them.  Continue reading “Shared service best for Brighton”

Brighton’s control of roadside clean up engenders civic pride

By TONY FOSTER

I WAS DELIGHTED to represent our community at the official launch of an historical agreement between our municipality and the State Government to take over the roadside maintenance of the East Derwent Highway and major roundabouts in our municipality.

As you would have read in the front page story of this edition of the Brighton Community News, we are the first council in the State to sign a formal agreement with the Government that allows Council to control roadside maintenance.

The roadside mowing, litter pick-up and planting work was previously the responsibility of the Department of Infrastructure, now the Department of State Growth.

While the agreement has just been signed, we have already noticed a significant difference in our community with mowing and cleaning up already being undertaken over past weeks by Council staff.

The result is absolutely fantastic and already we’ve had some terrific feedback from people who are noticing the difference along the East Derwent Highway.   The change in the look of entrances to our municipality is incredible.

I am personally thrilled with the outcome because I have been working on this for more than a decade.  It’s been such a bugbear of mine to see our highway roadsides look so untidy and trying to get a resolution to the ongoing problem of the state of the vegetation on our main thoroughfares has been a very long journey. It was frustrating to see how untidy some of these areas were becoming particularly during the growing seasons, and we had absolutely no control over our community’s roadsides and verges. This was a State Government responsibility through the former Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources (DIER).    Indeed, as a Council we had been in discussion with successive State Governments for Council to take on the roadside beautification work, but without success until now.

You would be aware that the Midland Highway through Brighton was part of the National Highway. I have always believed that people would not stop and shop or want to relocate to Brighton to live while that highway was so untidy.

A number of years ago I asked that we set aside $20,000 in our Council budget primarily for cleanup and beautification of the highway through our Municipality even though we did not have ownership or jurisdiction or, indeed, any call to undertake the work.

One of the benefits I and other Councillors and Staff have had through personal overseas holidays is that we have had the opportunity to see how other countries and cities maintain and beautify their roads and roundabouts. That is why this has been of concern to myself and others who have wanted to do something here in Brighton and in Tasmania.

Regular letters to the editor of our southern daily newspaper have continually pointed to the state of the vegetation with people saying they have been embarrassed by the state of our highways and road verges.

So now after 10 years, we finally have a unique agreement that sees our Council take responsibility for these areas. Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding and his Department saw the merit in this and we’ve now reached this agreement that sees the State Government and Brighton Council sharing the costs.

I want to particularly thank Shane Gregory who is General Manager Transport Infrastructure Services in overseeing the successful resolution of the problem.  Shane has been fantastic to deal with and we are delighted that through his efforts, we have now come to an agreement that benefits our community.

The beautification agreement was officially launched by Minister Hidding and myself and council officers at a ceremony in Bridgewater in the past couple of weeks.

As I said earlier our maintenance staff have now taken ownership and have already shown great civic pride in their work and this is already paying dividends in the work they have undertaken to date.

I am ‘over the moon’ with the way our outside workforce has taken ownership of this project with such fantastic civic pride.  But it is not just up to those of us in Council.  I want the whole community to accept our drive for civic pride and do their part in helping us to eliminate litter on our roads. It has to be a whole-of-community approach so I urge everyone to do their bit so that we can be the tidiest municipality in Tasmania.

At the same time, I am particularly proud that Brighton is the first Council in the State to reach such an agreement and I hope other councils follow suit. I am sure we are setting a great example for other municipalities to follow and that what we have done will encourage them to negotiate similar agreements. The potential outcome will be neat and clean road verges throughout the State, adding to the beauty of Tasmania for both locals and visitors alike.

With a lasting, clean and tidy impression, we can only hope that visitors to our regions will spread the word that we are indeed a very beautiful State, and one very much worth visiting.