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.

 

Housing developments a sure sign Brighton is going places

By TONY FOSTER

Mayor

THE significant number of new houses being built in the Brighton Municipality is a sure sign that our region is on the move and that people see it as a great place to live, work and bring up families.

As well, developers see Brighton as an attractive place to build and without exception, are encouraged by the support they receive from our Council.

A number of builders and developers have told me they receive great service from Council in processing planning an development applications and this means they can quickly get on with the job to building new houses and units. The reflects great credit on our Council officers who often work above and beyond their normal responsibilities to help people.

The new homes being built in the Brighton Municipality are designed to cater for the widest possible market. For example, the Council-owned Brighton Industrial and Housing Corporation is developing up to 400 affordable house and land packages. These have already proved extremely popular with families escaping the rental trap and realising the Australian dream of buying their own home.

New blocks have been released in Herdsmans Cove, Bridgewater and Gagebrook and in many cases the house and land purchase payments are less than people are currently paying in rent. As an added bonus, until the end of this year, first home-buyers purchasing a home through BIHC’s affordable housing development are eligible for a $30,000 government cash grant.

Of course, the $30,000 grant is also available for new home buyers purchasing houses being built by other developed in the Brighton Municipality.

Some of Tasmania’s leading home-builders are offering house and land packages that combined, are bringing significant growth. These builders have significantly expanded their presence in recent years, responding to market demand, particularly from young families wanting to upgrade their accommodation or move to our municipality.

The builders include the family-owned Barr Builders currently constructing 10 units in Brighton following the completion of a 62 lot sub-division at Old Beach. WW Tas Pty Ltd specialises in rural residential estates and is also developing a restaurant and reception centre at the heritage- listed former Congregational Church in Pontville. Wison Homes is a multi award-winning builder and is currently offering new house and land packages from just $216 per week. Other developers and builders active in the Brighton Municipality include Paul Berry at the Dudley Clark estate, the P and K Group, Maveric Builders, Cunic, Rainbow, Ronald Young and Target Homes.

An exciting estate comprising 16 prestige waterfront homes at Old Beach is being undertaken by Deane Caldwell of Soldino Developments. The Old Beach Waterfront Estate is the only new waterfront estate being developed in the Hobart region and offers premium quality housing in a secure, gated community with modern energy efficient house designs. The riverside estate even boasts its own lake and is sure to sell quickly.

Coming hard on the heels of the establishment of the Brighton Transport Hub and the continuing expansion of our Industrial Estate, and improved services and facilities for all our community, this development is unprecedented and clearly demonstrates that Brighton is certainly on the move and going places.

Brighton Council is pleased to be playing its part in this significant growth and development.