By TONY FOSTER OAM
Mayor of Brighton
I HOPE all our residents and community representatives had a wonderful festive season and that you are all looking forward to a bright 2013.
It will most certainly be a very bright new year for the municipality with lots of positive projects that will continue to enhance facilities within our community to make Brighton an even better place to live and work.
At the end of last year we saw the opening of the Brighton Bypass which is providing us with an important and vital transport link and which is the first phase of major infrastructure development for our region. As I said at last year’s opening we will continue to fight for our community to ensure the full length of the proposed Granton to Dysart Midland Highway upgrading, agreed to before the 2007 Federal Election, is delivered.
We have also recently welcomed a new group of asylum seekers at the Pontville Detention Centre and it is pleasing that of those who have now successfully been granted visas, a number have chosen to live in our beautiful state. We look forward to more asylum seekers integrating successfully into the community and enjoying everything that Tasmania has to offer. Just in the past few weeks and as reported in Brighton Community News, Noeline and I had the opportunity to be part of a great social cricket match between an Indian and a combined Afghanistani/Pakistani team organised by Able Australia, the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre and Brighton Council. It was a truly fantastic afternoon and it was wonderful to see members of our combined communities have some great fun. It was also a fantastic welcome for those who have had a very tough time in their homelands and who are now seeking a better life in Australia. It was a wonderful day and congratulations to all who were involved in its organisation.
Also recently we saw the opening of our community garden, now under the auspices of St Vincent de Paul as well as the launch of St Vincent de Paul’s Loui’s Van here in Bridgewater by his Excellency the Governor Peter Underwood. St Vincent de Paul is playing an active role in our community through both of these initiatives and we welcome its ongoing commitment to Brighton.
And another plus for our municipality recently was the ‘turning of the sod’ of the new medical centre. We are grateful for the help and support provided by a number of politicians to this end, particularly Federal member for Lyons Dick Adams and Tasmanian member for Lyons Rebecca White. We are delighted that this important facility for our community is finally coming to fruition.
As for this year we have more exciting developments to build on what occurred in our community last year. We are working through the opportunities that the new Brighton Bypass is bringing and we have asked specialist business regeneration consultants to assist our local businesses maximise the opportunities that the bypass brings. Consultation and coaching of our local retailers is to begin shortly. I am sure that one of the considerations of those sessions will be our municipality’s sesqui-centenary which we will be celebrating as a community later in the year and how we can use this opportunity to promote all the great things about Brighton to encourage others to come here to live, work and do business.
We will be seeking the input of the community into how we should celebrate this important milestone in Brighton’s history so if you have any initial ideas, please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention as we consider events and projects that will mark this unique occasion.
As always on behalf of your Council, I look forward to your input.