By TONY FOSTER
Mayor of Brighton
WHILE I have seen some of you in past months, this is the first time that I can formally wish you all a Happy New Year. As we start 2010, I thought I would update you on our continuing work in developing Brighton’s business expertise that is providing great benefits for our community.
The establishment of sister city links between Brighton and Suva in Fiji (story page 5) is the culmination of the strong business links we have established over the past few years. This is much more than a simple association to promote visitor exchanges. While that will be part of it, importantly it will generate real business and significant benefits for our ratepayers and community.
The sister city relationship will see both Brighton Council and the Suva City Council invite representatives of the other councils to major conferences and events, exchange staff to achieve demonstrated gains, exchange ideas and intelligence, develop commercial and non-commercial processes and procedures to enhance productivity and efficiency, and take every opportunity to promote the benefits of this mutual cooperation.
We have approached this in a very professional way. Both Brighton and Suva have established clear goals of what we want to achieve and the mutual benefits will be measured, tracked and where possible, bench-marked against best practice.
Brighton is already providing technology services to the Suva City Council through its MicroWise business and our council officers have visited Fiji to assist in upgrading their business systems. So it has already brought real benefits for our council and for Suva and I expect this support will continue to develop in the future.
The sister city relationship is a natural extension of the links we have developed with Suva, and provides us with a platform to market our services throughout Australasia and the South Pacific.
It is all based on Brighton’s innovative approach to resource-sharing and the provision of professional and technology services to other councils.
As well as Suva, Brighton is now providing its services and expertise to councils throughout Tasmania, interstate and overseas. This is provided on a fee-for-service basis and the revenue we earn is ploughed back to provide better services and facilities for ratepayers and the Brighton community. It also helps us to attract and maintain the best employees and operate extremely efficiently.
In short, the very real benefit is in the development of our talented staff, the efficiencies and economies of scale we achieve and the income Brighton earns that is used to benefit our ratepayers and community in the services that we can continue to provide. In forthcoming editions of the paper I will keep you updated on our innovative and progressive approach to looking after our community. At the same time, I always look forward to your feedback.