Taking stock

by Brighton Council

Mayor Leigh Gray

Council began the year in earnest with a series of workshops prior to our official January Ordinary Council Meeting (OCM), getting straight down to business in 2023.

We have taken this opportunity to conduct a series of planning and review sessions to ensure we are on track to achieve our goals for 2022/23 and update our Brighton Council Strategic Plan for 2023-2033, plus devel­op a 10 Year Infrastructure Plan for new capital investments. It is important and required that we do this on a regular basis to ensure we are clear on our goals and direction as a Coun­cil, always keeping in mind our 2050 Vision. Our 2050 Vision is where you told us what was important for the long term future of our people and place and these strategic plans shape how we will achieve our vision. The plans will be endorsed by Council and available for your reference as part of our Council meeting process and on our website in the coming months.

At the beginning of each finan­cial year, Council develops an Annual Plan based on Council’s strategic plan and the budget process. Given we are now over half way through the current financial year, and will soon be heading into the new budget planning phase, it was timely for us to have an update on how we are tracking for 2022-2023. Council was pleased to see we are very much on track to achieve our goals for the year. There were a large number of goals that we had set our­selves for this year and if you are interested in getting a full update on how we are tracking, this is available in the meeting agenda for the January OCM on our website. Here is just a small selection of our achieve­ments that are perhaps less talked about in recent times but incredibly important for us to thrive as a growing community here in Brighton.

Community Infrastructure Needs – The Draft Brighton Social Infrastructure Plan was endorsed by Council in December 2022 and the community will be able to have a say in February/March 2023, with the plan on track to be completed by this financial year.

Housing – Council continues to lobby for a more holistic approach to public and affordable housing projects, engaging with Centacare Evolve Housing. Council has offered land to be purchased for future public and affordable housing projects.

Transport – Council is always advocating for improved public transport, including ferry infrastructure and services. We are pleased to advise that State Growth is undertaking background work to inform a Derwent River Masterplan, which will consider sites within our municipality. We are working closely with State Growth to inform this plan.

Jobs and Training – The Southcentral Workforce Network (SWN) in Pontville continues to go from strength to strength. The team has expanded to five staff members and the number and range of programs managed by the ‘Jobs Hub’ has grown significantly.

Climate Change – Staff are preparing a planning scheme overlay for overland flooding to assist and educate the community and this will soon be available for publication on Council’s website and for the submission of a planning scheme amendment. A coastal hazards risk assessment has also commenced.

Council has ordered its first electric vehicle to be included in the fleet.

Council continues to report on Council’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions and take actions to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 and zero by 2040. Council’s emissions reduced by 73% on 2021, and this rapid fall was unexpected and is largely a result of introducing FOGO and Brighton’s landfill waste now being sent to the Copping facility managed by Southern Waste Solutions that captures methane gas and generates electricity from biogas. Our corporate emissions target will be revised early this year.

Waste Management – Coun­cil is very active in waste and sustainability education in the community and schools. We have been recognised for our efforts with a number of awards in recent times, including the Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award by Local Government Professionals Aus­tralia – Tasmania for FOGO, finalist in the Local Govern­ment Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Awards for Excellence for ‘Building and environment and climate change program’, runner-up as overall winner in the most Sustainable Commu­nity award from Keep Australia Beautiful – Tasmania as well as awards for Community Spirit and Inclusiveness, Community Health & Wellbeing and the population award for places with 5,000-20,000 people.

Culture and Arts – Council has activated its public art strategy with three spaces receiving completed art installations: Gagebrook Community Centre, Cris Fitzpatrick Park public toilets and a community created paint by numbers piece for the Brighton Civic Centre. This work will continue throughout the year.

We also began the year with a workshop on the Future of Local Government Review. After a period of comprehen­sive community consultation, the Tasmanian Government released an Options Paper in December 2022. In January, Council took the time to work through these options and discuss views and opinions on each in order to familiarise our­selves with the outcomes and make a submission. Council’s preliminary views on the Op­tions Paper will be provided to the review board. If you would like to learn more about the ‘Options’ for the Future of Local Government in Tasmania visit www.futurelocal.tas.gov.au.

Finally, it is really pleasing for me to note two significant events that will be held in our municipality early this year and we can all be extremely proud that our Brighton Civic Centre and region has been chosen to hold these important gather­ings. In March/April we will host ChangeFest23 – 1-3 March 2023 and Big Weekend of Sus­tainable Living Ideas – 25 & 26 March 2023.

We hope the community enjoys and benefits from hosting these events right here in Bridgewa­ter.

Brighton Mayor

Leigh Gray

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