Mr Michael Picton
August 2014 Mitcham Community News
Over the past four years significant developments across Mitcham have improved the lives of many. The Council and I have been proud of what we have achieved and we’re excited about our plans for the future.
We are on track to balance the Council’s budget, ensuring that future rate rises won’t be needed to drag the Council out of debt. It was apparent early into this Council term that Council wasn’t operating in a financially sustainable manner by continuing to run deficit budgets. Council was borrowing money to provide the level of services that we as a community had come to expect. Things had to change and they have. This year’s budget sees the balancing of our budget through a program of finding efficiencies in the way Council runs its businesses.
Saving Brownhill Creek
We have been able to withstand the onslaught of influences outside of Mitcham set on destroying our local environment with their push to build a dam in the upper reaches of Brownhill Creek. Together, Elected Members, staff, hydrology experts and residents have found a solution to the flooding problems that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
Improving our Community Services
We are assisting to our sporting clubs and residents by planning and upgrading our much needed sports grounds and facilities so that more people can participate. Our Community Centres are being revamped and are attracting more users. The Mitcham Cultural Village is growing in popularity, exceeding all expectations. The Shed is being used by a number of groups and gaining an enviable reputation amongst the shed community. The Mitcham Heritage Research Centre volunteers are already leaders in their field and their Heritage month celebrations continue to grow in popularity.
The walking and bike trails network across the Mitcham hills are growing in popularity and have attracted State funds to assist Council with our roll out plans. The footpath replacement program is continuing with an investment of $2.5 million towards upgrading our footpath network. We are tackling a number of local traffic management issues across the City with over $200,000 being invested to improve local problems.
Well Placed for a Stronger Future
With everyone working together, Elected Members, staff and residents, we are improving Mitcham, making it an even better place. It is an absolute honour to represent you as your Mayor. I enjoy listening to what you want and work hard to ensure the Council is listening.
I am looking forward to continuing in the future to work for everyone in Mitcham, ensuring we strive to achieve an open and responsive Council, making our roads safer, resolving stormwater problems and improving your Council facilities.
Brownhill Creek – Next Steps
Council’s CEO Mr Matt Pears and I met with the Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Mr Jamie Briggs in Canberra in June to discuss the Federal Government funding a share of the Brownhill and Keswick Creek Stormwater project. While it was always hoped that there would be an equal sharing of the costs involved in this $150,000,000 project between the Federal, State and Local Governments, Mr Briggs was adamant that under his area of influence in Canberra no funds would be made available for this project.
This is of course a set-back but as far as Mitcham is concerned planning for mitigating flooding along Brownhill Creek from Anzac Highway to around Scotch College will proceed as planned. Consultation with Mitcham residents on the preferred option of a no-dam solution will occur in August.
Happy 100th Birthday Wishes
Two very special Mitcham people recently celebrated their 100th birthday. It was with great honour and pride for me as Mayor that I was invited to both Ms Loren Tozer and Mr Newton Stagg’s 100th Birthday celebrations. It was wonderful to be able to talk with them and meet their families and to hear their stories of how our community has changed over the past century. So much has changed! Congratulations Ms Tozer and Mr Stagg!
Use Your Voice: Vote this Election
This is the last Mitcham Community News before the Council election period. Please remember to vote at the Council election in November if you would like to have a say on who represents you and your interests on Council. If you are on the election roll you will receive your ballot papers in the mail in the week beginning Monday 20 October.