Ms Lindy Taeuber
This is my second column since COVID-19 has changed much in everyone’s lives. It brings home to me the value of our open spaces and I have seen greatly increased usage in my closest park as riders, dog walkers, joggers and nature players all enjoy the space and freedom.
My personal congratulations to new Gault Ward Councillor Rod Moss on his election and a warm thank you to outgoing Cr Jasmine Berry (one of only two female councillors ever elected to Gault Ward) for her service to the City of Mitcham.
I am very proud of the budget that Council has delivered as it provides a 10 per cent reduction in rates (and other flexibility) for most COVID affected residents and a rate rise of 1.91 per cent for non-COVID affected residents.
Other councils chose to give a zero per cent rate rise to every property but we wanted to actually reduce the rate charge for those affected.
The Blackwood Hub has, quite rightly, received a lot of consideration and comment. The project has been supported by every Councillor over the years however recently some have pulled back, concerned about the total cost and/ or undertaking any significant project during COVID-19. The Blackwood Hub project is a library, community centre, modest services centre, car park and upgrade to Waite Street Reserve. The proposed Council contribution is around $7m – almost identical to the Council contribution towards the Mitcham Memorial Library, gardens and car park upgrade which employed 108 people during construction. A significant difference is that the MML has three community centres, the Civic Centre, the Community Shed and Local History Building within 1.2km. The Hub will be the only Council-run community centre and library in the southern part of Mitcham Council. I took seriously our meeting with Premier Steven Marshall who said that it is helpful for Councils to assist in stimulating the economy by considering borrowing at the current very low interest rates and actioning capital projects such as the Hub. The Premier asked us to ‘contribute to standing up our economy’.
Other significant Craigburn Ward projects completed or being progressed are – new Bellevue Heights tennis courts, new road into the Lions Shed, roundabout work on Coromandel Parade, a management plan for Karinya Reserve, commencement of the Sturt Lions clubhouse and new pitch and funding to progress the Sturt River Linear Trail.
Very importantly, as we head into the bushfire season, Council will consult the community about the opening of Star Lily and/or Verdelho Streets as exits only during the bushfire season. At the same time Council will invite feedback on the broader ‘Craigburn Farm Western Bypass Study’ and seek information about residents’ bushfire action plans.