COUNCIL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – MAYORAL SPEECH – CR PITTOCK
That Council notes the Acknowledgment Speech by the Mayor, Councillor Graham Pittock, at the Annual Meeting of Council on 9 November 2015 and refers the matters in the speech to management to report to a meeting of Council no later than 8 March 2016 as to adjustments in respect of the remaining period of the Council Plan.
The Mayor, Councillor Pittock – “I should like to acknowledge Cr Bev Colomb and thank her for all her hard work during her term of office as Mayor of this great Council during this important transitional year. Securing top management, continuity and stability in the orderly, regular and transparent transaction and administration of Council business has been, and will remain, paramount concerns of Council.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire is now a leading Council in its policy formation and application. Council and management action is focused squarely on cultural change within the organisation, financial and management discipline, quality service delivery to its residents provided with cost efficiency for its ratepayers. In this I need only refer to the effective, practical and functional restructuring of the management of the Shire undertaken by our CEO Carl Cowie – and the implementation of his “SeeChange” program – bent on the provision of prompt and quality customer service for all residents and ratepayers.
I should also like to acknowledge and thank my team of councillor colleagues for all their dedication and hard work in the four corners of this large, diverse and complex Shire over the last year. Our annual Shire budget is $200m compared with our friends across the waters and historic environment we share with the Borough of Queenscliff – with its budget of $10m.
I should also like to thank my councillor colleagues for electing me as Mayor of this Shire -now for a second time since I was elected to Council. I am very conscious of, and humbled by, the confidence they have reposed in me. I have a great opportunity of leading as Mayor this Council as, together, we meet many challenges. These challenges include, in no particular priority –
- Securing top management, continuity and stability in the orderly regular and transparent transaction and administration of Council business has been, and will remain, paramount concerns of Council.
- Achieving our commitment to carbon neutrality with practical policies designed to reduce our carbon footprint, sooner rather than too late, exploit our renewable energy resources now, not pass on these responsibilities to our future generations, and to advocate for others to do so now.
- Achieving balanced economic, transport and port development within a large, diverse and complex Shire consistent with these challenges.
- Protecting our very special green wedge as prime high yielding agricultural land and better exploitation throughout the Shire of its Class A recycled “purple pipe” water.
- Protecting and enhancing the amenity of our built environments and townships with quality zoning and land use outcomes consistently and promptly administered.
- Protecting and enhancing our recreational lands, parks, historic places and our marine and coastal environment, the health of Port Phillip Bay and permitting it to form its own natural boundaries.
- Better recognition, conservation and integration of marine, heritage and flora and fauna and wetland environments.
- Reviewing the service, business, capital and financial functions of Council; financial and management discipline, quality service delivery to its residents provided with cost efficiency for its ratepayers.
- Prompt and effective advocacy to meet the challenges thrown up by the State and Commonwealth governments.
- Reviewing and maintaining an equitable and progressive rating strategy designed to meet these challenges.
In drawing the golden thread through all this, may I suggest that our policies ought to provide for the adaption of Shire functions to the environment rather than adapting our environment to the Shire functions? And we must not forget our relationship with our other friends across the waters of the Timor Sea in Los Palos suffering a severe drought at this time.
Mr Cowie brings to the office of Chief Executive Officer of this Shire his strong and successful, but personable, experience in senior business and financial management. We look forward to the ongoing roll out of these programs. I congratulate him and his officers on their dedicated work over the last year and look forward to Council working closely with him over the next year in meeting the challenges I have referred to.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this important gathering this evening. At the conclusion of this meeting please stay and join myself, the Deputy Mayor, my co-councillors, Mr Cowie and the officers for refreshments.”