A New Year wish for Ballarat

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Over the past year, mind I have made comments on many aspects of living in Ballarat, and in particular my dissatisfaction with council’s engagement with us, the community, as the stakeholders/ shareholders of this great regional city who will determine its destiny. I present my hopes for our community in 2015.

At the top of my list is the need for a reaffirmation of tolerance and understanding that respects difference. We must also take action against domestic violence, child abuse and street violence, and declare war on the shocking scourge of “ice” that is causing untold harm to many in our community.

Personally, I would like to see same-sex marriage legalised and legislation passed to allow people to die with dignity.

In relation to community matters, it is important that we are engaged stakeholders holding the decision-making of council to account. After consulting fully with its constituents on important matters such as the Civic Hall, the saleyards, the Black Hill pool to name but a few, Council can implement its decisions quickly and confidently, knowing it has the support of the community.

If Ballarat is to be considered the capital of western Victoria, then surely we must ensure a big vision for our city; an overarching ambitious sustainable plan with strategic projects that include ensuring the CBD being the home of the university, with strategic alliances to the gallery, theatre, civic hall, creative industries and commerce.

To elaborate, there must be an agreed overarching whole-of-CBD strategy that incorporates the redevelopment of the Civic Hall and the library as a community hub, the railway precinct as a transport hub, supports the extensive refurbishment of Ballarat’s historic Her Majesty’s Theatre, offers facilitation and encouragement to creative industries to locate within the CBD, including all the creative studies provided by Federation University, and encourage inner-city living in the CBD that will improve its safety and vibrancy. Such a strategy should also capture the imagination and support of the state and federal governments and thereby attract essential partnership funding.

In 2015, let’s secure our future. I genuinely hope the Abbott government will stimulate our sagging economy so as to maintain current jobs and create new ones. The Andrews government also plans to improve youth employment in the state through restoring a strong TAFE.

Here’s to a very happy, safe and prosperous community-engaged 2015.

Ron Egeberg
Soldiers Hill 3350

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized
This post was written by , posted on January 5, 2015 Monday at 12:19 pm

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