Mayor’s Christmas Message

Mayor Ben Shaw in his video message on Facebook, with
Santa and one of his helpers.

THIS is the text of a video Christmas message from Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw that was posted on the council’s Facebook page earlier today.

“G’day everybody, and welcome to the December edition of the Mayor’s Message.

“We’re here today at Santa’s House down in the middle of High St, having a look at Santa Claus and some of their lovely elves and all the people coming in having a look and spreading some Christmas cheer.

“We didn’t have a huge meeting at the December meeting, so not a whole lot to report back on. But I guess I just want to touch a little bit on some of the achievements and things that we’ve had a council this year and some of the things that we’re doing moving forward.

“So we’ve had a huge year, first 12 months of the new council, certainly got a lot of projects on and there’s a great feeling around in the community. I think we we’re right on the cusp of something really fantastic here in the Derwent Valley. There’s lots of private people doing some really good things, out in the sector, out in farming, out in agriculture, out in tourism.

“Council has progressed our plans and ideas for the Willow Court precinct, obviously to go in hand-in-hand with the Agrarian Kitchen. We’re looking at New  Norfolk Rum Distillery, we’re also looking at the Kitchen expanding their garden and cooking school to the Willow Court site. We’re really helping to promote the Derwent Valley Arts and Salamanca Arts in taking over part of that precinct there as well. And of course, so we’ve just heard recently that Corumbene nursing home have taken over the old derelict buildings next door to Woolworth’s and we’re looking forward to a really good community health up there.

“So look, lots and lots of things have happened in this year. We’re starting to get our finances back on track, we’re really understanding now where are where our money is going and what we need to be spending it on.

“We’ve advocated really heavily with the state and federal governments, as you can see with Glenora Rd upgrade done through the state government funding, through [to] the rowing club, so the rowing club is nearly ready to go, so early in 2020. So that fantastic facility upgraded down there and of course, that’s that’s a project between the council, the rowing club, state government and federal government. So that’s a really good collaboration. So the more of that we can do, sort of moving forward into the future makes us a bit more viable as a community as well.

“Of course, we funded some bridge upgrades this year with Wyre Forest Rd and Plenty Bridge and out at Molesworth as well. So they’re collaboration projects as well, so we’re really starting to understand and do some really cool things in the community.

“You’ll see, as mentioned, Glenora Rd and Britten St being done now, we’ve got heaps of new projects going on in the early part of 2020. So you really will start to see the community change. So we’re really excited and really looking forward to what 2020 will bring. We’ve certainly got lots more projects and lots more things on.

“We’re looking at our branding project, early in January the community will have its first look at our new Derwent Valley branding, so that’s something really exciting that’s come out of our Strategic Plan, our 2030 plan, and that’s our community strategic plan, so, really excited in implementing all that as well.

“So, it’s been a massive year. Of course, we hope we all have our ups and downs. Council certainly isn’t immune to that. But what we can say, is myself, all of the councillors, all of the staff, are striving really, really hard to be the best organisation we can, to deliver for our community and for our future.

“So, look, stick with us, we’re on the right track. We’ve got some really awesome things happening in the Derwent Valley this year and throughout next year and I guess throughout the next three years of our council term. We’re really excited to keep on delivering what we’ve been doing.

“So look, that’s it for me for this year. We’ll be back in January, we are we going to do my Mayor’s Message from the Australia Day celebrations down the Esplanade in January. So that’ll be good, we’ll do a bit of roving mic, have a bit of a chat with everybody and see what they think about Australia Day and see what they think about a few projects.

“So, look, we’ve got a fantastic team up in the staffing of council, we’re a really passionate elected member group, and what I’d like to say on behalf of all of us is we wish you a merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year and we will see you in the New Year, bright and strong.

“The council office is closed on Christmas Eve at lunchtime and they’ll be back open on the second of December (sic). So they’ll have a much well-earned break, there for the council staff as well. So hopefully they look forward to that as well and getting back into it in the new year.

“Again, we’re here at our Santas House in High St, so Santa Claus, merry Christmas, Santa Claus. I hope I have been good enough for you to come and visit me in a couple of days. We’ve got some elves here and have a bit of a look around, we might have a bit of a scan around and have a bit of a look. And for anyone who would like to come down and have a photo with Santa Claus, have a chat with the elves and spread some Christmas cheer, Santa’s House is open right up until Christmas Eve, generally until about 2pm from 10am, so pop on down to High St, do some shopping, and again have a Merry Christmas and a safe new year. Thank you, everybody.”

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