The below is the speech given by the new mayor Cr Daniel Moloney in the council chamber this week, the first he made after he was confirmed in the role by his fellow councillors.
In his preamble, Cr Moloney thanked Deanne Gilson for her welcome to country. He also acknowledged returned councillors, paid tribute to outgoing councillors Jim Rinaldi and Grant Tillett, as well as welcoming new arrivals, Peter Eddy and Tracey Hargreaves.
Here is the substance of his speech in full:
I am honoured to be elected to the role of Mayor for the coming year and I'm committed to providing leadership within our council group. Together, I believe we can serve our community well. As we commence this new term, it is important to acknowledge the past and bring with us learnings from previous council terms.
But it is even more important that, as a team, we look forward to how best to grow the future of our community and the City. We all know that the last year has been a time of incredible change in Ballarat - across both our community and the council organisation. In particular, the global pandemic has brought many challenges to our city ... but I also believe it has brought opportunity.
Now, more than ever, we need Ballarat people promoting Ballarat.The mayor Cr Daniel Moloney
There are many sectors hit particularly hard in recent months .... Hospitality, tourism, events and the arts to name a few. Many businesses have struggled to weather the storm of Covid-19 and I want to be very clear that our councillor group is united in helping you get back on your feet. Ballarat people look out for each other.
We're here in the good times and the bad. And my call to our 112,000 residents is to rally behind each other ... to get out and support our businesses over the coming weeks, especially in the lead up to Christmas, to encourage your friends and family members from across Victoria to visit, and to be ambassadors for our city in every possible regard.
Now, more than ever, we need Ballarat people promoting Ballarat.
The past several months have been hard on many. But as restrictions ease, we see new opportunities for our city. We see people abandoning Melbourne and starting a new life in the regions, and we see work patterns have perhaps changed forever
Ballarat ... it is time to shake off our forced winter hibernation, and safely start getting our city humming again. The past several months have been hard on many. But as restrictions ease, we see new opportunities for our city. We see people abandoning Melbourne and starting a new life in the regions, and we see work patterns have perhaps changed forever.
No longer do you need to be in Collins Street when you can be in Sturt St, or working from home here in Ballarat ... with customers across Australia and the world. This is Ballarat's moment to shine. I see growing confidence in our city as a great place to live, work and invest.
During COVID restrictions, planning proposals remained strong with the approval of $83 million in works planned across Ballarat. In Lucas alone, 1100 new housing lots have been released and the demand from people wanting to live in Ballarat is so strong that the existing growth area's land supply will be exhausted over the next two years.
Growth in a sustainable way will be key. Our first job is to appoint a new CEO and this work will begin immediately, with the intention of having it finalised in the early months of 2021.
Along with this task will be our initial work in developing the new four-year Council Plan - a plan for growth across Ballarat to guide us out of the pandemic's economic crisis and into a stronger future.
We can be certain that this will take time to achieve, but equally certain that Ballarat will see brighter days as a result of our work. Work on the Council Plan will start soon.
The next 12 months will lay the foundations that will set up the city for continued growth over the next 20 years. These foundations will be rooted in our businesses, our sports and arts cultures, our infrastructure and our environment.
Most of all, it must be rooted in community spirit, support and a sense of trust in our Council and the service we provide to the community.
In closing I would like to thank our community for the faith they have placed in me by re-electing me as a councillor. I also thank my fellow councillors for their support. I am committed to using this opportunity to progress us all towards a bigger, bolder and better Ballarat. Thank you.
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