One year on….
Published on 13 November 2017
Murrindindi Shire Councillors are a year into their roles, and in a weekly series each will reflect on their own experiences and insights being a Councillor.
Below Council’s Mayor Cr Charlie Bisset reflects on her role one year on…
What do you enjoy most about your role as Councillor?
Firstly I love being continually surprised and constantly learning about the wonderful events, people and hidden gems that are in our shire. Secondly, being a part of and working with a great team of passionate and dedicated people (in the Councillors and Council staff) who quite often have to deal with people who may not always understand the complexities that Local Governments are bound by.
What surprised you most about your role as Councillor? OR Has your view of the role of Councillor changed much in the past year?
What surprised me most about my role as Councillor is the minimal degree of knowledge that people have about the role Council itself plays in supporting the community. As a current Councillor and having worked previously in local government, I have still had to learn a great deal about the extensive range of services a council provides, some are legislated from State and Federal Governments and others are based on addressing community needs. I have realised that it is part of my responsibility as a Councillor to help the broader community understand what Council’s roles are on a number of fronts. Hopefully this will develop greater partnerships and collaboration with groups and individuals that will lead to better outcomes for our communities.
What have you learnt about the Shire that you didn’t know before?
I have learnt there are more amazing places, people and events than I ever imagined. Previously like so many other people, I was really only interested in the people, places, events and services on offer around my home and my community. I thought this is what makes Murrindindi Shire a great place to live. However there are 42 other communities Shire-wide, that are all similar, in that they provide for the basis of the lifestyle that we all love.
What three words best describe the Shire, having had a year in the job with the current Council (and explain why)?
Opportunity – there is so much opportunity for economic development in the shire.
Proximity – being so close to Melbourne is a huge draw card for the tourism industry within our shire.
Community – this is what we do well, the 42 individual communities that make up the Shire all contribute to one of the main reasons people remain or return to live, or move here.
What have you learnt from the Council Plan community engagement process?
People were looking for a change. The current Council has quickly established the importance of more community engagement – listening and talking with all communities, industries and people from the varied demographics. The feedback from the community engagement process and word-of-mouth feedback has been that people are excited for, interested in and supportive of, the current council and its ethos.
Have your motivations for the next three years as a Councillor changed? What are they?
No, not really changed, just strengthened. I’m keen to continue to work as a united team of Councillors, to support communities through empowering and enabling them to be more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, increase the vitality of towns and help grow visitor numbers to experience our beautiful natural assets.