21 October 2019
Former Shire Presidents and past Peninsula Mayors gathered in Mornington on Thursday 17 October 2019 to mark the 25th anniversary of amalgamation of the Shires of Flinders, Hastings and Mornington into one Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Among those attending the special function at the Mornington Council Chamber were Bill Goodrem and Brian Stahl, both of whom served as Shire Presidents before going on to become Mayors of the newly-created municipality. The current Mayor Councillor David Gill was also a Shire President in 84/85.
They joined former Shire of Flinders President Keith Holmes, former Shire of Hastings President Sue Wilding and former Shire of Mornington Presidents David McMillan and Paul Kelly.
The gathering of around 30 retired community leaders also included several former mayors Judith Graley, Tim Rodgers and David Renouf.
During the formalities Mayor Gill welcomed everyone and invited the former Shire Presidents to share a story, some secrets were told that would have once been confidential. It was terrific to catch up with so many people passionate about their community.
Mayor Gill said “the anniversary was an opportunity in time to reunite and recognise an old era of Councillors who represented their community on a volunteer basis. Amalgamation brought in a board of directors model and Councillors receiving a stipend for their services”.
“There was a fair degree of sadness and regret at the closure of the old Shire Councils, and the long period of no elected representatives forced on communities by the state government at the time,” he said.
“Our Shire now serves a resident population of over 166,000. We provide over 500 services to the community, have 1702km of roads, maintain 227 community buildings and care for 641 areas of public open space and much more”.
Mayor Gill said the anniversary was a good opportunity to take stock of what had been achieved so far and discuss the Shire’s direction for the next 25 years with so much wisdom in the room, this was too good an opportunity to miss.