Strengthening the relationship between Council, the community, local business and the other tiers of government will be key pillars of Cr Tony Briffa’s second term as Mayor of Hobsons Bay.
Cr Briffa was elected as mayor by her peers in November last year, having previously served in the role in 2011/12.
Cr Briffa’s mayoral program was announced at the Council meeting on Tuesday (7 February 2023), and includes six key areas:
1. Celebrating the diversity and community spirit of Hobsons Bay
Cr Briffa wants to celebrate the diversity of Hobsons Bay through opportunities such as International Women’s Day, events focused on all abilities, and support for the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program, with a strong focus on women in STEAM.
2. Greater community voice and opportunities to participate in Council activities
Cr Briffa welcomes the opportunity for community groups to meet with councillors and promote the work they do in the community through invitations to councillor briefing sessions and council meetings and working with Council to showcase the work of community groups.
3. Strengthening the relationship between Council and the Victorian and Australian governments
Cr Briffa will work to build stronger relationships between Council and the Victorian and Australian governments and their agencies and advocate for investment in infrastructure,
programs and services that meet the needs of the Hobsons Bay community. Under Cr Briffa’s leadership, Council will continue to advocate for state and federal support for priority projects such as the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre and the Western Aquatic and Early Years Centre, as well as investment in vital areas such as youth mental health and improved public transport options.
4. Stronger connections and purposeful engagement with the business community, sister cities, members of parliament and neighbouring councils
Cr Briffa is keen to support and promote the many industrial, commercial and retail businesses in Hobsons Bay through activities such as the Business Visitation Program, ‘Meet the Mayor’ initiatives, business roundtables with local businesses, industry and trader representatives, and the biennial Hobsons Bay Business Awards.
Cr Briffa is also keen to build on existing connections with other councils through events such as Midsumma Westside, regular meetings between western region councils, and through collaboration around the Municipal Association of Victoria and advocacy bodies such as M9.
Cr Briffa will also extend Council’s engagement and connection with its sister city and friendship alliances – Anjo (Japan), Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire (Queensland) and Buloke Shire (Victoria).
5. Promoting awareness of First Nations people through Council’s relationship with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council friendship alliance and exploring support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament
Cr Briffa supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and will make it a priority during this mayoral term to raise community awareness and explore support for the Voice to Parliament. This will include participating in broader campaigns, as well as seeking to consult directly with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council.
6. Making Hobsons Bay a greener, more environmentally proactive and liveable city
Cr Briffa will seek to coordinate a Brooklyn air quality community forum, bringing together community, government agencies and business. Under her leadership, support will continue for the school environment engagement program, the Trees in Schools program and a new initiative, the Habitat Gardens program, which will begin in April.
Cr Briffa will also promote and champion the benefits of Council’s Virtual Power Network and expanding renewable capacity.
“Being Mayor of this community is a great honour. I’m really looking forward to working with the community, local businesses and other governments to deliver on these initiatives as we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cr Briffa said.
“Hobsons Bay is a proud, diverse community and I want to celebrate that diversity. We also have a strong and resilient business community and passionate community groups.
“I want to make sure they’re all better connected to Council so we can all work together to make Hobsons Bay an even better place to live, work and play.”