2020 has been a challenging year for us all with many separated from friends and family. As Mayor of the City of Mount Gambier, I sincerely hope that you enjoy the festive season given the uncertain environment we are living in due to COVID-19.
We give gratitude for the way our community has been kept safe during the pandemic. This year highlights how resilient and compassionate we are towards others who may be struggling. I am grateful for the generosity shown by our community to the Mayor’s Community Christmas Appeal which currently sits at a total of about $30,000 in donations to local agencies for distribution through the Christmas Cheer program.
Council was quick to do its part to assist the community during its time of need this year with the ‘Our City Our Response’ multi-pronged COVID-19 plan which focussed on our people, our economy and our recovery. To support our community, Council worked with Spare Ya Change 4 Kids to provide a community kitchen to prepare meals for vulnerable children and families, established a Community Development Fund to support community and sporting groups and deployed Council staff to support critical community services and organisations. Meanwhile, to support our economy, the 2020/2021 budget included COVID-19 funding, deferred rate payments, honoured Council sponsorship for events in 2020 and waived rent for Council tenants.
As we reach the end of the year, I hope we take the time to re-evaluate what is important in our lives as we look forward to the recovery process in 2021. Council hopes to assist our recovery by accelerating the delivery of works programs to support local business, developing improvement and activation plans for community spaces and places and developing a future based strategy to re-ignite local economy.
There is much to look forward to in our city, including the development of Council’s largest ever infrastructure project, the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre. The building is taking shape at Olympic Park and I am very much looking forward to seeing how this facility will improve the liveability within our community.
I acknowledge that Christmas can be a lonely time for some people in our community, and even more so this year. I hope that as many as possible can be reunited with family and friends at this special time of year.
I wish you all peace and happiness at Christmas and may 2021 be all you hope for.
Lynette MARTIN OAM