Mayor’s Christmas Message

Richard Higgins, Yarra Ranges Mayor 2019-20.

It’s been an interesting and busy year in Yarra Ranges in 2019, and I’m proud to see what we’ve been able to achieve and deliver for the community.

Our sporting communities are enjoying new facilities like the new Monbulk Recreation Reserve and Kilsyth Centre of Excellence, along with temporary changerooms we’ve installed across Yarra Ranges to help athletes of all genders have a better experience playing local sport.

We’ve seen unprecedented levels of new footpath installations, along with a large number of maintenance and replacement of our existing footpaths.

Multiple urban playground upgrades have also taken place, which has increased the quality of our neighbourhood playspaces, and we’ve increased safety at several of our intersections with the installation of traffic lights.

We’ve hosted several events for our farming and business communities, and residents, about how they can better adapt to the changing climate, reduce their power use or look at generating renewable energy, which have all been very well-received.

In this space, we’ve continued to install solar panels, replace street lights and our Council buildings’ lighting systems with energy-efficient alternatives, which is saving a significant amount of money and greenhouse gas emissions.

Our large-scale projects, such as the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, Yarra Valley Trail and RidgeWalk are progressing and they’re just a few of the projects we’re looking forward to continuing in 2020 with community input and support.

We’ve also faced a few challenges through the year, such as increased pressure on the recycling industry.

Though we’ve been able to navigate the recycling crisis without having to send any of our kerbside recyclables to landfill, we know that more work is needed across the state to fix the industry and improve what can be processed and recycled from our kerbside bins.

We look forward to working with other Councils and the State Government in 2020 to work through these issues and find better solutions for our community.

Hard waste collections will be starting in the new year, so I’d encourage residents to visit our website, pop their address in the search bar on the home page and check their collection week.

When thinking about hard waste and what to put out for collection, and last-minute Christmas shopping coming up, we need to remember that the most important part of reduce, reuse and recycle is reducing the waste we generate in the first place.

This can be as simple as looking at the things we buy and thinking about if there are alternatives in packaging, or ways to reduce the things that we put into the bin.

Wherever possible, reusing, repurposing and rehoming items can help us to avoid items going to landfill.

As the year wraps up, on behalf of my fellow Councillors and all of Yarra Ranges, we hope you have a safe and merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Richard Higgins,

Mayor of Yarra Ranges

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