7 August 2023

Community members elected to new committees to help guide council decisions

| Neil Reilly
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An aerial image of Kiama overlooking Blowhole Point.

Kiama Council is committed to creating a connected and liveable community through its Community Strategic Plan. Photo: Destination NSW.

The fourth pillar of Kiama Council’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP) is: “We are part of a connected and liveable community”.

Being part of a connected and liveable community means that the council aims to foster a sense of belonging and cohesion among you good folk, while ensuring that the community remains vibrant, sustainable, and enjoyable. One way we work to achieve this is through our council committees, which we have recently restructured.

I congratulate the successful applicants to council’s two newest committees. We have appointed four community members to the Sustainable Communities Committee: Michael Bowden, Liam Pettigrew, Narreda Grimley and Alan Smith. They will join councillor Imogen Draisma and myself as the councillor representatives and our director of planning, environment and communities Jessica Rippon on this committee.

Four applicants were appointed to the Infrastructure and Liveability Committee: Roy Rogers, Tony Gilmour, Jennifer Wulff (nee Heath) and Dr Fiona Mackie. They will join councillor Mark Croxford and councillor Stuart Larkins and our director of infrastructure and liveability Michael Malone on the committee.

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We are so grateful to the many community members who applied for the roles and I encourage their participation throughout the committee term as invited experts where appropriate.

Overall, community participation on a council committee can lead to more inclusive, effective, and people-centric decision-making processes, ultimately benefiting the community’s wellbeing and development.

This new structure will be well tested over the next 12 months. We don’t expect that it will be perfect, nothing really is, but we can learn from any mistakes along the way and make sure we don’t repeat them. I believe that if we have a positive mindset, we’re likely to see any little hiccups as an opportunity to improve and add greater value to this innovative method of committees.

Beyond the next 12 months, I’ve been thinking about how we deliver on the goals outlined in the fourth pillar of our CSP, which is a long-term plan that outlines the vision, strategy, and priorities of your council in serving its community. That’s you!

I’ll break down the key elements of this strategic pillar:

A connected community: This focuses on building strong social connections among community members. It involves initiatives to promote community engagement, inclusivity, and participation in local events, projects, and decision-making processes. The goal is to create a sense of belonging and unity among us all.

A liveable community: This aspect emphasises creating an environment where people can lead fulfilling and comfortable lives. It includes various elements such as access to essential services, well-designed public spaces, recreational facilities, and infrastructure that supports a high quality of life. A liveable community is also one that is sustainable in the long term.

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This involves efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment, promote eco-friendly practices, and ensure responsible urban planning and development that balances the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.

Your council also focuses on fostering economic growth and social development within the community. I believe this includes support for local businesses, creating job opportunities, and addressing social issues to ensure a thriving and prosperous community.

Our goal may be a lofty one, but with your support we can continue creating a cohesive, inclusive, and sustainable community where all members of our LGA enjoy a high quality of life, social interaction, and access to services and amenities.

Don’t forget that I run an open-door policy … email [email protected] or call ahead to book an appointment or just drop in. I’m always up for a chat if I’m around.

Kiama Mayor Neil Reilly has represented the Kiama community as a councillor since 2008, including a year as deputy mayor.

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