Thursday, 23 December 2021

Mail Newspaper Column - Reflecting on Year - 6 December 2021

As Christmas approaches, we naturally reflect on the year that was and our hopes for the year ahead.

Like last year, it has been a difficult year, but we can have some confidence that life is now far more normal.

When I put myself forward at the 2019 Federal election, I made a number of pledges and commitments to build a stronger and safer local community. At that time, none of us envisaged that a pandemic would change all of our lives.

Despite this, during lockdowns and other challenges, the work to deliver these has continued and is continuing.

Funding for better sporting and community facilities, including a new pavilion and additional netball court at Wandin North Reserve, an upgraded pavilion at Mooroolbark Soccer Club and an oval and lighting upgrade at Kimberley Reserve in Chirnside Park has allowed for greater levels of female participation.

The construction of Mt Evelyn’s new pavilion is now underway, as is the major redevelopment of the main oval at Seville Reserve.

Healesville’s Jack Hort Memorial Indoor Pool has been completely refurbished and back in operation. The playing facilities at Upwey-Tecoma Bowls Club have also been upgraded.

The new Seville War Memorial stands tall in the heart of the township, featuring the stories of veterans from the Yarra Valley.

We all want a safer community - CCTV security cameras detect and deter local crime.

Networks of CCTV security cameras have been installed in Upwey, Seville, Wandin and Warburton. Plans have been finalised for additional cameras in Warburton and networks in Millgrove and Montrose.

Operated by Victoria Police, CCTV security cameras across our region are helping to combat local crime.

In Healesville, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction, key environmental initiatives are providing a direct benefit to those communities, as well as reducing emissions.

Throughout this year there has been substantial progress in sealing more dirt roads in our community thanks to $150 million of funding from the Morrison Government.

As roads are sealed, the days of dust and mud end for many local residents.

A Youth Health Hub and Headspace service based in Lilydale is now delivering health services to teenagers and young adults. Importantly, it has links into the community and a focus on outreach. As we all know, the pandemic has been a particularly challenging time for young people.

I wish you all the very best for the summer break with family and friends and for a better 2022.

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