Council meeting head to Portarlington

Bellarine Ward councillor Jim Mason. (supplied)

One of the most enjoyable parts about being a councillor is how closely we get to work with the community we serve.

As the closest level of government to the people out of all the tiers of government in this country, it is something I value enormously.

Engaging with the community on a regular basis at council meetings is one of the things that separates us from state and federal politicians, but for some people, coming into the city on the fourth Tuesday of the month to attend a meeting can be a lot of work.

This council recognises that to be inclusive and accessible to all our community, we cannot just hold meetings in town.

We understand the barriers that some people face in attending these types of events – which is why we offer a livestream service – and that there can be difficulties when you live outside of the city centre and surrounding suburbs.

So, council holds four public meetings outside of City Hall each year, and next week we will be at Portarlington Parks Hall.

As it happens, this coincides with one of the most important meetings of the year.

This is because we will be debating the Proposed 2024-25 budget, before voting on whether to endorse it for community consultation.

I urge all community members to come down to the meeting, which is being held on Tuesday 23 April.

As well as having the opportunity to ask questions of your elected councillors, myself and my Bellarine Ward colleagues will deliver a rundown of local ward projects.

It is a wonderful chance to experience democracy in action.

It would be brilliant to have a large turnout of people next week because being able to bring the whole council to different parts of the Greater Geelong region has benefits for both councillors and residents.

We get to hear from a wider cross-section of the community, and it allows those councillors from outside of the ward to experience a first-hand insight into issues across the greater municipality.

Doors will open at 6.15pm before the council meeting begins at 6.30pm.

And, for residents who cannot attend in person, you can still view a livestream at on the night.

I hope to see you all there.