Caring for our Pets
On my regular walks around East Ward, along streets and through the bush, I see many people and their leashed dogs enjoying our beautiful weather and leafy suburbs. That dogs are restrained whilst outside their property is appropriate but animals also need the stimulus which comes from roaming free of a tether. Although Council already has more fenced off-leash dog parks than are required by State Government guidelines, responding to residents’ requests, we were able to identify and regulate for another four such areas across the Shire. As with everything else Council commits to, extensive community consultation formed part of the review process and led to what should be very good outcomes. The fact that we were able to commit to such a substantial expense without incurring debt is testament again to the strong financial position which Council strives so hard to maintain.
Caring for the Community
Few of us thought last year that as spring emerged in 2021 we would still be shackled with COVID but the pestilence continues to wreak havoc across society with none of us immune to its effects. At a recent Council meeting, the Mayor reminded us of the emotional toll the virus is having through lockdown, particularly on young people whose lives are being disrupted at a pivotal time in their transition from the carefree days of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. It is now universally clear that high levels of vaccination offer the only alternative to widespread serious illness and, at every opportunity, I urge friends, colleagues and workmates to seek out our free and wonderful vaccines. We enjoy our generally long and happy lives today as much because of the extraordinary efficacy of vaccines as anything else. Not surprisingly we see data confirming that Hills’ residents are amongst those with the highest uptake of vaccines and, with spring emerging and summer not far off, we can all look forward to lives more akin to what we have been used to in this wonderful country.
Caring for Those Less Fortunate
Recovering from knee replacement surgery has reminded me of the challenges which people with disabilities confront. My fleeting disability is trivial compared with the burdens carried by so many in our community but is an example of how the real life experiences of elected representatives shape decision making in administering Council’s resources for the betterment of all.