Division 9 finishes off 2013 on a great note…

The holiday season is upon us and it’s only a few sleeps before my children go Santa-mad! I’m sure other families out there are the same, frantically shopping for presents, regularly checking the credit card balance, and ensuring the Christmas period is celebrated into the New Year without the regret of spending more than we wanted to.

Some residents have asked what I do to celebrate Christmas. Normally it involves a lot of mangoes and prawns and swimming in the pool with my two, now three, boys. It’s an awesome family time I look forward to every year. I also get to catch up a bit on paperwork with the volume of enquiry dropping in the office and leaving some time for letter-writing, email inbox clean-out, and some strategic planning for 2014.

2014 is going to be a great year. There’s a few local construction projects looking like they are moving forward, including a planned multi-million dollar aged care facility in Tallai and upcoming residential stages of Gilston’s emerging community are progressing. Our community calendar is looking solid, with our annual Street Party partnering with the bi-annual Heritage Week celebrations that will be held in the Village and Museum precincts around April 13th. Plans look good for another Mudgeeraba Show and d’Arcy Doyle Art Festival. The preliminary plans to build on the success of the inaugural Mudgeeraba Music Muster are also in play with several sponsors already expressing interest in a partnership for 2014.

All of this shows a sense of business confidence is returning to the Mudgeeraba area, and the city. This is good for the economy, of course, but also means families stay strong due to better employment prospects and community groups can expect new and ongoing support from the local business community.

More importantly, it’s been great to chat to residents in the many street meet community consultations we’ve held this past year as they express a sense that we’re delivering and focussing on the things that matter here in Division 9. Mums and Dads, and Grandmas and Grandpas, who express that they’ve never really felt a sense of participation in local government, note that transparency and accessibility has returned. Funnily enough, they feel more inclined to be a part of local community groups when they understand how everything fits together in a strategy to build community spirit.

This sort of success can’t be measured by facts or figures, but wouldn’t be possible without the great contribution of my local team. Donna, who has helped community groups get $2.3million in grant funding over recent years, is contracted 2 days a week to help Division 9 groups. Chantelle works closely on our street meet program, again contracted for 2 days, helping to connect interested members of the community to the right group for them, whether it’s a Neighbourhood Watch, a P & C, or another interest group. And of course, Helen and Linda, who this year have been the friendly faces in the Division 9 office, managing a considerable volume of enquiries about all manner of things, from trees and potholes to bins and bushfires and business enquiries. Thanks to all of the team for their friendly attitude serving the community.

Finally, 2014 is the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family. We’ll be spending some time in our division promoting initiatives of local groups who have services available for families, in an attempt to ensure the core unit of our community stays strong. Mudgeeraba and the Hinterland has a wonderful legacy of strong families building a sense of inclusive community spirit and I’m keen to use that established platform to help the many new families who have moved into the area. If you’re part of a group that helps families, please let me know so we can chat and incorporate your activities into the community awareness.

The office will be closed between the 24th December to the 6th of January and I’ll be taking some time with my family out of the office until the 20th January. I’ll be contactable by email or phone, but if your matter is not urgent please wait until the office opens to seek an appointment. As always, you can catch us on 5581 1883.

Have a Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year!

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