BASS Coast Councillor Julian Brown recently announced he is standing in the upcoming council election. He will recontest Bunurong Ward.

Councillor Brown has a lifelong connection to Bass Coast. He grew up in Wonthaggi. One of his grandfathers was a coal miner in the State Coal Mine.

“Wonthaggi has a rich history and we should recognise it and value it,” he said when announcing his intention to seek a second term.

He went to school in Wonthaggi and later at Newhaven College before moving to Melbourne. While at university he focused on studying history, politics and languages. After university Julian spent time living in South Africa and Japan.

He has been running his martial arts studio in Wonthaggi since 2012.

“It has been a pleasure to meet so many people and share a common interest.”

On the next term of council, he said: “We need councillors who have a balanced approach to decision making. For me the community, the environment and business are all important.”

“There is a very strong focus on the environment at council. I too have an interest in the environment as shown by my support for our Biolinks program, my support for preserving the Holden Proving Ground bushland and my opposition to the Maher’s Landing development proposal.

“However, the one area that will drift off the radar is business unless we have councillors who keep it front of mind.

“That is why it is good to have councillors who have some appreciation of business and believe that it is an essential part of the community. People who operate or work in private enterprise should not be second-class citizens.

“We should have a system where people get a fair go and people should be rewarded for creating something and working hard.

“In this time of COVID-19, businesses have been smashed like never before. This council showed good leadership through our Business and Community Resilience Grants. This was the first time that Bass Coast Shire Council had ever attempted such a program.

“I hope that council continues to have concern for businesses.”

On his approach to being a councillor he said: “I am a centrist. I have had a moderating influence on this term of council, and I would do the same in the next council.”

“The current group of councillors have worked well together. It has been a stable and highly effective council.

“When we began council didn’t have an advocacy strategy. We do now and it has been very successful in getting millions of dollars’ worth of investment from other levels of government.

“We have seen more and more money put into infrastructure projects. We need to recommit to doing the basic things that residents always expect councils to look after.

“I am someone who thinks critically and won’t just tick off everything that is put in front of me. Residents expect councillors to lead and not be led. Councillors need the confidence to set the direction of council. That is their job.”

In the last term of council Julian has sat on the Audit Committee, the CEO Performance Committee and has been Chair of the Place Names Committee and the Chair of the Environmental Subgroup of the COVID-19 Recovery Response.

He can be contacted at julianforbunurong2020@gmail.com