ANNOUNCING his candidacy for Bunurong Ward, Michael Nugent is a community-oriented chartered accountant with family roots in Wonthaggi.

Community, economy and nature are all high on Michael’s radar.

“Each one is so important that any significant decision council makes must take account of all three in equal measure,” Michael said.

As a chartered accountant with an economics degree, he has solid credentials in financial accountability and believes he can help improve the rigour of Bass Coast Shire finances. 

Until 2016, Michael was vice chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board.

“For more than 20 years I’ve specialised in helping organisations combine financial reporting with measuring and reporting on their social and environmental impacts,” he said.

“I want to use that expertise to help deliver for Bass Coast. Balancing my work in finance with care for the community and the environment,” he said.

Michael has local family and an appreciative love for the region.

“My grandparents met and married in newly-founded Wonthaggi during the 1910s,” he said. 

“My father grew up here. I was born in Geelong.

“I moved back to Cape Paterson three years ago because I always knew Bass Coast offers the very best of regional living,” Michael said.

Since moving here, Michael has become a part of the local community. 

He co-founded the Wonthaggi Food Collective and the Bass Coast Climate Action Network. Michael participates in the library’s ethics discussion group and tends plots in Wonthaggi’ s two community gardens. 

He is a committee member of the Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association and Save the Holden Bushlands, convener of the Bass Coast Greens and until recently was a director of Grow Lightly. And he is also a member of community groups, Friends of Inverloch Library, the South Gippsland Conservation Society and Mitchell House Neighbourhood Centre.

Michael is focused on balancing Bass Coast Shire Council’s expected population growth.

“Bass Coast’s population is expected to grow by over 30 per cent in the next 16 years,” he said.

“Cardinia and Casey Shires will grow even faster and increase the pressure on our towns, our coastline and our farms.

“That growth will coincide with increasing financial constraints plus the inevitable changes our climate has in store for us, like erosion of the beach at Inverloch.

“Council will have to be on the front foot through all of this to avoid overdevelopment, preserve our beautiful natural environment and ensure economic prosperity,” he said.

These are challenges Michael feels well equipped to work with the community on solving, and invites you to find out more on Facebook; @NugentForBass.