Hello, fellow South Gippslanders.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Michael Felton, and I am nominating as a candidate in the upcoming 2021 South Gippsland Shire Council elections for Strzelecki Ward.
Postal voting is scheduled for early October, with close of voting on the 22nd and election day the 23rd.

I am a 47-year-old, married father of two, grandfather of one, with my second due in December. My wife of 24 years, Nikki, and I have been residents of the township of Nyora for the past 12-and-a-half years.

I have been a CFA volunteer for the Loch Fire Brigade since 2015. I have been a member of the Nyora Hall Committee for the past six years and previous hall committee vice-president. I am currently the elected president and treasurer.

As part of my involvement with the hall committee, I ran a regular youth group for over three years for the youth of Nyora and surrounding areas. The hall committee volunteers look after the maintenance of the local hall, support local groups and run the Nyora Op-Shop.

I am employed on a full-time basis in the field of public service and community safety and have been since 2003. My role has taken me from Frankston to South Gippsland, Bass Coast and the Latrobe Valley. I undertook duties within the South Gippsland Shire from 2011 to 2017, where I was based in Leongatha and Korumburra. I have also worked in Mirboo North and Wonthaggi, and was responsible for the management of staff that service a total of 4162 kilometres squared and a population of 61,804 being the South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires combined (Census 2016).

With the sacking of the previous council in 2019 by the State Government, currently managed by appointed administrators, I have decided to raise my hand and nominate for council, after years of consideration. This is the perfect opportunity to start afresh and your chance to select the most suitable candidates to represent all community members.

My hope for the new council moving forward is that we can have a united council that works as a team, taking on the role expected of elected officials. To serve you. The ratepayers, community members, residents and voters. Now and in the future.

I asked and you answered. These are the main issues that you, the voters have said you would like addressed.

Excessive rates, no free hard rubbish collection, for some no rubbish collection or having to take your bin to a set collection point, roads in unsafe conditions and a lack of regular maintenance, lack of footpaths in smaller towns, farming/agriculture support, infrastructure for growing towns, walking tracks and amenities, lack of public transport to some towns, future environmental impacts, local business support, more varied youth activities, cyber-crime education and support for vulnerable community members, support for the arts, wage expenditure and transparent communication from council.

We as a community, all deserve better going forward.

If elected I will strive to give you a voice within the council and ensure an ongoing stream of open communication.

Input from community members needs to be at the top of council’s agenda as the decisions can have a lasting effect on the towns, community members, environment, potential tourism and income.

I can be contacted by email, mick.felton@outlook.com.au; Facebook @michaelfelton; Instagram @michaelfeltonsouthgippy; by post – 3 Henley Street, Nyora, 3987; mobile – 0403 866 510.

Michael Felton, Nyora.