South Gippsland Shire Council should be focusing on local community needs first. When you vote this week, vote for the candidates that put local issues first. Local childcare services; community services, roads and recreation to start the discussion.

For too long our Council has ignored the Coastal Promontory Ward. This ward is a cash cow that has been exploited for too long. You will find that our small communities are screaming out for simple community enhancements and projects that can make a world of difference to their lives.

I will use Venus Bay/ Tarwin Lower as an example, but you can replicate these issues across all the small communities in our shire.

The walking path along Jupiter boulevard has fallen into a terrible state and needs urgent attention.

Speed control measures are urgently needed at the entrance to both Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower to improve safety. This applies along the “mad mile” also.

Both towns have been promised street scaping, plans have been proposed, yet nothing eventuates.

A walking/ bike path to join the 1st and 2nd Estates would reduce motorised traffic, enhance tourism as well as reduce native animal deaths on the roads.

Our Community Centre and Health Centre need assistance with the rapidly growing population. Our elderly need better access to services so that they can stay in the communities they love.

I see a need for a childcare centre in the very near future. Let’s start that planning now!

The Surf Life Saving Club needs a new clubhouse. Let’s support them in their endeavours.

The new Council needs to focus on a collaborative approach with all stakeholders, open communication through Citizens Assemblies and allow constituents to not only attend Council meetings, but participate.

We need to rebuild respect for the work done by not only the Councillors but also the CEO and council employees. This is achieved by involving all in the planning and decision making. We need to empower the people and the staff and this will dramatically improve the culture in the council workplace. Then watch the rise in pride and productivity as everyone feels valued.

David Liebelt, Candidate for the Coastal Promontory Ward