The Mirror News

Residents to advise shire on infrastructure projects

A GROUP of five South Gippsland Shire residents has been appointed to the municipality’s new Community Infrastructure Advisory Committee (CIAC) to give their views on future capital works projects.

The shire’s administration panel formally appointed the five community members to the CIAC at the virtual open council meeting held on Wednesday March 17, 2021.

Described as a reference group, the CIAC will advise the council on its capital works program and infrastructure proposals.

Among those in the CIAC’s line-up is Chris Trotman, a rural Leongatha-based community member with board, CEO and audit/risk experience, and the immediate past CEO of the South Gippsland Hospital in Foster. 

Leongatha-based business owner Darren Chandler has experience in construction projects, and Deepthi Jayasekera, also of Leongatha, has accountancy skills.

Architect Paul Katsieris of Walkerville also has building experience, while the fifth community member, Ian (Fred) Couper of Mirboo North is knowledgeable about capital projects such as the Mirboo North pool.

The members were selected through an Expression of Interest process, which attracted a total of 10 submissions, though two candidates were ineligible because they did not live in the shire.

Candidates were assessed against demographics, gender equity, business representation, expertise and experience, and independence to council processes, ensuring members could serve the interest of the whole South Gippsland community.

South Gippsland Shire administration panel chair Julie Eisenbise thanked the new Community Infrastructure Advisory Committee members for their dedication to the community. 

“The council would like to thank our new members of the Community Infrastructure Advisory Committee for committing their time and experience to this new venture. 

“We know that each member will bring a broad range of expertise and a comprehensive knowledge and skillset to the table,” she said.

“This is invaluable to our role at council as it will ensure that future planning for community assets are fully considered, and this cross-section of the community can help us meet the needs of all our residents.”

Ms Eisenbise’s fellow administrator Rick Brown said appointing the five local people to the CIAC indicated “a further stage in the implementation of a critical policy to reframe the mechanism how major projects are identified, examined and prioritised.

“A key part of that process is the involvement of the community through an advisory committee,” he said.

“We take a very strong view about the need to involve the community in critical decision-making, and this system will help to determine these major projects and deliver them in an efficient and cost-effective way.”

A report in the March 2021 open meeting agenda stated that “the role of the committee is to serve the interests of the municipality as a whole, and members will broadly reflect the demographics of the community.”

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