28th. September 2016.
I am pleased to present the Chairman’s Report for 2015-16. This will be my last report as Chairman as it is time for me to relinquish the reigns and past the leadership on to others. The Committee was advised of this decision some months ago so as to give them time to think about a successor.
Advance Morwell was formed in 1997 following the return of elected councils after the amalgamation process.
At this time there were at least three Groups operating in Morwell; The Morwell Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Morwell Mainstreet; and The Morwell Development Group.
At a Meeting of these groups held at the Italian Australian Club it was decided to hold a public meeting on the 26 November 1997 at KERNOT HALL.
ADVANCE MORWELL WAS BORN AND ESTABLISHED IN 1998.
WE LATER BECAME INCORPORATED WITH THE MORWELL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
OUR AIM IS TO ADVOCATE FOR MORWELL AND LATROBE CITY WITH LOCAL STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND TO STRENGETHEN OUR LINKS WITH SMALL BUSINESS IN THE CBD OF MORWELL.
Since that time the organisation has worked tirelessly to promote and lobby all levels of Government in the interests of Morwell, Latrobe City and Gippsland.
Over the past 12 Months Advance Morwell has commissioned and paid for a Graffiti Artist to paint a work on the wall of the Trophy Centre. The banner previously erected by us depicting the Power Industry had deteriorated was in need of replacement. Since this work was completed other work has been commissioned by shop owners and the project is now being managed by RMIT as part of the work of Reactivate across Latrobe City.
An unknown Morwell resident has made a very generous donation of $20,000 to Advance Morwell and it was decided to purchase three outdoor musical instruments and to place them in Legacy Place.
The instruments have been purchased and are in storage awaiting installation by Latrobe City.
A Rose Garden signage project sponsored by ENGIE (GDFSuez) is progressing with the first location sign completed and installed and the second rose garden layout signage to be completed in the near future. Max Williamson is managing this project on behalf of Engie and Advance Morwell.
The Arlie Bank Gallery has been managed by Advance Morwell for 16 years and continues to house Bev’s Wonder World of Dolls. Max Williamson has managed the property and attended to maintenance over this period.
Following the Hazelwood Mine Fire the former Coalition government provided a 1.4 Million dollar economic development package for urban design, tourism, beautification, events and small business mentoring projects.
The Future Morwell Urban Design Revitalisation Plan which is being funded from this package has been given the green light by Council for an 8 week Community Consultation Process which is due to start following the end of the "Caretaker Period"
The Future Morwell Project has been a long, time consuming and frustrating project for a number of Advance Morwell and Community Members and I can only hope that following the Council Consultation period we see something happening on the ground in commercial Road.
We are pleased to report that Advance Morwell has an active traders group with representatives on our Committee. The Traders Group meets separately on a regular basis to deal with issues facing the CBD and to plan special activities.
We have had one successful meeting of the two groups and it is expected that these combined meeting will continue into the future.
We were pleased to be invited by the Committee for Gippsland to participate in the "our Region Our Future Project" the results of which have been forwarded to State and Federal Governments as input into the debate about the Latrobe Valley Transition.
We have also made representations through the Committee for Gippsland to the State Government on recent and continuing problems with Vic Rail and the Gippsland Line into Melbourne. One would hope that with the sale of the Melbourne Ports and the funds that are now available as a result of the sale that we will see a dedicated rail service between Pakenham and Melbourne Melbourne in the near future.
Since the Hazelwood Mine Fire in February 2014 a considerable amount of time has been taken up with Committee Members representing Advance Morwell on the Community Recovery Committee and the Mine Fire Enquiry, as well as numerous consultations on a range of topics emanating from the Mine Fire. I have recently used the phrase "Consultation Fatigue" which I believe a lot of people are suffering since the Mine Fire as various Government Departments seek input from the community.
It is now approaching three years since this event and I often ask the question "Would we be in a better position if another event occurred today"
In closing I would like to thank the current Committee members Vice Chair Graeme Sennett, Secretary Keith Brownbill; Treasurer Max Williamson and Membership Officer Howard Williams committee Members David Mcinness, Beverly Lorraine, Ruth Codlin, Lauren Marks, Lynn Keeley, Jenny Rutherford
For their contribution to the success of Advance Morwell over the past year.