A Message from the Chairman

December 2023

The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC

The Future Is In Our Own Hands

So, another festive season upon us! How quickly the years turn over?

Is Australian society any better today than a year ago, I do not think so.

Nor is our economy as debts generated by governments continue to soar.

The world is in terrible shape, with no one being confident about what next year will bring.

Sadly, the war in the middle east, although being fought out there, we are seeing some of the most disappointing actions and comments here in Australia.

It is one thing to be divided on how we vote, it is another when elements of community turn on each other, with the potential of long-term negative ramifications.

Therefore, more than ever we have to concentrate on those things we can influence.

My attitude has always been to prepare for the worst, and should that occur, we will be ready in advance of the circumstances.

Should it not occur you will have reassessed your business or in this case Council and be able to launch into the future with priorities clearly established and recognised, and a strategy plan to deliver those priorities.

Local Government elections will be held in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales next year in 2024.

In part that begs the question what sort of person, what sort of experience, what if any qualifications apart from lived experiences, do we want from those offering themselves for election to their municipal government?

In my mind two issues clearly stand out. The laws, regulations and policies that councillors have to deal with every day are more extensive and complex today than ever before.

Secondly the demands of ratepayers are increasing, over and above the issues that Councils were established to address, roads, rates and rubbish, and maybe childcare centres in the early days.

Therefore, I suspect we want those who offer as candidates in council elections to be more than “one issue” candidates. If elected their responsibilities are much greater. Budgets of councils today are large, as is the number of people they employ. Then there is the Councils responsibility to the local community now and into the future.

In Victoria the Government is talking about introducing legislation setting out what the qualifications a candidate for election to a council might require in order to be accredited to stand as a council candidate.

Sounds good, in theory supportable, but the detail will be in the legislation once it is prepared, and I hope circulated widely for comment before introduced into the Parliament.

I would not be surprised that if the government proceed with such legislation, it will not be long before many, including those in local government are suggesting the same or similar accreditation criteria should be established for candidates to State and Federal Parliaments.

Anyway, fun times ahead in 2024. Managing our responsibilities to get through to the other side of this period of economic challenge.

That said we are still here, and the future is in our own hands.

Have a very good break all, come back to work refreshed in 2024, having used the break asking ourselves what we might do differently and better in 2024?

Greetings to all.

The Hon Jeff Kennett AC
CT Management Group

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