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Highlighting strong collaboration, support and achievements in the 2021-22 Annual Report

Highlighting strong collaboration, support and achievements in the 2021-22 Annual Report

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Partnerships, collaborations and a strong focus on supporting the community are just some of the key highlights of the City of Whittlesea 2021-22 Annual Report which was endorsed by Council at its 17 October 2022 meeting.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the community and how services were delivered, the City of Whittlesea worked closely with the community, health providers, businesses and other levels of government to provide much needed support and ensure essential services and major projects continued to be delivered during this time.

Chair Administrator, Lydia Wilson, said that the theme of this year’s report was ‘Stronger Together’ and that despite the challenges of the past year, the City of Whittlesea community showed enormous resilience, strength and support for each other. 

“I am so proud of how our staff and our community have adapted and responded, showing that we are truly stronger when we work together,” Ms Wilson said.

“We began implementing the many initiatives from our $2 million COVID-19 Recovery Fund over the last 12 months, which have been developed by community representatives to support residents, businesses and groups to thrive following the effects of the pandemic.”

“This year we also launched our 2021-2025 Community Plan, which was informed through extensive community consultation and includes 60 initiatives aligned to community priorities, including a focus on public safety, festival and events, social connection and sport facilities.” 

“Providing much needed infrastructure and spaces for our community continued to be a focus, and through our $54 million capital works program, we delivered an incredible 143 project, including important facilities such as the new Kirrip Community Centre in Wollert, upgraded playgrounds, dog parks and recreation reserves and stage one of the Mill Park Basketball Stadium which includes new change facilities and accessibility upgrades that will help grow participation in sport.”

Council continued to focus on advocacy at all levels of government, developing a comprehensive Advocacy Prospectus that outlines the 19 key projects Council is seeking co-investment in to meet the needs of our growing community.

“In a year that included a Federal election and an upcoming State election, we have continued to build strategic relationships and strongly advocate to all levels of government about the priorities that are important to our community, including funding for a regional aquatic and sports centre, investment in a purpose built Aboriginal Gathering Place and support for local jobs,” Ms Wilson said.

Ms Wilson said that listening to our community and providing opportunities for everyone to have their say on issues that are important to them has seen the introduction of monthly Coffee with Council events, improvements to our digital engagement platform and regular in-person consultations across the municipality.

Other highlights of the Annual Report 2021-22 include:

  • Adoption of the new Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 following extensive consultation and active engagement with key stakeholders that captured more than 3,000 pieces of feedback. 
  • In partnership with LaTrobe Business School, The Public Value School and the Victorian Local Governance Association, delivered the first intake of the Community Leadership Program. 
  • Rolled-out the It’s All Here campaign and incentives program to support local businesses following the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns. 
  • Launched the City of Whittlesea Business Network and established the Business Advisory Panel. 
  • Opened the Mernda Repair Café, in partnership with Mernda Community House and Whittlesea Community Connections. 
  • Continued to implement Council’s Greening Whittlesea Strategy actions including planting more than 10,000 trees and 42,000 new shrubs throughout parks and open spaces. 
  • Delivered improvements to Council’s customer support channels and implemented customer feedback software through the Customer First program

Read the full Annual Report at