Partners saddle up across south east

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A NEW era of “cooperation” between the state government and councils across Melbourne’s suburbs has been heralded with the formation of six metropolitan partnerships by the government.

The groups are “a new platform for cooperative engagement between governments, business and communities” according to Labor Suburban Development Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.

A Southern Partnership representing Kingston, Frankston, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Casey, Dandenong and Greater Dandenong councils appointed Dr Elizabeth Deveny as chair this month.

Dr Deveny is CEO of the South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network. South East Local Learning and Employment Network CEO Andrew Simmons has been appointed deputy chair.

Council CEOs will represent local government at a minimum of four meetings each year to work on a five-year plan to prioritise regional needs “so that all Melburnians have access to the jobs, services and local infrastructure they need”.

Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO Carl Cowie will represent council at the partnership meetings.

He said councillors had been briefed about the partnership in a statement provided to The News.

Ms D’Ambrosio said: “Working together can only mean more opportunities for local economies and the jobs that come with them.”

The six metropolitan partnership groups are gathered under the umbrella of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

“At the induction day on 9 June, the Minister for Suburban Development, Lily D’Ambrosio, and the Special Minister for State, Gavin Jennings, expressed their thanks to all partnership members and in particular, those members of the community volunteering their time and energy for better outcomes across Melbourne’s regions,” department spokesman David McNamara said.

Mr McNamara confirmed chairs, deputy chairs, council CEOs and members are not remunerated for their contribution to the partnerships.

“Members are eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable travel and other expenses that they incur that are directly related to their service on their partnership.”

He said there were hundreds of applicants for chair and deputy chair positions after the roles were advertised late last year.

“The members offer a breadth of experience across a number of social, community and business sectors including health, education, social services, multicultural affairs, industry, small business and manufacturing.” 

First published in the Mornington News – 27 June 2017

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