Vision for sustainable future for Hepburn Shire

November 29th, 2020Vision for sustainable future for Hepburn Shire

Cr Tim Drylie arrives for his photo shoot in an electric car, which he is using to run test drives as part of the Hepburn Wind EV Bulk Buy. He enthusiastically tells me how he’ll plug it in to the power point when he gets home to recharge it. One of two new councillors for Creswick Ward, he has a vision for a sustainable future for the shire.

Cr Drylie grew up in Warrnambool and was involved in the community through the local youth theatre and youth centre. He moved to Melbourne on a music scholarship at University High School. He has a Bachelor of Arts in drama and music, and a Postgraduate degree in cinema studies. He was soon working for the ABC TV drama division as an assistant director and tutoring at university level in cinema studies.

He moved back to the country to raise his three children in Creswick, where he’s lived for nearly 10 years. Tim runs a second-hand vintage furniture shop in Albert Street with his partner, Holly.
“I wanted to become a councillor to extend my community involvement. I understand firsthand the importance of community connection and participation, and I wanted to be a part of that at another level. I’ve been involved with the Transition Creswick sustainability group, Creswick Neighbourhood Centre as coordinator of the successful Creswick Market, and as the vice president of Creswick Theatre Company.”
Cr Drylie is also on the Hepburn Z-NET roundtable committee where he is a home-energy efficiency assessor. Z-NET is a collaborative partnership bringing together community groups, organisations, experts and council to achieve a goal in Hepburn Shire of zero net energy by 2025 and zero net emissions by 2030.
“I’d like to look at different models and tools for community engagement and to better defend our local social, environmental and economic interests. To promote and extend sustainable practices and lifestyles to meet our 2030 emission targets in the shire is important to me. It’s about looking out for the diversity of life on our planet, and for the future wellbeing of our children.
“Another priority for me is helping create a more resilient, and abundant community as we come out of the pandemic by supporting and involving local groups such as small business owners, our artists, makers and local food producers.
“Youth mental health is also something we will need to address and encourage. Supporting meaningful youth mental health programs is vital now that we’re coming out of COVID-19. I’d like to see more affordable housing so that vulnerable people can continue to buy and rent within our shire. Local people need to be able to be supported to live, work and be part of their own town.
“Other important issues for me are looking at ways we can minimise our waste through community-led resource recovery initiatives, looking after our food producers and listening and responding proactively to the concerns of constituents.
“The community have spoken loudly for a real change at this election. I aligned with the charter of Community Voice, a group of people who’ve come together because of dissatisfaction with aspects of the previous council. They also see the great potential of our shire to be a lighthouse community for leadership on issues such as sustainability, community cohesion, social justice, and innovations in democratic participation. We can be a beacon for other communities to look up to. My vision for the shire is to celebrate sustainable living and embrace the power of community.”

With six of the seven councillors recently elected to the Hepburn Shire being new to the game, a sense of optimism and hope exists for more positive interactions between community and council. This weekly series by Sandy Scheltema will explore the new councillors’ hopes and wishes for the shire.

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