New Merri-bek Mayor pledges community focus (media release)

Mayor of Merri-bek Councillor Lambros Tapinos has highlighted community engagement and a high standard of delivery on Council’s core services as key items on his to do list for 2019-2020.

The South Ward Councillor, who was elected to Merri-bek Council in 2008, and again in 2012 and 2016, said it was a great honour and responsibility to be elected Mayor.

“I commit myself to serving the people of Merri-bek with energy, pride and integrity,” said Cr Tapinos in his acceptance speech at the Ceremonial Council Meeting at Coburg Town Hall.

Cr Tapinos said he was determined to lead Merri-bek City Council in achieving the aspirations of the community.

“People must always be at the centre of our decision making. This is your council. Our job is to make decisions in your interests.

“I commit to bringing the team together, to refocus and commit to our core responsibility; delivering for you, our community.”

Cr Tapinos committed to acting and delivering on the things that matter most.

“This means roads, rates and rubbish. But it also means looking after those in our community, providing essential services like Meals on Wheels so many older Australians can stay in their homes longer, and at the other end of the scale the baby boom means our Maternal and Child Health Service is busier than ever,” Cr Tapinos said.

“Immunisations, working with and advocating for young people and providing for those with a disability are critical local functions.”

Cr Tapinos said Council would continue to seek the community’s ideas and feedback on Council policy and decisions.

“We will engage with every corner of our diverse community, including non-English speaking communities, and consult you before big decisions are made.”

Acknowledging the rate of change in our municipality and the challenges of managing an additional 43,000 people living in Merri-bek by 2036, the quality of development and the effects of climate change, Cr Tapinos said: “We need to make wise decisions.”

“We expect developments in our city to be of high quality, accessible to all people, environmentally sustainable and stay within the designated height limits. Getting this right is vital, not just to restore community confidence in planning decisions but also because it effects the long-term shape of Merri-bek.”

Cr Tapinos was also looking forward to continuing Council’s commitment to open space, ensuring every resident lives within walking distance to a park.

“We will be continuing the work we have started across major projects and with the strategic plan to make Merri-bek connected, progressive and responsible,” Cr Tapinos concluded.

The new Mayor announced he would not be accepting the mayoral car and would instead ask Councillors to direct funds to scholarships for children in Timor-Leste, celebrating Council’s 20-year ‘Friends of Aileu’ partnership.

Cr Tapinos has previously served two terms as Mayor, in 2008-2009 and 2013-2014.
Cr Oscar Yildiz was elected Deputy Mayor for 2019-2020.

Cr Lambros Tapinos