Welcome and thank you for coming to the 2021 MPCDB AGM and supporting the community.

Firstly, I would like to thank my management team.

Secretary Beryl Dingle.

Beryl has not only contributed to the executive with keeping tabs on minutes, correspondence and other important detail, She has also been willing to get her hands dirty while assisting at working bees and the like. A real asset to the Development Board team.

Many Thanks Beryl, you’re always smiling, being positive and handing out cheese sticks… thanks heaps for your help.

Treasurer Deb Tibbots. Deb (and Chris) have had an extraordinary year. A journey that most of us would not be able to fathom. Despite the challenges she has had to contend with and process, she remained faithful to the role of treasurer which most, including myself I believe, would have stepped away from. Thanks for staying the course Deb, your efforts have been much appreciated.

Vice President Alan Betts. If there is ever a job to do or a hand needed to get something done, Alan is there. Mostly overlooked and underappreciated your efforts have not gone unnoticed Alan. Many thanks for the time and energy you have put into the Mt. Perry community.

A special thanks to Management Committee members Yvette Stevenson-Mackay, Gavin Murray and Nigel French for their contributions on the various sub committees hosted by the MPCDB.

Last but not least, all board members for the contributions you have made. It is this support that turns opportunity into reality….

I’ve been president since the Board was founded in August 2017 and headed up the steering committee which drafted the constitution and arranged the Boards incorporation before that.

When Susie and myself arrived here 11 years ago, we didn’t have much. I started a mobile mechanic business and ended up renting a shed opposite what we now know as Mt. Perry Mechanics.

The rental didn’t work out and after about 3months, we started packing up to leave. It was then I was approached by a dozen people saying “you can’t leave now…we need a mechanic in Mt. Perry.” One of those people was Clive Dingle who subsequently brought his Dad, Arthur Dingle to see me.

Arthur said “well if you can’t work here you’ll have to use my shed as your workshop. I’ll move my $150,000 winnabago outside under a tree and you put your hoist in.” We worked out of Arthur and Vals shed for 3 years before building our own workshop at 49 Heusman St…you all would know as Mt. Perry Mechanics.

This kindness shown my family, complete strangers to Arthur and Val, was the kind of selfless gesture that you can’t repay.

Arthur was keen to see Mt. Perry progress and in those early years talked often about what could be done in Mt. Perry to secure its future. This provided the catalyst needed to kindle what we now call the Mt. Perry Community Development Board. I would like to think Arthur that some of your hopes are beginning to be realised. Many thanks to Arthur and Val for their kindness and inspiration.

Well, what a year this has been!

The MPCDB still has two major projects on the go

  • The Mt Perry Summit Walk
  • The Melbourne Tram

This hasn’t changed much from last year…however what a huge amount of progress has been made on these projects.

These two projects really have the ability to change the dynamic and economic future of Mt. Perry. Many people pass through this town and admire its natural beauty, looking for something to do or somewhere to go. These two projects have the ability to deliver this foundation, giving people cause to stay and to spend.

The Summit Walk has reached its Stage 1 milestone, on time and under budget. An official opening was held on the 6th August with an estimated 150 people attending.

Stage 2 planning is complete and funding secured. Further works are scheduled to commence in the next couple months.

The MPCDB can’t take the all credit for this outcome. It is a vehicle that is all.

This point needs to be made very clearly. Everyone of these projects relies upon collaboration. Good, traditional, plain old cooperation. People working together.

Without Gidarjil, the SQW trainees would not have been here and done the remarkable work they have on the Mountain and Mt. Perry itself.

Without the Mens Shed, the Melbourne Tram would not be here and present one of the greatest opportunities this town has seen for years.

The Mt. Perry Summit Walk could not have become a reality without the NBRC or the QPWS being actively involved.

Further to this, projects need leadership. Someone who is prepared to own and champion a project. It is a selfless thing to do and often thankless as well, but without people like this, projects rarely get off the ground.

And then there’s our stakeholders. Without good leadership and communication with stakeholders, the recources needed to make these projects become reality, would evaporate. These stake holders include our local and federal MP’s, the NBRC, the Bendigo Community Bank, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, the Gidargjil Corporation, the QPWS, the Department of Main Roads, the Department of Natural Recources and the list goes on. Even when things don’t quite go to plan, dialogue and diplomacy can often keep the doors open for further discussion.

Its at this point a special mention needs to be made of Evolution, Mt. Rawdon Operations and its mangement who have contributed to the Mt. Perry Community with genuine interest and concern. They have actively sought out ways to help the Mt. Perry Community forward and have followed through with the support necessary to realise tangible outcomes.

Evolution MRO have worked closely with the board and the Summit Walk committee in particular to deliver arguably the most valuable asset Mt. Perry has seen in years…the Mt. Perry Summit Walk.

Already there is evidence of benefits to the local economy with increased traffic and overnight stays.

You often hear of mining companies and their grab and go philosophies despite rhetoric to the contrary.

Evolution has, in my opinion, smashed this ideology and have left a positive legacy in Mt. Perry which locals and vistors alike will enjoy and benefit from for many years to come.

Many Thanks Evolution Mining.

The stage is set for another big year.

With the Summit Walk operational and 80% complete, we can look forward to using this acheivement as a platform to expand the Development Boards scope and focus. Some suggested projects include the Florence Broadhurst Museum and the War Memorial upgrade.

As always, a project requires someone to take ownership and drive it forward. It is one thing to make suggestions and come up with ideas…That is the easy bit.

It is another thing altogether to pick up the slack and deliver an outcome. For those thinking they have that drive, you have to believe that when you take up that slack, the Board has your back. That is what it is there for.

I believe the MPCDB has the right formula to enable these projects.

If you have a vision, this is the launch pad.

There are lots of opportunities, but that is all they are until someone stands up, grabs one and runs with it. This is your opportunity.

Many thanks for your attendance this evening and showing support for the Mt. Perry community.