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Interim President's Update - sent on Monday, 23 November 2020

Last Friday, I had the great fortune of being appointed as MAV Interim President by my fellow Board members following the retirement of Coral Ross. I thank the board for putting their trust in me.

I would like to recognise and thank Coral for her two years as MAV President and her contribution to local government over 18 years. I also acknowledge and thank Nathan Hansford for his contribution as Rural South Central Region board member over the past two years who has sadly not returned at the 2020 local council elections.

This year has been like no other. As Mayor of Wyndham City, I spent much of 2020 working on a localised COVID-19 response as we grappled with being the local government area with the highest number of cases in the nation in a city of over 275,000 Victorians.

Councils across Victoria have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to community in the face of an unprecedented pandemic and the bushfires prior to its arrival.

But most importantly – we’ve shown why local government is so fundamental to liveability as the tier of government closest to the community and also the most trusted.

From country to city, the MAV stands ready to back councils as we begin the COVID-19 recovery.

For some councils there is a sustainable rate base to do this work. But for many we must fight to secure the additional funding and support needed to assist those efforts via our state and commonwealth counterparts as we head into 2021.

We’ll continue to be there for you every step of the way.

In the coming days and weeks ahead, I look forward to speaking to and visiting councils across the state to hear from you as part of our collective efforts in the COVID-19 recovery.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0429 078 039 or by email at

Cr Josh Gilligan