Wellington Shire and the Heyfield community has lost one of its most tenacious advocates with the passing of Councillor Malcolm Hole.
Cr Hole’s family, the community of Heyfield and the timber industry were his passions.
Cr Hole’s foray into local politics began in 2000, when he first stood for election to Wellington Shire Council. What followed was 21 years of fierce championing of and work for Heyfield and the wider shire.
After his most recent Council re-election, his seventh consecutive, Cr Hole took some time to review his achievements.
He was especially proud of his election to the board of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and in particular the work he achieved while on the steering committee for the MAV Act for the Future of the review of the Municipal Association Act 1907.
Knowing first-hand the importance of the timber industry to the livelihood of the Heyfield community, Cr Hole worked hard to defend and work towards the sustainability of the industry not just in Heyfield but other timber communities throughout Victoria.
Cr Hole was a founding member and served on the Timber Towns Victoria Executive, including the role of State President for nine years. He was also the President of the National Timber Councils Association for 10 years.
Cr Hole also performed various roles on the Gippsland Local Government Network, Rural Councils Victoria and the Local Government Emergency Management Committee.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Cr Garry Stephens said the passing of Cr Hole would be keenly felt throughout the region.
“Cr Hole was a dedicated member of Wellington Shire Council, working hard every day for his community,” he said.
“I had never seen Cr Hole as proud as the day that Heyfield won Australia’s Strongest and Most Resilient Community award in 2017.
“The only comparison you could make with Cr Hole’s beaming face that day, was when he spoke of his children and grandchildren.
“Cr Hole will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him and everyone who he advocated for during his considerable career in local government."