Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye has been elected as the Chair of One Gippsland, the peak regional body representing the Gippsland region.
This means Cr Bye is leading efforts to work closely with all levels of government, businesses, and the community to improve the region's liveability and economic potential.
Covering a huge 41,000 square kilometres, Gippsland is Victoria's largest region, home to over 270,000 people across six areas, with an annual economic output of $14 billion.
One Gippsland includes representatives from all six Gippsland Councils, Federation University, TAFE Gippsland, Food and Fibre Gippsland, Destination Gippsland, and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Corporation (GLaWAC). The group is committed to working with businesses and the community to address the region's shared needs.
Cr Ian Bye joins Cr Annemarie McCabe, Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council who was elected Deputy Chair.
Cr Bye takes on the role from East Gippsland Shire Councillor, Mark Reeves, who held the position of Chair in 2023.
Reflecting on the role, Cr Bye acknowledged One Gippsland's teamwork approach, stressing the importance of everyone working together for funding and policies that benefit the whole Gippsland region.
Wellington Shire Council is committed to prioritising Gippsland’s key projects, especially focusing on the transition to renewable energy.
Leading One Gippsland in the coming year, Cr Bye is eager to advocate for Gippsland's needs, particularly realising the economic potential of renewable energy, creating job opportunities, and ensuring critical infrastructure is planned for the areas in Gippsland most at need.
"I’m really passionate about making our transition to new and emerging industries smooth, ensuring maximum benefits to our community," Cr Bye said.
“While each One Gippsland member organisation may have different priorities, ensuring that Gippsland is a thriving, connected and liveable region is at the forefront of this work, and I am looking forward to working with One Gippsland over the next 12 months”.
Looking ahead, Cr Bye is eager to start collaborating closely with the State and Federal governments and the private sector to invest in Gippsland, supporting economic growth, community investment, and better access to services.
Mayor Bye thanked outgoing Chair, Cr Mark Reeves, for his hard work during a year of both successes and challenges.
Wellington Shire Council’s commitment to One Gippsland is supported through Chief Executive Officer, David Morcom.