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CARDINIA Shire Council continually reviews its expenditure.
An item recently highlighted by Cr Collin Ross relates to council’s expenditure on alcohol at community and civic events.
To aid transparency on this matter, below is council’s expenditure on alcohol for the current calendar year.
· Australia Day awards civic reception and luncheon: $854.55.
· Australia Day luncheon: $290.91
· Volunteer recognition reception: $1815.50.
· Community capital grants night: $2006.82.
· Civic centre (including opening event): $1309.
· Anniversary of civic centre: $350.
Total: $6626.78.
The events highlighted have mostly been held to thank and recognise local community members who provide volunteer and unpaid services in our shire, including Australia Day award winners, volunteers, and community organisations receiving council grants.
These are people who spend many hours contributing to improvements in their community, they don’t get paid and council wants to recognise and acknowledge their efforts.
The receptions are our way of saying thank you to our many volunteers.
Water and non-alcoholic drinks are also available at these events and responsible consumption of alcohol is encouraged at all times.
Council has already discontinued providing alcohol at its own staff recognition event and we continue to support and lead initiatives to change behaviour in our community.
The Healthy Together program is just one example of how we are creating positive change via encouraging improved eating habits, increased physical activity and reducing harmful behaviours such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
Council recognises the devastating impact that excessive alcohol consumption can have in the community.
We know and are deeply concerned about the link between alcohol and domestic violence and that alcohol-related family rates in Pakenham, for example, are triple the state average.
That is why we are the first council in Australia to make addressing family violence our highest priority.
The Challenge Family Violence project, a partnership between Cardinia, the Department of Justice and Casey and Dandenong councils, is one aspect of this work.
We have also contributed funding to support a community development officer whose role is to provide training and skills to local leaders to help respond to and prevent family violence within their own settings.
The Together We Can initiative is a partnership between Cardinia Council, Melbourne University and Family Life which is also aimed at reducing family violence.
Council actively supports White Ribbon Day and is currently going through the process of receiving accreditation.
Jodie Owen,
Mayor,
Shire of Cardinia.

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