On 16 February, community associations across the Bellarine decided to formalise their relationships with each other, in order to operate more effectively.
For the past three years, the nine associations - including Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association - have been meeting quarterly as the Affiliation of Bellarine Community Associations (ABCA)*. Each meeting is hosted by a different association, which also provides the chairperson for that meeting.
In the last year, ABCA as produced or adopted several formal policies about, for example, infrastructure on the Bellarine and local government consultation practices. It organised a community election forum around last year's Victoria state election and is conducting a mid-term review of the City of Greater Geelong's Bellarine Strategic Plan.
ABCA has now decided that it will adopt a more formal structure and operation. Thus, from its next meeting it will have a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, each of whom will be elected annually; and it will become an incorporated body ('ABCA Inc.'). The changes have been prompted partly by ABCA's growing role as a policy-making and advocacy body and partly because it has been invited to contribute to the Regionalise Land Use strategy being developed by the G21 organisation**.
* The nine members of ABCA are: Barwon Heads Association, Drysdale/Clifton Springs Community Association Inc., Indented Head Community Association, Leopold & District Community Association Inc., Ocean Grove Community Association, Point Lonsdale Civic Association, Portarlington Community Association, Queenscliff Community Association and St. Leonards Progress Association.
** G21 is an association between five local councils - City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff, Golden Plains Shire, Colac Otway and Surf Coast Shire.