Councillor profiles - Mayor Drew Jessop Hume City Council

Article image - Councillor profiles - Mayor Drew Jessop  Hume City Council

Urban and rural
I appreciate Hume City Council for its contrasting elements of diversity and cohesiveness. This is reflected across its people, culture and geography. The Hume municipality has a very unique mix of rural and urban character and there is also plenty of natural beauty and scenery.

I’m particularly fond of two viewpoints and nature lookouts in this area – Mount Holden in Sunbury and Mount Ridley in Craigieburn. The views here are astounding and you get a fantastic bird’s-eye view of both rural vistas and the cityscape, being on the city’s fringe. My favourite council-related places for visiting are the Global Learning Centres in Broadmeadows and Craigieburn – great staff and wonderful services provided at both, for the lifelong learning of our residents.

Working in the water sector
I have been fortunate to be a Councillor here at Hume for over 20 years now. I first sought election because it was a natural fit with my professional experience and passion for public service, while enabling me to make a difference in a community that is very close to my heart.

I have worked in the corporate governance area within the metropolitan water industry for over 40 years. Water security also embraces elements of public service, engineering and customer service, which have strong ties to local government disciplines. This community-centric approach to governance and public service is what draws me to being both a councillor and working in the water sector.

Outside of work, I enjoy cycling and spectating most sports events. When I want to wind down, a good book or puzzle does it for me. Beyond that, my favourite activity is most definitely getting to spend time with family and friends.

Keeping up with a growing population
Hume City has a rapidly changing and diversifying population and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the vibrant northern corridor. One of the biggest challenges is providing high quality services, and building new infrastructure as well as upgrading our existing infrastructure to a standard that maintains the best safety and usability for our community.

The other challenge is the land use of our rural areas, where urban growth continues to encroach on our non-urban areas. We need to balance the need for urban expansion against the protection of our agricultural and natural features, in order to become a truly sustainable city.

Our biggest projects involve our continuous advocacy for improving Hume’s infrastructure. We have been working with all levels of government, various agencies, and members of the community to push for key infrastructure upgrades, such as community buildings, arterial roads and railway station parking. Significant success has been seen with government and our co-investment in the redevelopment of the Broadmeadows Town Hall and the new Global Learning Centre for Sunbury – both of these major facilities are due to open in 2019.

Environmental sustainability is important to me and very close to my heart. I’ve made conscious efforts to strengthen our sustainability as Mayor and am very committed to this across all areas of planning, development and governance. I helped establish Council’s environmental framework 15 years ago, and have been keen to drive this central ‘pillar’ of council action in all the
work we do.

Diverse citizens and striking a balance
The best part of the job is getting to meet people, from all their wonderful, diverse backgrounds and stages of life. I make it a point to engage and interact with as many people as possible in our community, as every person has a different story and experience to share. I especially enjoy the citizenship ceremonies for this reason. Since November 2016, as Mayor I have presided over the ‘creation’ of 1600 new Australian citizens here in Hume. This is such a privilege for me, to share in this special moment for the people concerned, and their families.

In terms of the challenges of being a Councillor, I always find it a challenge to balance time demands for community service with time for my family and friends. I’ve managed to strike a reasonable balance over the years, but there are sacrifices we make as councillors, and I’m very fortunate to have a family that understands this.

Into the future, I hope to continue doing the best job I can as Mayor of Hume, to contribute to the city’s unique journey, in developing its own vibrancy and character.