Councillor profiles - Mayor Lara Carli City of Melton

Article image - Councillor profiles - Mayor Lara Carli City of Melton

We have so many hidden gems in our city – it feels like a bit of a local secret that we’re home to a number of beautiful wineries, high quality restaurants and even our own botanic garden. We’ve got so much here to explore – walking trails, public art, cafes and more – there’s really no need to go anywhere else. Being just 19 kilometres from Melbourne while having so many of our own amazing eateries and attractions is also an asset.

In the City of Melton, we’re lucky to have a great mix of new and established areas, as well as urban and rural lifestyles, which all bring a wonderful diversity to the area.

Making a better world
We’re a very fast growing municipality with a young population which continually brings a fresh perspective to our City.

I’m a very family orientated person and I love spending quality time with my two children Talia and Xavier, and my husband Jason. We often take the time to explore new restaurants and cafes in our area.
I also really enjoy cooking, gardening and painting – for me, being creative is a great way to relax at home.

My passion for the community, and the desire to make a better world for those around me, was there from a very early age.

My family was always involved in the community and encouraged me to learn about social justice. I grew up in a household where community issues and worldwide events were discussed around the kitchen table. Those conversations captivated me, and I went to my very first Council meeting when I was just 12 years old.

I became a Councillor at Whittlesea in 2003 and was elected the first female mayor in its history in 2004.

I was then elected to Melton City Council in 2012, and became Mayor in 2019.

Keeping up with growth
The City of Melton is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia and keeping up with the infrastructure needs that come with such growth is a challenge we’re continually working to keep up with.

As we prepare for our population to triple to half a million people, we want to ensure that we’re not only keeping up with growth, but that we’re delivering the right infrastructure to cater for those new communities, while also maintaining our assets in established areas for existing communities.

Our advocacy agenda is essential to the future liveability in the City of Melton.

With one of Australia’s fastest growing populations, we’re doing everything we can to be prepared with a well-planned, innovative and strategic approach.

In December, we launched our new advocacy priorities which sets out how all levels of government can come together to give City of Melton residents a great place to live – one that’s well connected, with diverse education opportunities, local jobs, and positive health and wellbeing outcomes.

Achievements
Securing $2.4 million for a business case for a future Melton Hospital was a huge achievement for our Council. Our Build Melton Hospital campaign attracted the support of more than 21,000 people and helped champion the need for the Victorian Government to explore the health care needs in our City.

Our City is growing at such a rapid rate and a public hospital is becoming more and more critical. It’s really exciting to see planning for this critically needed hospital progressing and we’re very grateful to the State Government.

On a more personal note, becoming the first woman elected as Mayor in the City of Whittlesea was a huge accomplishment and something I’m very proud of.

On being mayor
It’s so rewarding being involved in a decision making process that has the potential to positively impact the lives of so many people, not only now, but for generations to come.

I’m always proud to see our council unite and deliver outcomes that make our city an even better place to call home.

I also really enjoy being able to meet so many wonderful people in the community and learn about their experiences in the City of Melton.

I don’t necessarily have a worst part, but there are certainly some challenges that come with the role.

As a councillor, I have to make decisions that I believe are in the best interests of the whole community. I do my best to meet everyone’s needs but of course there will always be people in the community that have different views.