Thursday, May 30, 2024

East Gippsland Shire adds voice to call for better Federal funding deal

East Gippsland Shire Council has held online meetings with a number of Federal Ministers and ministerial advisors to advocate for better local infrastructure funding.

Mayor, Mark Reeves, Councillor Tom Crook and CEO, Anthony Basford spoke with advisers to Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King; Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Education, Anthony Chisholm; Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester and adviser to Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business, Julie Collins; while a face-to-face meeting with Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Kristy McBain, is scheduled to be held in Gippsland in early April.

Council says the online meetings gave the councillors a chance to advocate for:

  • infrastructure funding;
  • the Bairnsdale Aerodrome project;
  • upgrades to Great Alpine Road;
  • housing needs, including the impact of bushfires on housing stock;
  • an update on bushfire recovery
  • an arts and culture centre/arts precinct; and
  • disaster impact on insurance premiums and related funding options.  

Cr Reeves said the discussions with offered an opportunity to ensure that the voices of the community are heard in Canberra.

“We have a relatively new government that is in listening mode and finding its feet,” Cr Reeves said.

“The opportunity to have an audience with various ministers and advisers is one we took with both hands. We want to make sure the federal government is aware of the opportunities and challenges we have here, and what funding needs for East Gippsland should be considered and followed through on.

“When there are 500 local government authorities across the country, it’s incumbent on us to be pushing our case in Canberra on federal matters that are important to East Gippslanders – both now and in the future.

“These discussions also add weight to our to our annual advocacy when in Canberra with the Australian Local Government Association.”

A meeting with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt MP, was deferred due to his requirement to attend the House for debate.

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