Shire on the radar

Lo­cal mem­ber talks wish lists, wa­ter and com­mu­nity needs

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS - By James Ben­nett

Newly elected Mem­ber for Mur­ray Austin Evans says he’ll make a con­certed ef­fort to visit the Ber­ri­gan Shire towns dur­ing his time in of­fice.

Mr Evans vis­ited the Ber­ri­gan Shire area last week to thank his sup­port­ers for their hard work dur­ing the re­cent by-elec­tion.

He was in Ber­ri­gan, Ba­rooga and Fin­ley on Fri­day and Satur­day, and Tocumwal on Sun­day for the town’s Big Break­fast event.

Dur­ing his visit he also met with the Ber­ri­gan Shire coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss lo­cal is­sues.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally get the chance to visit th­ese towns dur­ing the elec­tion be­cause it was such a quick cam­paign,’’ Mr Evans said.

‘‘This was a chance to lis­ten to the pub­lic and meet my con­stituents.

‘‘It was a good catch-up with coun­cil . . . they had a long list of jobs for me and also men­tioned a few other things.

‘‘It was also nice to meet coun­cil staff; I knew a few of them pre­vi­ously from when I was with the Mur­rumbidgee Shire.’’

Mr Evans also met with An­drew Kelly and Michael Hawkins from West Corur­gan Pri­vate Ir­ri­ga­tion and Graeme Pyle from South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors dur­ing his visit to Ber­ri­gan.

Ber­ri­gan Shire Mayor Matt Han­nan said he was im­pressed with Mr Evans’ ef­fort to lis­ten to lo­cal con­cerns.

‘‘Austin lis­tened to what we pre­sented to him and he’s keen to build a strong work­ing re­la­tion­ship with coun­cil,’’ Cr Han­nan said.

‘‘It was a very cor­dial meet­ing and I think he’ll do what’s best for the com­mu­nity.’’

Cr Han­nan said they out­lined their con­cerns about the Fu­ture Trans­port 2056 re­port, the Con­tainer De­posit Scheme, the Tocumwal-Nar­ran­dera rail line, and re­in­stat­ing a ‘fit coun­cil’ sta­tus with the NSW Gov­ern­ment.

‘‘The num­ber one item on the list is the ‘fit for fu­ture’ sta­tus.

‘‘It’s im­por­tance for the con­fi­dence of the com­mu­nity and shire that we’re deemed ‘fit’ so we don’t miss out on dif­fer­ent streams of fund­ing,’’ Cr Han­nan said.

The Tocumwal Big Break­fast was a chance for Mr Evans to learn more about the shire’s plans for the Tocumwal Fore­shore re­de­vel­op­ment from coun­cil­lors at­tend­ing the com­mu­nity event.

Worth al­most $2 mil­lion, the re­de­vel­op­ment will in­clude the pro­vi­sion of a splash park, am­phithe­atre and other im­prove­ments.

Mr Evans will also take some of the con­cerns from the gen­eral pub­lic back to Par­lia­ment fol­low­ing his visit.

He met with his Fin­ley-based sup­port­ers at the Fin­ley RS Club on Fri­day night.

‘‘There were a few thank yous for those who helped along the way, and we also dis­cussed what I can take back to Syd­ney,’’ he said.

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