National Party members hear from community on local issues
TELECOMMUNICATIONS and transport remain key issues for Alpine Shire residents.
The two were often brought up when Deputy Opposition leader Peter Walsh and Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley) held a community question and answer session at Myrtleford’s Buffalo Hotel last Monday night.
“Telecommunications (issues) also comes up in a lot of different places, but it’s the transport where we really need to have these services,” Mr Walsh said.
“Particularly for the people that want to travel for medical services or for younger people who don’t have a licence, or older people that don’t want to drive long distances.
“It just doesn’t work at the moment, buses need to run more frequently from this area or at least coincide with the XPT.”
Extraction of bottled water for drinking within the region was also discussed at the community dinner while the issue of connectivity was raised by the Bright Chamber of Commerce, with the lack of internet service in areas problematic.
Accommodation, or the lack there of for all industry members and staff is another area where it’s thought improvements can be made.
Mr McCurdy said a number of current issues that had been brought to his recent attention were also informally discussed with Alpine Shire councillors at the Happy Valley Hall on Tuesday.
“Bright’s going ahead lovely but it’s about making sure that those other services and facilities like accommodation are available for people working in town,” he said.
The Nationals have committed to the return of the Rural Planner Flying squad, a program where council can access external planners to assist with large strategic planning issues such as accommodation schemes.
“Bright would probably be a real classic example of where some outside assistance with the council could do the strategic planning framework for the future some good, so we talked about that,” Mr Walsh said.
Decentralisation, and how to better attract city livers to the region was hot on the politicians’ agenda with housing of course remaining a persistent issue for potential newcomers to the region.