Tammy Atkins joins roundtable in Porepunkah
INDEPENDENT candidate for Ovens Valley Tammy Atkins met residents in Porepunkah last Wednesday evening for a roundtable discussion on sustainability and a range of local concerns.
The informal meeting, held on the outdoor tables at the Porepunkah Pub, was a chance for Ms Atkins to talk again about her position in the lead up to the Saturday 24 state election, where she seeks to challenge incumbent Tim McCurdy.
A number of those in attendance were from the Upper Ovens Valley Landcare Group, and discussed a variety of topics relating to sustainability such as generating local energy and economic opportunities in regional waste disposal.
Ms Atkins, who lives in Milawa on her husband’s dairy farm, has been involved in a range of community organisations specialising in regional economic development.
The discussion took on the character of a brainstorming session as residents discussed everything from micro grids to road cycling to shooting deer.
Ms Atkins reiterated her belief that only by making the Ovens Valley seat marginal would policy be tailored to local electorates, and how independent MPs are subsequently held to a higher standard by the electorate compared to party MPs.
“My primary aim is to make our region matter, and we do that by becoming an independent seat, and encouraging people to vote strategically,” she said.
“I think a local MP’s role is a regional economic development role.”
Ms Atkins restated her call for the state government to create a ministry for regional transport, given the perception that discussion around public transport invariably focuses on Melbourne.
The meeting ended with a heartfelt dialogue about Mount Buffalo, and the findings outlined in a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers business case analysis on seven proposed tourism concepts.
Investment in a café and refurbishment of the historic building will require investment from a future state government.
With days to go before election day, Ms Atkins said she was proud to be mounting a challenge in the safe Coalition seat.
“I’m giving this the biggest, reddest, hottest go ever,” she said.
DISCUSSION: Independent candidate for Ovens Valley Tammy Atkins leads a roundtable discussion on sustainability in Porepunkah last Wednesday, November 14, as Kira Mack and Ken Fletcher look on.