Rural Round Up

Rural Round Up
By Councilor Warren Waddell

I would like to welcome everyone to 2021. With the challenges of 2020 behind us we can continue with our agenda of achieving better services for the rural communities. It has always been difficult to achieve outcomes in the rural areas, simply because the population is more dispersed and people have to shout louder to be heard. We occupy the largest land mass within the shire but have the lowest population density. That’s what made 2020 so important. Councillors and staff worked hard to open up every category of Council responsibility for review. Many of you made contributions to issues ranging from pile burn procedures to long-term delivery programs. Never before has there been such a tsunami of consultations or so many opportunities to have input into Council policy.

But we are not there yet. With much of the background work now done it is time to prioritise and deliver. The rural community needs to keep speaking up and supporting the efforts of Council in delivering the recommendations of the many areas of consultation.

Questions include:
• Where do we need footpaths and cycleways?

• How do we begin planning for a new library and how do we pay for it?

• How do we implement our play plan to ensure the best use of our parks and recreational facilities?

• How do we best manage our waste and protect our environment?

• Where can we make our roads safer and improve drainage?

• How do we implement the recommendations of the Rural Land Review to ensure residents control the future long-term planning?

• How do we support our schools and businesses as we meet the challenges of peri-urban living?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. I pose them as the starting point of a conversation that we must have. I invite all of you to join me in that discussion as we strive together to achieve what is best for our community.

As always, I’m happy to discuss these or any other issues at any time. Contact me via email at [email protected] or phone on 0499 004 861.

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