Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the Opposition had predicted a September federal election and that her schedule would not be altered by last Wednesday’s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.February 6, 2013 4:16am
Ms Ley, who still has no idea who will be running against her, said she had ‘‘already hit the ground running on the most important issue to my electorate — water.’’
‘‘I had already planned to do a lot of travel in my electorate.
‘‘I will also continue — in my shadow portfolios of childcare, trade and training — to assist with the development of policies.
‘‘It would be no surprise to anyone that to start the year I am following up on water, including river heights.
‘‘I had a letter from the Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils in particular reference to (low) river heights at Tocumwal over Christmas.
‘‘I wrote, last week, to Murray-Darling Basin Authority CEO Rhonda Dixon to ask for an urgent briefing.’’
While the announcement of a September 14 federal election has not affected Ms Ley’s schedule, Southern Riverina councils say it means they can now start forward planning.
Berrigan Shire Council’s main aim will be to secure Federal Government funding opportunities in the region, according to Deputy Mayor Brian Hill.
‘‘We don’t get enough funding here as it is.
‘‘Our Roads to Recovery program is very important, and we would want to see that continue.
‘‘Regional Development Australia funding is also a big one, considering we’re in the process of the Finley football ground’s restoration.
‘‘We also don’t want to see a change in government derail the plans for a referendum for recognition of local government in the constitution.’’
Jerilderie Shire Mayor Terry Hogan agreed that constitutional recognition was a priority, as it would allow local government a direct share of the national intake.
He said it would provide council with more resources to fund infrastructure, which he said was vital.
Cr Hogan said he would also back Deniliquin Council’s push for a natural gas connection in the lead up to the election.
He said the project should have already been rolled out, and would have been more suitable than projects already implemented by the Federal Government.
‘‘To me, a natural gas connection to all rural and regional towns would have been more beneficial than the National Broadband (internet) Network.
‘‘If we are going to meet the challenge of producing food for the world, natural gas is needed far greater than a one-off technology.
‘‘The NBN does not generate jobs, and we need jobs.’’
To date, there is no word on who may be running against Ms Ley in September.
An independent candidate at the last election, local farmer Louise Burge has already ruled out another tilt at federal parliament.
The late Margaret 'Dharrul' Wirrpanda has joined Mooroopna's Alf 'Uncle Boydie' Turner as an inductee this year into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Paradise Queen owner Travis Smith is preparing to take on hundreds of runners at this year’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival to be held on October 18-19.
Goulburn Valley Fins and Fenders Car Club is getting ready to host its second annual Show and Shine event at Tatura Racecourse on Saturday, October 18.
Residents are being warned they could face severe penalties if out of control burn-offs damaged someone else’s property.
The Nanneella hall and recreation reserve committee is inviting everyone to join its clearance sale on October 25.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Developer of the Elloura estate wants to build another road to Buckley Park among other changes.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote Community House staff are encouraging people to send a postcard to show their support.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull visits Cobram to assist councils and incumbent MP.
Keen Deni Ute Muster fans rolled into town early for the weekend's event.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Last week's Coledale poll dorset stud ram sale was the best in the stud's 45-year history.
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