City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons' on-air comment implying outlying residents deserved second-class service has outraged rural residents.ELAINE COONEY June 3, 2014 3:20am
Elmore residents have taken aim at City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons, who said residents ‘who chose to live in the sticks’ should not have access to better services.
A Shelbourne resident questioned Cr Lyons on value for money after the city lifted rates six per cent, during an interview on ABC presenter Fiona Parker’s morning program.
Cr Lyons replied: ‘‘Ummm
His comments have further exacerbated concern in the Elmore community, many of whom felt upset about their share of the City of Greater Bendigo budget.
Cr Lyons continued by saying the City of Greater Bendigo looked after residents as best it could and spread resources throughout the city.
When Campaspe News asked the mayor to clarify his comments he said: ‘‘I live out in the sticks myself’’.
He said people who live in regional areas did not get as many services and facilities as the city ratepayers, but he did not feel they were too disadvantaged.
When asked if he had visited Elmore he said he spoke to a resident two weeks ago, but had no reason to speak to Elmore residents as a group.
‘‘If necessary I would,’’ he said.
Elmore farmer Darren Trewick was offended when he heard the mayor’s comments on the radio show.
‘‘I thought it was a low blow that the mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo thought so little of us,’’ he said.
Elmore Field Days president Frank Harney said the mayor’s response was inappropriate.
‘‘We don’t get anything,’’ he said.
He said Elmore and Goornong did not factor into the city’s budget for lighting at football and netball grounds.
Mr Harney said the City of Greater Bendigo relied too much on the Elmore Charity Ball and Elmore Field Days to support the community.
Elmore Events Centre’s public relations manager Sam Shotton said Elmore should not be penalised by the City of Greater Bendigo Council because it was proactive in raising its own funds through their two major events.
‘‘The Community Bank, Elmore Charity Ball and Elmore Field Days can’t support everything and we are at risk of wearing out our volunteers,’’ she said.
‘‘(Ratepayers) don’t pay rates to the Elmore Field Days do they?’’ she asked
‘‘Why should we be any different to Heathcote or Marong?’’
Elmore pool committee president Matt Henke said if it was not for the Elmore Field Days and Elmore Charity Ball, the Elmore swimming pool would no longer exist.
He said Elmore and other outlying towns were the home towns of a large percentage of Bendigo city’s workforce.
‘‘If you cut (the city) off all you have is concrete and infrastructure. That’s it,’’ he said.
He said Elmore and its surrounding areas were vital to the City of Greater Bendigo economy because they were the vegetable growers.
Toolamba pole dancer Michaela Webster wins two awards at Australia Pole Championships in Canberra.
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.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Echuca police officers were joined by community members at a National Police Remembrance Day serivce on Monday.
Darren Pain from Sportspower is encouraging people to support small businesses on Saturday.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Rail line manager sends out warning after trespassers get too close to tracks to take photos.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote cheerleader Taylah Kurrle is part of the Cheer Factor All Stars team for the Duel in the Desert championship in Palm Springs, California.
International cricket superstar Adam Gilchrist becomes number-one ticket holder and junior program ambassador for local club.
Deni Ute Muster thank myriad of volunteers.
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.
Tears flowed freely from players and supporters on Sunday when Benalla lost the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final by three points.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.