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.
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
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.