FOLLOWING the Committee for Greater Shepparton’s recent annual general meeting, the successes of the committee over the past 12 months and the plans for its future focus over the next 12 months were revealed.
Committee for Greater Shepparton chair, Rob Priestly sat down with The Adviser to discuss what the committee has had a hand in during 2016 and what the plans for 2017 hold.
Rob said, “Over the past 12 months the committee has been advocating hard for our community. On the top of the list, for its impact is the work with the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District Water Leadership Forum and the advocacy work done with the commissioning and release of a socio-economic study. This allowed us to clearly spell out to government and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) the huge costs that our community has already borne, and the total cost of around 2,000 local jobs if the plan is fully implemented.
“After a lot of work we also saw some wins in December with regard to the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service agreeing to a trial program with Kreskas Bros Transport. This allows for more efficient processing of containers for inspection locally rather than at the port. This is something that underpins lower costs for major employers in our region, and is a really positive step forward.
“There has also been work done in securing funding for the new Shepparton Art Museum and GV Health and the committee hosting the Committees for Cities gathering, which saw some strong relationships gained.
“In 2017 we will be putting our focus on trying to get a reduced negative impact from the MDBA plan, continue to facilitate discussions around the new bypass, look at stage two of the GV Health redevelopment, securing funding and positive changes for local rail services and will be working more closely towards an integrated approach to the relationships with Greater Shepparton City Council’s economic development department.
“This has already begun through a trip we had with them to Toowoomba Airport on Monday, which saw us look at air freight services for food exporters and how Shepparton could benefit from offering similar services.
“The committee will also be making a concerted push for better education in our region. The current system leaves too many kids behind and businesses can’t get the work-ready staff they need.”