DON’T LET RETAIL CENTRE DIE
As a former retailer in the central business district, I would like to think the mayor’s optimism about its future is justified, but the reality is, it is just now what it used to be and therefore needs all the help it can get.
Free parking is not the panacea that will solve all the problems, but it will help, and if it has to be subsidised by ratepayers then so be it because at least we all use the CBD retail precinct.
If council can find $5M to cover the extra costs for the art centre from a “budgetary allowance,” surely it can find money to help the major commercial activities in Shepparton, which everybody uses, to survive.
How much do we subsidise the current art centre, or for instance all the swimming pools in the Greater Shepparton area that are only used by a small percentage of the population.
It is obvious we have to do something about the mall to create some life and to give it some activity, and tinkering around the edges will achieve nothing.
Slow-moving traffic and limited parking would help to achieve this and give better shopper access.
Council can’t let the CBD die as has happened in some rural cities, so let’s try to find a “budgetary allowance” to help the retailers in the CBD.
I write regarding an article ‘Political opportunity’ that appeared in the local media recently and the ill-informed statements by Member for Shepparton, Suzanna Sheed and Labor Upper House Member, Jaclyn Symes regarding the Liberal National Coalition’s plan to hold a regional sitting of parliament in Shepparton. Both Ms Sheed and Ms Symes are in their first term of parliament and neither of them has ever experienced a regional sitting to see first-hand the benefits it can provide to a regional city.
Since 2001 the Parliament of Victoria has held nine regional sittings in Bendigo and Ballarat in 2001, Benalla in 2002, Geelong and Colac in 2005, Lakes Entrance and Churchill in 2008, and Bendigo and Ballarat in 2012. Regional sittings have given those communities the opportunity to not only see parliament at work first-hand but also to lobby for their priorities. But Suzanna Sheed and Jaclyn Symes think Shepparton should be denied those same opportunities.
It is easy to see why Jaclyn Symes disagrees with a Liberal policy as she is after all a Labor MP, but local residents must be wondering why Suzanna Sheed would not want to give Shepparton the opportunity to showcase our city and its priorities for infrastructure, rail, health, education and other needs to members of parliament, and also why she would want to deny local schools, community groups and residents the opportunity to see parliament at work without the expense of having to travel to Melbourne. Is it because Suzanna Sheed has crossed the line and rather than being Shepparton’s voice in Spring Street, she has become the Andrew’s Government’s mouth piece in Shepparton?
Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Region
BASIN PLAN AT RISK?
The recent Northern Basin Amendment dis-allowance motion passed by senate has little or no impact on the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID). Senate support for this disallowance motion stemmed from the review process, outdated data, and modelling used, assumptions of compliance by NSW and the protection of environmental flows. These issues together with accusations of criminal and corruptive practices currently under investigation in NSW and Queensland gave senators no alternative.
Of direct impact to the GMID is the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment recommendation of 605GL recently tabled in parliament and at risk of also coming under the scrutiny of the senate if a disallowance motion is moved.
Unlike the Northern Basin Amendment the SDL adjustment recommendation will pass or fail not on the quality of inputs or the recommendation but be judged on the commitment of all states to the total SDL package agreed in the Basin Plan.
The SDL adjustment agreement consists of three elements and unfortunately both NSW and Victorian Ministers together and highly public groups have been advocating for removal of both the 450GL up-water and constraints management from the agreed package.
The greatest threat to the acceptance of the SDL adjustment recommendation in parliament and perhaps the basin plan is the highly public campaign being waged to undermine intent of the SDL package which was agreed to by all states.
John Pettigrew and Terry Court
Goulburn Valley Environment Group