Strathbogie Shire Council

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Mayor has a long wish list to share

The Strathbogie Shire Mayor says he has a long list to discuss with the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg when they meet this week.

Cr Chris Raeburn is part of a delegation of mayors from nine regional municipalities that will join Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines at a meeting with the Treasurer.

The meeting was to be held face-to-face, but will now occur online after Victoria was placed in a five-day coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown on Saturday.

Cr Raeburn said a key area of concern for Strathbogie Shire was connectivity – both internet and phone coverage.

“The Ruffy and Strathbogie communities are experiencing significant mobile coverage issues due to a fault at the Mt Wombat tower,” Cr Raeburn said.

“This fault puts many people without a phone service. A service they rely on to keep their families, friends and neighbours safe.

“This is a serious issue that I will raise with the Treasurer.”

Cr Raeburn said he also planned to speak about the struggle for reliable internet speed and coverage in the region, which he said was “unacceptable”.

In December last year, Cr Raeburn presented to the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the National Broadband Network (NBN).

“If something is not done our region will be left behind in the digital race and miss out on economic development opportunities,” he said.

“This is not an option we can accept.”

Cr Raeburn will also meet with the senior adviser to Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to raise these concerns.

Cr Raeburn will also raise support for business, tourism and community recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as priority areas where he would call on the Treasurer to invest heavily.

“While our community has so far escaped the coronavirus pandemic, we have been hit hard by lock downs and restrictions which have affected business and tourism,” Cr Raeburn said.

“Another key discussion I plan to raise is the need for investment in more reliable power supply for our area.

“Despite being just 90 minutes from Melbourne, we are missing out on investment in our region because business cannot rely on a consistent power supply.”

Cr Raeburn is also seeking a meeting with adviser to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack to discuss the community’s concern surrounding the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) upgrade project.

Council is seeking a deliberate engagement process that will allow the Euroa community to reach a group decision on the future design of the Euroa Railway Precinct.

“It will ensure our community is involved in a meaningful way,” he said.

While this may sound like a long list of issues, Cr Raeburn said the future was exciting for Strathbogie Shire.

“Our region is fast becoming the go-to area for people to live, visit and play,” he said.

“We are seeing strong development in Nagambie and Euroa and this is matched by demand as people look to relocate to our beautiful region.”

“For those who are lucky to live in Strathbogie Shire we know how special our region is.

“However, what was once our secret is now well-and-truly out.”


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