Baw Baw Shire Council is continuing to strongly advocate for the needs of residents, having hosted a meeting with a key State Government Minister last week.
Minister for Local Government and Small Business Adem Somyurek visited Baw Baw Shire on Tuesday 11 December to tour development sites in Warragul and Drouin, visiting the Tarwin Street retardation basin, Paramount Springs/Copelands Road, and Weebar Road/Ferntree Ridge.
The Minister then attended a briefing at Council’s Drouin office, where Councillors and staff showcased the challenges of rapid growth as a Peri-Urban Council.
Despite being a significant growth area, Baw Baw Shire is ineligible for funding through the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Fund and Growing Suburbs Fund, State Government funding streams that assist fringe Councils in meeting the demands of growing populations.
Baw Baw Shire Council is the fastest growing Peri-Urban Council in Victoria. For example, in the Census period between 2011 and 2016, Drouin’s population increased by 27 per cent.
Council advocated to the Minister for a new Community Infrastructure Fund to support the State’s Peri-Urban Councils.
As noted by Mayor Cr Danny Goss
“As many people know, Baw Baw Shire is a great place to live. We are a commutable distance to Melbourne and enjoy easy access to the beach and snow. Many young families have taken advantage of the Premium Regional First Home Owners Grant to settle in Drouin and Warragul and enjoy the rural charm of our region.
The unprecedented growth of our Shire brings many challenges. We have increasing congestion on the roads, our sport and recreation facilities are at capacity, our schools and kindergartens are at capacity and we must be strategic to retain the unique character of our towns.
It was great to host Minister Somyurek and give him a first-hand look at the pressures we are facing one of the fastest growing areas in the State. We badly need assistance from the Government and we received an excellent hearing.”
Baw Baw Shire Councillors and CEO Alison Leighton took Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek on a tour of Warragul and Drouin’s developments before briefing the Minister on the pressures faced by BBSC and other Peri-Urban Councils.