Council Mayor Chris Potter, Chief Executive Officer Anne Howard and G21 region Mayors and CEOs visited Canberra last week for meetings with Federal Government Ministers and Shadow Ministers to raise issues affecting our region.
The group held 18 meetings with a number of representatives including Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor, Opposition leader Peter Dutton and Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson and local MPs Libby Coker and Dan Tehan.
“We discussed a number of issues relating to population growth experienced in the G21 region. This included the shortage of affordable housing for workers as well as social housing,” Mayor Chris Potter said.
“An element of this discussion was in relation to attracting workers to our shires, in particular G21 is seeking a permanent change to the Working Holiday Maker visa which would enable visa holders to continue working for an employer for up to 12 months, instead of 6 months.
“NBN connectivity in bushfire prone areas was also raised with the need for better digital connectivity in times of emergency such as fires and floods.
“An issue specific to Colac Otway I addressed was the need for a new premises for Caracamigen – The Colac Aboriginal Gathering Place,” Cr Potter said.
“A common theme of meeting discussions was that budget is tight, however the Canberra visit was extremely worthwhile. We covered a broad range of issues and it’s important we continue to advocate at State and Federal level for services and projects for our communities.”
Pictured left to right: Golden Plains Shire Mayor Brett Cunningham, Colac Otway Shire Mayor Chris Potter, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, City of Greater Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan, Surf Coast Mayor Liz Pattison and Queenscliffe Mayor Isabelle Tolhurst.