Cr Robyn Gulline: key factor for attracting government grants

Thank you to the community members who have and continue to provide feedback to Council’s numerous “Have your say” opportunities.

I look forward to receiving the deliberative panel’s Community Vision, and their contribution to the Council Plan, Long Term Financial Plan and Asset Management Plan.

I understand that it can sometimes feel as though, as a community, we are constantly being asked what we want, when all we want is for something to be delivered.

However, let me assure you, the thousands of pieces of feedback provided have not gone to waste but support Council’s efforts to attract money for our municipality from higher levels of government.

In the six months that I’ve been Mayor, HRCC has received more than $10 million in state and Federal grant funds after years of advocacy for local projects, programs, and initiatives. These funds will help Horsham Rural City grow and thrive as a regional city.

If not for community members taking the time to engagement with Council and report back on what our priorities should be, these funds would have been more difficult to receive.

Of course, not everyone will agree on how Council should spend state and federal money. And that is ok.

Grant funds usually contain very strict criteria, so Council is limited to applying for funding programs as and when they are available. This demonstrates the importance of planning and having a wide range of “shovel ready” projects, that have broad community support, in the drawer.

As a community, we must continue to work together to address priority issues for the benefit and betterment of our community, support COVID-19 recovery, and make the most of opportunities available.

Working with the local community and key industry organisations to develop priority projects that will deliver vital improvements for our regional city is critical.

Wimmera residents deserve the same standard of services and facilities as our metro cousins. Together, we need to show State and Federal politicians that these priority projects matter to the residents and families in our region.

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