Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Kevin Erwin, welcomed the announcement that ABC Local Radio will host a Federal Election Forum in St Arnaud on Friday 10 May.
The broadcast will take place at McDonald Hall, St Arnaud Town Hall, going to air live between 9am-11am on ABC Local Radio across Western Victoria and many other parts of the state.
“With a big field of candidates from right across the political spectrum putting their hand up to represent the region in the Federal electorate of Mallee, this is a great opportunity for people to hear from each candidate about their plans to support the community in our national parliament,” Cr Erwin said.
“The election is just over a fortnight away and with the polls predicting a tight contest, it’s important that we know who we’re voting for.”
Issues expected to be raised by the Northern Grampians Shire community include roads, water security, community services, infrastructure, connectivity, drought, mental health concerns, energy, jobs, housing and taxation.
“Council will continue to advance a number of priority projects for our region such as Federal funding for multipurpose facility upgrades at Lord Nelson Park that focus on the growth of female participation in sport and the need to build or upgrade female change room facilities,” Cr Erwin said.
“Farmers around St Arnaud are telling me that 18/19 has been the worst harvest in 40 years. They’re feeding valuable stock pretty heavily at the moment, and farmers are seeing their haystacks and silos disappearing quickly.”
“While there’s been some good rain in the region, it’s actually been very patchy in some areas.”
“So I’ll certainly be advancing the issue of drought as well as the need for increased road investment and the restoration of Financial Assistance Grants to historic funding levels to support local government.”
“Council has also put proposals to many of the candidates about our plans to seek a relatively small amount of Federal funding to unlock new housing developments across the shire.”
“This is vital to attract new residents and families who will bring skills, grow our economy and have a real and lasting impact on our small towns and regional centres.”
“I’d like to thank ABC Local Radio for choosing St Arnaud as the location of this forum. The challenges faced by our small towns and communities seldom receive the attention they deserve, and this broadcast provides an opportunity that will make the politicians in Canberra sit up and take notice.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend the forum and should arrive by 8.45am.
The forum will be presented by ABC Victoria’s Gavin McGrath and Rebekah Lowe, with guest roving reporter Fiona Parker and broadcast live on ABC Local Radio on the following stations:
● ABC Ballarat
● ABC Wimmera
● ABC Mildura Swan Hill
● ABC Central Victoria