Priority projects a Mitchell Shire Council focus

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The Kilmore Bypass, Wallan’s Greenhill Recreation Precinct and restoration of Seymour’s Old Goulburn Bridge lead the list of strategic advocacy priorities endorsed by Mitchell Shire Council.

The council endorsed the priorities at its November 20 meeting, well ahead of state and federal elections.

Council split its advocacy priorities into three categories – healthy, connected and sustainable.

Under the healthy category, proposed priorities are Greenhill Recreation Precinct, Wallan; Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub; Kilmore Learning and Community Hub; community and sporting infrastructure; local access to health care and other services.

In the connected category is the Kilmore Bypass; Cameron’s Lane – Hume Freeway interchange at Beveridge; rail line upgrades; Beveridge train station; growth area arterial roads; telecommunications resilience particularly during emergencies; upgrade of the Northern Highway at Wallan; Watson Street full diamond interchange at Wallan; bus network and services; road network improvements; and rail trails.

Restoration of the Old Goulburn Bridge at Seymour; Wallan Wallan regional parklands; Puckapunyal Combined Arms Heritage Learning Centre; Hilldene employment precinct; schools; affordable housing; and climate change were listed in the sustainable category.

Council’s advocacy policy aims to ‘create healthy, connected, and sustainable communities’, which underpins its advocacy to state and federal governments to fund key projects.

Cr Fiona Stevens said advocacy was ‘really important’ for council.

“The whole purpose of advocacy is to bring to the broader community the projects that are important to them and then to various government authorities in the hope we get grant funding to assist us make them become a reality. A lot of these projects are expensive and we can’t do it by ourselves so we very much rely on grant funding,” she said.

“However just because they’re in the document doesn’t mean they’re going to happen. But what is does mean is these have been identified as the important projects and these are the ones we’re asked to fight the fight for to improve our chances of making these projects become a reality.”

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said council advocacy was not just about Mitchell Shire infrastructure.

“We also advocate strongly to the federal government and state government for things which are their area and which we would like to do on behalf of our residents,” she said.

“There’s a lot of things that are at the other levels of government who have much deeper pockets and we advocate very strongly on the community’s behalf.”

The advocacy priorities also align with the four themes from the Council Plan 2021-25, and with the Mitchell 2050 Community Vision’s themes that Mitchell Shire is ‘a healthy, vibrant and connected community that values nature, diversity and innovation’.

  • What do you think of council’s priority projects? Have your say via a letter to the editor by emailing news@ncreview.com.au or via the Review’s Facebook page.