by Michael Giles

BEFORE the present regime of the Korumburra Business Association came forward, the organisation and its relationship with the shire and the general community was mired in negativity.
The shire couldn’t seem to do anything right and Korumburra, it seemed, was going nowhere.
But in a few short years, on the back of better communications with the shire and a positive outlook about everything affecting Korumburra, the business community and the town in general; the place has a completely different outlook and prospects for the future.
Of course, since the arrival of Burra Foods, bringing manufacturing jobs back into the town, Korumburra has been on a steady rise, well placed with its green rolling hills and proximity to Melbourne’s burgeoning corridor to take advantage of overflow growth.
Add to that the recent improvements at the schools, the development of the Karmai Community Children’s Centre, the opening of several new businesses, including the excellent Burra Brewery, and the prospect of more improvements and it’s shaping as a great story about a town that defied the odds when the milk factory closed in 1975.
Simply being positive isn’t enough, it helps, but you’ve also got to put in the hard work of lobbying council and government for funding and projects, raising money, organisaing events and much, much more. And it was clear at the KBA’s annual general meeting last week that the organisation is continuing to lead the charge in that respect.
It’s got to be a partnership, as KBA President Noelene Cosson stressed last week, but the business association’s role, together with that of the roundtable group, cannot be underestimated.
And other communities might take their lead.
All it needs now is for Michael’s IGA to get on with building its new supermarket, for the government to commit to stage two of the secondary college, for the shire to build the new pathway out there and to secure funding for a new streetscape and community hub.
The extension of the rail trail from Leongatha, west, is also a community priority that requires any other interest groups to drop their plans for the return of rail services until such time as they can be proved to be viable.
To do anything else would be a blocking tactic because the reality is, rail services will not come back to South Gippsland for many, many years; no matter how positive you are about it.