Ms Arnup raises some important points. Firstly, the South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) have been trying to put positive ideas into the community for some 18 months via local media and at council.
However, council denied us the opportunity to present at council.
In addition, council have decided we ask too many questions so they have changed the rules so that you cannot personally ask questions at council meetings.
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In response to invitations from the Chief Administrator, Julie Eisenbise, in August 2019, our group put together over 10 positive projects for our shire. We asked council the question – ‘will you consider these projects’ and the answer was a big NO – bring them back at budget time! There was no analysis of our budget submission returned from council.
SGAG works in the interests of residents of the shire.
Many in the community worked hard for projects i.e. Agnes Falls Viewing Platform, Stony Creek Equestrian Centre and the Port Welshpool Marina, before they were chopped by council. Do those persons feel as well disposed to council as Ms. Arnup?
SGAG made submissions regarding the Council Rate Hardship Policy and we were pleased to see some change to this policy was made last year.
When the landslips occurred in August 2019, the council was not open to talks with residents at Hallston about road closures. We assisted the community and the council to reach an acceptable outcome.
In March this year when council released the first draft budget we submitted that council needed to do more in response to the COVID-19 issue. Subsequently council activated the $2 million COVID-19 package.
Do residents realise council is spending over $250,000 per year on media advertising? SGAG cannot compete with that spin.
Lindsay Love, secretary, South Gippsland Action Group