I was interested to read the article, in the Sentinel-Times’ September 28 edition, which pointed out that $80 million has been set aside by the Victorian government to address the critical shortage of housing in regional Victoria.

One of the target shires listed for this project is South Gippsland.

To access this funding, landowners and developers are encouraged to partner with community housing providers, local government and other organisations and submit proposals to Homes Victoria by October 7.

I was disappointed to hear that South Gippsland Shire Council is not involved in any tenders for this state government support.

I recognise that the due date for the tenders occurs during the caretaker period before the next council is elected, but I imagine that any tenders would have been in the pipeline well before the caretaker period began.

Our new council should proactively engage with landowners, developers, community housing providers and other community organisations so that we can take advantage of such funding opportunities when they are made available.

Our area is desperately short of affordable community housing – people working in Sandy Point have to rent in the Latrobe Valley because they have been priced out of the local market.

This is hard on the individuals who have to travel such great distances and it weakens our community – these people who would otherwise contribute to our community in their spare time now spend this time driving.

We need to recognise that we, as a shire, have an affordable housing problem and work together to find solutions.

Anda Banikos, Candidate for Coastal Promontory Ward, Fish Creek.