THREE Mornington Peninsula Shire representatives headed to Canberra this month for the National General Assembly hosted by the Australian Local Government Association.
Mayor Cr Bev Colomb, deputy mayor Cr Graham Pittock and Cr Hugh Fraser attended the three-day annual conference for council delegates from across the nation on 14-17 June.
Cr Colomb described the yearly meeting as “a great opportunity” for council to meet federal government ministers and their staff to highlight challenges faced by the Mornington Peninsula community.
“It is also a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of potential funding sources for local government going forward, to discuss opportunities for closer partnerships on important initiatives and to form strong working relationships for future project proposals.”
Councillors met with an adviser to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to push for improved mobile phone coverage in “black spots” on the peninsula, especially with regards to emergency management.
Council also lobbied for the National Broadband Network to be rolled out quickly across the peninsula to support businesses and encourage jobs creation.
The possibility of outreach arts programs to complement the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery was raised with Executive Director of the Ministry for the Arts Sally Basser.
Cr Colomb said: “I was also was privileged to hear Rosie Batty, family violence campaigner, Australia of the Year and proud peninsula resident, address the National Government Assembly in Canberra.
“The Luke Batty Foundation has now launched the Never Alone campaign to stand with the women and children affected by family violence so that they are supported in the community and have a powerful voice in the corridors of power.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss addressed the assembly delegates and federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt was also among the speakers.
The cost to have the three Shire representatives attend the assembly was $7028, in the same financial ballpark as neighbouring southeast councils Frankston and Kingston who spent $7617 and $7682 respectively on travel and accommodation to send three representatives each to Canberra.
“It’s a very small cost relative to the opportunities it presents for our Shire,” Cr Colomb said.