Council currently has its Operational Plan including the 2021/22 budget on public display and is receiving submissions. Whilst the projected operational deficit is of concern, we need as a community to keep thinking and planning for future projects that provide future growth and economic development as well as cultural enrichment.
With this in mind, the displayed budget includes provision in the capital budget for two very important projects. Covid has shown the importance of regional tourism. Regions of the country are booked solid for months in advance generating substantial revenue. Accordingly, the budget envisages a cycling infrastructure feasibility study to assess rail trails, mountain biking and velodromes to harness the burgeoning demand. One only need consider the undoubted success of these facilities elsewhere in the country to see the potential benefits for our community.
The other important item is for a report on the location and funding opportunities for both a professional performing art space and a regional art gallery. Our Council area has neither of these and yet smaller neighbouring Councils do. These facilities not only encourage tourism, but also the relocation of people seeking an engaged cultural experience.
Both of these items provide a vision for our future that is sorely needed. Without at least commencing projects like these, we will be left behind and growth will simply occur somewhere else to the detriment of our community. If you support these initiatives, I encourage you to make a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of submissions, Riverina Local Land Services is currently taking submissions on its proposed changes to the management of travelling stock routes and reserves about which I have written previously. If you too are concerned about the increase of stock on our roads and the extra cost to our ratepayers and rural ratepayers in particular, I urge you to complete the survey on the Riverina LLS website.
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