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Published Tuesday 14 May 2019
Tags:General, Media Release

Community gets behind mental health and freeway election advocacy campaign

The Mitchell Shire community has rallied behind the mental health and freeway advocacy campaign with more than 1000 emails and postcards sent to Federal election candidates across McEwen, Nicholls and Bendigo.

Developed by Mitchell Shire Council, the campaign calls for Federal funding commitments to local mental health services and the Wallan freeway interchange.

Council has attended markets, events and vox pops across the shire since the campaign launched in early April.

Mental health

With one in 15 people in Mitchell Shire reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress and long waiting lists and travel times for specialised support, the campaign is calling for:

  • Funding for local service providers to operate a range of services for all ages from prevention and early intervention through to support services for people experiencing acute episodes.
  • Ensure funding supports service provision in rural and regional townships.
  • Early provision of mental health services in growth areas
  • $300,000 a year for mental health services to operate from the Wallan Youth Services Hub
  • $285,000 over three years for a Live4Life program targeting youth suicide.

Freeway interchange

With traffic volumes set to double in Wallan in the next 10 years and traffic already banking up on to the Hume Freeway, the campaign is calling for a commitment to construct a full diamond interchange at Watson Street.

A Federal commitment will help unlock state projects including a contribution to the interchange and expansion of Watson Street and the Northern Highway.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor, Councillor Bill Chisholm

“On behalf of my fellow Councillors, I’d like to thank the community for getting behind the campaign.

“Community members right across the shire have taken the time to add their voice and let candidates know that mental health and the freeway ramps matter to them.

“We’ve had a great response and I look forward to working with whoever ends up representing us to get action on these priorities.

“Mitchell Shire is growing, and it’s growing fast. These projects will change the face of our shire for generations to come.

“By working in partnership across Local, State and Federal governments we can make a difference to thousands of people every day.

“I’d like to thank the candidates who have offered their support and taken the time to meet with us.

“I’d also like to thank our Youth Council members who have very active throughout this campaign.”