Council meets with Ministers to discuss funding opportunities for roads and youth mental health services
Road improvements and youth mental health services were on the agenda when Council met with two Ministers at State Parliament House last week.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson, Youth Council Mayor Lachlan Matthews-Gunn and CEO David Turnbull met with Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley as Council continues to lobby for better infrastructure and services for our community.
The meetings gave Council the opportunity to push its road-related advocacy priorities with Minister Donnellan including $80 million for the Watson Street diamond interchange in Wallan, $161 million for the Camerons Lane interchange in Beveridge, $80 million for a diamond interchange at the Hume Freeway/Gunns Gully Road in Beveridge, $800,000 for a new bridge over Whiteheads Creek on Delatitie Road in Seymour and funding for a Kilmore/Wallan Bypass.
Meanwhile, Council spoke with Minister Foley about the prevalence of youth mental health issues in our shire, the lack of services currently available and our request for $500,000 to refurbish a youth hub in Wallan and $300,000 per year for mental health support services.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said Council was committed to lobbying for better services for the community and that the meetings were very encouraging, with both Ministers understanding the local needs.
“We’ve been working really hard to seek funding and support for a whole host of our advocacy priorities at a State level and the meetings with the Ministers were a great chance to put some of our community’s issues on the agenda and further lobby for action,” Cr Sanderson said.
“These meetings provided a fantastic opportunity for Council to paint the picture of what is happening in our shire and how we can work together with the Victorian Government on solutions to address these issues.
“We’d like to thank our local members Jaclyn Symes and Danielle Green for helping facilitate some time for Council with the Ministers.”
Youth Council Mayor Lachlan Matthews-Gunn said it was a great opportunity.
“All I have ever wanted to do was give the youth of Mitchell Shire a voice and Council has given me that opportunity – this meeting was the best opportunity I’ve had to do this to date,” Lachlan said.
The meetings follow on from a range of discussions Council has been having recently in the advocacy space including hosting a youth mental health roundtable event earlier this year, participating in Interface Week and attending the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra.