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Shape future of our region

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September 14, 2017

Federal member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

Benalla residents have the opportunity to help shape the future of the region by submitting ideas to the parliamentary inquiry into regional development before September 15.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said anyone could submit an idea or proposal and inspiration could be taken from the Albury-Wodonga experience.

‘‘This inquiry has the potential to shape the future of regional Australia and I encourage everyone to consider making a submission,’’ Ms McGowan said.

‘‘Albury-Wodonga is reaping the benefits of good regional planning, with two universities, two TAFE colleges, a hospital, an airport and freight and manufacturing well established.’’

Ms McGowan said she hoped to see submissions from Benalla, where community groups, organisations and businesses are already creating local opportunities.

‘‘The Tomorrow Today Foundation, the Hume Primary Care Partnership and Benalla’s very engaged young people can use this opportunity to share their effective action at a national level,’’ she said.

Ms McGowan praised the work of the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation which set up the environment for the two cities to thrive over the past 40 years.

‘‘This inquiry is a chance to set the regional development framework for the next 40 years,’’ she said.

She said the issues paper released by the select committee for the inquiry, of which she is a member, provided a starting point for people making a submission.

‘‘The paper covers some of the challenges faced by rural and regional Australia and examples of best practice, including that of Albury-Wodonga,’’ she said.

A public hearing will be held in Wodonga in October, and anyone wishing to speak at the hearing will need to make a formal submission.

‘‘Share your knowledge and ensure that this committee has the information and knowledge to report back to Parliament,’’ Ms McGowan said.

‘‘Over the course of all the inquiry’s public hearings, I look forward to hearing from those who are already working to make their city or township a success.’’

●Submissions can be made at www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary—Business/Committees/House/Regional—Development—and—Decentralisation/RDD/Issues—Paper

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