Shire on the radar

November 08, 2017

Newly elected Member for Murray Austin Evans says he’ll make a concerted effort to visit the Berrigan Shire towns during his time in office.

Mr Evans visited the Berrigan Shire area last week to thank his supporters for their hard work during the recent by-election.

He was in Berrigan, Barooga and Finley on Friday and Saturday, and Tocumwal on Sunday for the town’s Big Breakfast event.

During his visit he also met with the Berrigan Shire councillors to discuss local issues.

‘‘I didn’t really get the chance to visit these towns during the election because it was such a quick campaign,’’ Mr Evans said.

‘‘This was a chance to listen to the public and meet my constituents.

‘‘It was a good catch-up with council ... they had a long list of jobs for me and also mentioned a few other things.

‘‘It was also nice to meet council staff; I knew a few of them previously from when I was with the Murrumbidgee Shire.’’

Mr Evans also met with Andrew Kelly and Michael Hawkins from West Corurgan Private Irrigation and Graeme Pyle from Southern Riverina Irrigators during his visit to Berrigan.

Berrigan Shire Mayor Matt Hannan said he was impressed with Mr Evans’ effort to listen to local concerns.

‘‘Austin listened to what we presented to him and he’s keen to build a strong working relationship with council,’’ Cr Hannan said.

‘‘It was a very cordial meeting and I think he’ll do what’s best for the community.’’

Cr Hannan said they outlined their concerns about the Future Transport 2056 report, the Container Deposit Scheme, the Tocumwal-Narrandera rail line, and reinstating a ‘fit council’ status with the NSW Government.

‘‘The number one item on the list is the ‘fit for future’ status.

‘‘It’s importance for the confidence of the community and shire that we’re deemed ‘fit’ so we don’t miss out on different streams of funding,’’ Cr Hannan said.

The Tocumwal Big Breakfast was a chance for Mr Evans to learn more about the shire’s plans for the Tocumwal Foreshore redevelopment from councillors attending the community event.

Worth almost $2 million, the redevelopment will include the provision of a splash park, amphitheatre and other improvements.

Mr Evans will also take some of the concerns from the general public back to Parliament following his visit.

He met with his Finley-based supporters at the Finley RS Club on Friday night.

‘‘There were a few thank yous for those who helped along the way, and we also discussed what I can take back to Sydney,’’ he said.

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