Advocating For Our Region’s Needs – East Gippsland

Seeking improvements to the region’s telecommunications infrastructure and coverage is one of seven critical priorities identified by East Gippsland Shire Council in its latest Advocacy Strategy.

Adopted this month, the strategy outlines the critical advocacy priorities identified by Council for our community.

The strategy will support a strong program of advocacy targeted at key decision makers and at building a coalition of support around the issues of most importance for East Gippsland’s communities.

Mayor Cr Tom Crook said talking with Victorian and Australian government representatives, other elected representatives and other decision makers about the needs and aspirations of East Gippsland is an important part of Council’s role.

“Advocacy is not just telling people what we need as a region, it’s explaining to them why the improvement or change is needed, and what the benefits will be,” Cr Crook said.

Of the 31 advocacy priorities, Council has identified seven critical priorities that will be the primary focus of advocacy efforts in 2024:

Digital connectivity – Increase the resilience of telecommunications infrastructure during disasters, improve the quality and extent of coverage to support regional living, provide equitable access to services and digital technologies.

National Disaster Recovery Funding reform – Disaster funding arrangements, at state and national levels, that ensure relief and recovery funds are directed to community resilience activities.

Asset management – Asset maintenance is funded through a non-competitive format by the Australian and Victorian governments based on need and local government size.

Housing availability for workers – Availability of housing at reasonable prices to support the attraction of critical workers for support services, businesses, and industry.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation – To support net zero emissions by 2050.

State-wide flood mapping integration – That Victoria’s planning schemes include updated flood mapping to better identify and mitigate flood risks. This benefits all Victorians by helping us build more resilient communities and infrastructure.

Native timber industry transition – A new approach to native forest silviculture is adopted that provides for forest health, reduced bushfire risk and benefits for a range of forest users including high value timber production. That impacted workers, business and communities are effectively supported in their transition.

“All other priorities in the strategy will continue to be the focus of advocacy efforts and will be pursued as opportunity arises or further developed as required,” Cr Crook said.

“Council provides a wide range of services and is responsible for a significant number of assets, including land and buildings, across the shire.

“However, as can be seen in the strategy, our advocacy efforts are not only limited to our areas of responsibility. Our aim is to press for improvements that will make a difference in the lives of people who live, work, visit or invest here.”

During this Council term, Council’s advocacy has resulted in:

  • improved telecommunications resilience in 35 communities;
  • funding to lengthen and strengthen the Bairnsdale Airport runway;
  • bushfire rebuild support and preparedness;
  • funding to design the Lakes Entrance indoor stadium; and
  • the establishment of the Gippsland Agriculture Centre.

The Advocacy Strategy can be viewed on the Advocacy page and at our customer service centres.

/Public Release. View in full here.