AHEAD of next months Federal Election and with so many wondering ‘who to vote for’, one recently appointed representative of the area put a lot of minds at ease when he visited Tea Gardens.
Dr David Gillespie MP was invited to listen to many of the Community Group members concerns and wishes at the private residence of Mr Gordon Grainger.
Members and representatives from the Myall River Action Group, Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association, Tea Gardens Historical Society and the Myall Chamber of Commerce and Tourism attended the meeting on the afternoon of 7 June.
Hosted by Gordon Grainger from the Myall River Action Group, talks with David Gillespie quickly turned to the importance of the Myall River to the area, its importance of tourism and the business it brings annually to the area.
Gordon Grainger said, “Without the rivers qualities and access for ferry services the area will suffer quickly and will put extra strain on businesses during non-holiday periods.”
“Dredging has of course been done last year and is about to resume again, but we need to keep on top of not only the navigational hazards the river can bring us if not monitored and rectified correctly, but also the quality of the water in general that brings the place to life,” Mr Grainger said.
Various concerns raised to Dr Gillespie included the amount of red tape and run around that is often experienced when dealing with local government groups, general concerns of the forced and surprising merger affecting the former Great Lakes Council and how to go about applying for Federal Grants for Community Programs.
After listening to the dozen representatives from different groups that attended the meeting, for anyone that didn’t know David Gillespie prior would do now. Dr Gillespie said, “I promise to be a good strong advocate for this area. It is really unique.”
“When the Electorate Boundaries were modified and included this area, I have effectively taken on an extra 42,000 people to care for, and take into account of their needs and wants.”
“We have only a short amount of time between now and the Election, and I will do my best to see as many people and hear their concerns and needs before the Polls open,” Dr Gillespie said.
“My service to you will continue long after the Election also,” he said.
Upon closing the meeting, a concerned resident stated that the area is quite often seemingly overlooked by those in power.
Dr Gillespie replied in his closing statement, “I hope to reassure you that I will do my very best so you do not feel like you are forgotten.”
By Dave BRAZIER