District residents had the chance to voice concerns and ask budget questions of Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum at a recent listening post in Punt Rd, Cobram..
‘‘Sometimes there is uncertainty as to what the budget means for the average Australian. By getting into our communities, I aim to clarify the issues raised,’’ Mr Drum said.
Mr Drum has been meeting with people from the region heavily tied up in the water debate and will take the information to Canberra.
‘‘This region is giving away too much water to the environment. We are now saying enough is enough,’’ Mr Drum said.
‘‘We think this region is at a tipping point and it needs to be addressed.
‘‘More water for farmers means more wealth for everyone.’’
Mr Drum said it was pleasing to work closely with Moira Shire, in particular chief executive Mark Henderson and mayor Libro Mustica, and incorporate them into the political sphere at a federal level.
One of the big items on the agenda for the Nationals !in Cobram is a new soccer pavilion at Apex Reserve, costing $600000.
Mr Drum said one of the biggest issues facing the region was a lack of people wanting to work in agricultural industries.
‘‘We are working on an ag visa, which would allow people to come from overseas and work in certain agricultural industries, because at the moment we are struggling to meet demand,’’ he said.
He also said trades such as welding, diesel mechanics and fitting and turning were not desirable jobs in regional towns and the shortage needed to be sorted.
‘‘We also need something like a regional visa because at the moment there is a lack of Australians wanting to do specific trades which are critically important and it is holding regional businesses back,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to create visas that are industry specific.’’