The following is an extract from the Mayor’s report for June 2015. In it Buloke Shire Mayor, Cr Reid Mather, discusses the Rural Living Strategy, which was developed by the Buloke Shire Council, and it’s importance in creating awareness at State and Federal Government level of the disadvantages that many rural communities face.
“In simple terms, unless rural people have access to the basic services that should be available to all Victorians, we will see our smaller regional communities become more and more unlivable. In Buloke Shire we face this problem in our small communities every single day. We are doing everything we can to deliver the basic essential services, but we are falling short. Youth services, community transport, library services and child care services are just some examples of what our rural communities are missing out on.
The people living in our rural shires make a considerable contribution to the nation’s GDP, as well as paying rates, income tax and GST in the same manner as their metropolitan colleagues. So they should receive the same level of basic services their metropolitan colleagues enjoy. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that we, as Local Government, deliver the basic services that everyone, no matter where they live, is entitled to.
Now is the time for us to band together to advocate for the basic rights of rural residents. Alone, the problems we face can seem insurmountable. As a united voice, we can deliver a simple strong message – equal services for rural people - and get higher levels of government to bring about the changes that are necessary.”