Goulburn Valley, it is time for your voices to be heard.
David McKenzie, chairman of the newly formed Goulburn Regional Partnership, is on the lookout for enthusiastic people who want to share their ideas for the future of the region.
The Goulburn Regional Partnership will hold its first regional assembly next month, when about 200 people will give their views on what the Goulburn Valley needs to prosper.
Because space is limited, Mr McKenzie wants to make sure the assembly is filled with a good mix of people from across the region.
‘‘We don’t want 80 engineers or 60 schoolteachers, we want a mix of young and old and a real geographical spread across the Goulburn area,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
‘‘We are really trying to make it as inclusive and non-corporate as we can.’’
The Goulburn Regional Partnership, which is one of nine regional partnerships across regional Australia, formed earlier this year by the Andrews Government to improve communications between rural Victoria and the decision makers in Spring St.
Mr McKenzie said despite some criticisms of the program, he believed it could achieve real outcomes.
‘‘It is the most thorough process we have to take the pulse of regional Victoria,’’ he said.
‘‘It takes regional issues to the heart of government.’’
Ideas will be tested at the assembly and Mr McKenzie will give his findings of what the people want in a Rural and Regional Committee.
But no matter what the assembly and partnership finds, any decisions on spending ultimately comes down to government.
It was this that led to criticisms from the opposition, but Mr McKenzie is optimistic that the regional partnership idea will outlive this term of parliament.
‘‘At the end of the day, yes, the government decides where they spend the money, but this makes it hard for the government to ignore such clear feedback,’’ he said.
The Goulburn Assembly will be held at the McIntosh Centre at the Shepparton Showgrounds on Thursday, December 15. If you want to take part register your interest before December 4 at engage.vic.gov.au/ goulburn