Opinion

Yesterday was a good day for Shepparton

By Shepparton News

Yesterday was a good day for Shepparton.

Federal and state ministers travelled to our region, bringing millions in targeted funding for education, industry and jobs.

What particularly pleases us is the lack of compelling, some would say cynical, political reasons to do so.

We may be soon facing a federal election, but as one of the safest conservative seats in the country, there is little motivation to ‘‘pork barrel’’ our electorate.

At the risk of praising Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum two days in a row, something that is sure to confuse some of our more vocal critics, he is to be congratulated on securing funding for the new high-tech sorting and packing facility.

As Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive Sam Birrell noted, the funding helps put in place a missing piece of our export puzzle, allowing our local growers to compete on international markets on a more even footing.

With Fruit Co also reportedly in contention to take over SPC Ardmona, we wonder if an economic powerhouse is rising in our region, one with the potential to increase investment, innovation, job opportunities and job security.

We certainly hope so.

The Victorian Government is also to be congratulated for providing free education in a targeted manner for our TAFE students.

The Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment, which also has a state government funding component, will create hundreds of new skilled job opportunities.

The Andrews Government has no political incentive to continue to invest in our education and health needs.

We note at the last election their candidate barely polled in the double figures.

We can only conclude Minister Gayle Tierney’s announcement yesterday of $5.6million for free TAFE education was born out of good government policy.

It is particularly pleasing to note our youth can leave school, train for free in expanding industries and enter secure employment — while never exiting the region.

Like there federal counter-part, our state government is also to be praised for recognising Shepparton has needs that can be addressed with effective planning and the funds to back it up.

Yesterday was a good day for Shepparton.

We hope to see more like it.