The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Get ready for the blah, blah, blah!

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017

As we head towards another Federal Election, be prepared to hear more terms such as ‘we need to do this for our kids and grandkids’.
Political spruiking, usually with good intent, tends to zero in on all the good things that will happen in the future if voters back a cause based on long-term plans.
The nature of politics means others in the political mix will of course debate and-or criticize the legitimacy of most speculative claims.
For the Wimmera-Mallee much of this in the contemporary political environment is a case of blah, blah, blah!
This is because, ultimately, if anything significant ever gets done via the public purse, it seems to involve agonising deliberation and can take ‘forever’.
There are so many tired questions regarding our region. Will we ever get a worthwhile passenger-rail service? Will a dual carriageway Western Highway ever reach the South Australian border? Will there ever be a serious attempt at reversing population drift? Will our roads really ever be any good? Will we ever have enough health professionals in the region? Will our… will our… will our…?
It would be great, if on a few more occasions, barrackers for our part of world could avoid feeling like they were spitting into the wind.
We need new public projects that will have an immediate effect on the region – projects that will generate greater self-sustainability, growth, progress and people – and we need them now.
We can’t hang our hats on the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline forever, and while The Grampians Peaks Trail is exciting and will generate tourism and money, it doesn’t completely hit the regional-development mark. It’s a great project, but tourism is only part of a much larger picture.
The Wimmera has much to offer in regards to lifestyle and climate, yet we always seem to be working against a pervading sense of socio-economic stagnation. And it can be hard to grasp why.
It can feel like we’re the best runner in the Stawell Gift final – so good that we’re so far behind and don’t have a chance of winning.
Communities work hard to make the best of their lot, big business can chime in occasionally and sometimes government agencies provide avenues to support collective ideas and projects.
But profound and speedy development only comes from high-quality and in-touch leadership, direction and electorate knowhow where an acute nose to the ground or ear in the wind leads to proactive instead of reactive governance.
We all want to leave a legacy that improves the lives of the next generations.
In a prosperous Australian future this must include the regions, which includes the Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians.

The entire May 1, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 1 2019

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