COMMITTEE for Echuca-Moama’s annual general meeting reflected on a year of advocacy for the area.
At the meeting, chairperson Geoff Kelly recognised the sway a committee such as C4EM has in town.
‘‘No other organisation in the local region has the capacity to influence outcomes in an unbiased and apolitical way as C4EM,’’ he said.
‘‘We remain strongly committed to building economic growth, enabling infrastructure, and developing liveability for the Echuca-Moama region.”
Key achievements for the 2018-‘19 reporting year saw the announcement of $91 million investment into rail through the Bendigo-Echuca rail upgrade.
Mr Kelly said C4EM played a considerable role in advocating for this funding and would continue to ensure local community and business benefit from the investment.
‘‘Two signature events for the year brought members, local stakeholders and speakers together, these were the agribusiness conference ‘Horizon 360’ and the infrastructure-focused conference ‘Connected’,’’ he said.
Other initiatives included hosting the Victorian Red-Tape Commissioner in many member meetings and stakeholder briefings.
C4EM has also maintained a strong voice in unison with the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) in advocating for the retention of 450Gl ‘upwater’ in the ongoing delivery of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The meeting also heard from guest speaker Jason Warren, Major Roads Projects Victoria manager of project delivery for the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project.
Mr Warren highlighted progress to date and explained future milestones and timelines for completion.
Nina O’Brien, C4EM chief executive then explained upcoming 2019 projects.
The focus on economic growth includes ongoing GMID advocacy, EMT collaboration and events development, hosting the industry capability network, investigating a regional skills demand profile to inform future employment and education and hosting Victorian cross-border commissioner meetings. Two industry-based lunches in both rail and tourism are planned.
‘‘The focus on infrastructure growth will include participation in infrastructure planning such as the Bridge Arts Project, Meninya St development, Victoria Park, Rail precinct and Port precinct,’’ Ms O’Brien said.
‘‘Of longer term interest is the exploration of increasing demographic needs of people over 65 in affordable housing, support services and economic, civic and philanthropic participation in the community.’’
Ms O’Brien said advocacy for increased police resources in Moama was also an important message to the NSW State Government.