Member for Hume Angus Taylor says his ‘Village Visits’ to Crookwell, Grabben Gullen and Dalton on Saturday were “very well received”.
Discussions included the 2017 Budget, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), telecommunications, Gonski 2.0 and concession cards.
“In general, we’ve seen a positive reception to the Budget and our focus to regional Australia,” Mr Taylor said. “At a local level we’re continuing to work with locals on mobile phone and internet issues. Several people are really pleased with the new Golspie tower and there is more to go.
“Dalton will have a tower later this year. It's crucial for people struggling with telecommunications to have access.”
In Crookwell, it was changes to concession cards, coming out of this year’s Budget, that were a hot topic of conversation among residents.
“We’ve reinstated these concession cards that were lost to 90,000 people due to the changes to the pension threshold,” he said.
“If they’re on a farm, delivering a modest cash income, they may have lost their concession card. A number of people are very pleased with the return.
“I’ve voiced these concerns with the Minister and I’m very happy to see that it was taken on board.”
He said residents of Grabben Gullen were facing issues with reliable television reception, and in Dalton it was “ongoing concerns” about AGL’s planned expansion.
“I’ll be writing to AGL outlining my concerns and writing on behalf of the community,” he said.
“It’s one thing to be seriously committed to a development, and keeping an option open with a very low likelihood to proceeding and tormenting the community. I have real concerns about this.”
Upper Lachlan Shire Council formally objected to AGL’s bid for a proposed two-year expansion for a gas-fired power plant at a public meeting in April.
Mr Taylor also said the face of telecommunications was transforming at a rapid rate in the Upper Lachlan Shire.
He said it was hard to keep up with the changes, but added open lines of communication between local communities and the council was integral to the future.