Mike Kelly holds mobile office

Mike Kelly at the Mobile Office in Tumut on Saturday.

Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly held a Mobile Office at Club Tumut on Saturday, with the aim of listening to locals’ concerns and communicating directly with constituents.

He said the biggest issues raised were the Tumut River, the Batlow Road/Snowy Highway intersection, and the flaws in the NDIS rollout that has left many people stressed and confused.

“Of course, too, we really need to look at how we can expand tourism here, making sure that the rivers are working, the environment is working without being poisoned by overuse of things like roundup, and issues around how the fisheries are managed here as well,” he said.

“We talked a lot about the schools and the need for the full Gonski roll-out, particular for full rural and regional services around here. There’s also been a bit of gratefulness around the fact that we were able to save the Puggles childcare service, which is very important for this region and particularly families in the Indigenous community out at Brungle.

“There’s huge potential in this region; we’re all really excited to see the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme go ahead which will be a big boost along with seeing what we can do in terms of expanding the plantation industry in this landscape.”

Tumut Community Association President Geoff Pritchard said that the Mobile Office seemed productive.

“Mike said that he was happy to take any issues aboard about any level of government,” he said.

“Altogether, people were listened to sympathetically but for positive outcomes, continual pressure needs to be maintained at all levels of government.

“Col [Locke] raised the serious problem at the Batlow Road junction and the Snowy Mountains Highway. He suggested that the solution was to build an underpass at the highway for the Batlow to Tumut traffic.

“Col also pushed for tourism development of the western shore of Blowering Dam, including boat ramps and the repair of the Yellowin access road between Talbingo and Batlow.

“Christine [Webb] and I requested the speedy upgrade of Tumut Hospital, particularly in view of major Snowy Hydro developments (Tumut Hospital is the only one in the south-west slopes with operating theatre capability). They also highlighted the lack of procedural doctors and especially the alarming absence of any residential anaesthetic service at all.

“The TCA also raised the fire safety problem of there being no mobile cover along the Brindabella road and at the Goobarragandra Valley.

“Other folk raised the devastation on platypus habitat along the Tumut River by variations in irrigation flows and stoning of the banks. Aerial blackberry poisoning was blamed for fish kill and an adverse impact on our tourism and present stocking methods were problematic.”

Meanwhile, the Eden-Monaro Stronger Communities grants are now open, for community organisations and for local government capital projects, with grants available between $2500 and $20,000. To apply email [email protected] aph.gov.au or call 6284 2442.