Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster spent a day in the Yarriambiack Shire last week, meeting with Council representatives and locals and taking the opportunity to visit a number of key projects including the Hopetoun and Woomelang Bowling Clubs, Anzac Park in Warracknabeal and the Murtoa Recreation Reserve.
“I always enjoy meeting with local residents, visiting their facilities and talking to them about the specific needs of their particular organisation,” Dr Webster said.
“Sport is the beating heart of our regional communities and that is why ensuring they have the infrastructure they need to support their members is so important.
“In Woomelang, the bowls club is the social hub of the community, being the only local meeting place and licensed premises in town. It was wonderful to meet Joe Collins, President of the Woomelang Progress Association and hear the plans they are working on including updating the bowling green itself and a much-needed new roof for the club rooms.”
While in Woomelang Dr Webster also visited the Woomelang Railway Station, where major renovations are well underway, and inspected proposed sites for affordable housing projects in the town.
Dr Webster said she was impressed to see that the Woomelang community were working together to grow tourism in the area, with a plan to offer craft programs in the refurbished Woomelang Railway Station to raise funds for the local Historical Society.
“People want to stay in their local community as they age. Being able to remain among friends and family is important to people. I am extremely impressed with their plan to building more retirement units, and disability and social housing and look forward to seeing these exciting works develop,” Dr Webster said.
In Hopetoun Dr Webster met with the President of the Hopetoun Bowling Club, Robyn Bellinger, and other committee members and inspected the second bowling green that was damaged by a mini tornado almost 12 months ago. The Club took the opportunity to express their concern regarding the prohibitive costs they are facing to replace the second green in accordance with requirements being set by Bowls Victoria.
“Following the meeting I wrote to Bowls Victoria asking them to review their recommendations and I understand this is going to take place, which I welcome. The local Bowls club is a hub for activity, with many social gatherings and tournaments held there attracting up to 250 participants – even the local P-12 school use it,” Dr Webster said.
Further south, the Member met with Beulah Cooperative along with parents, families and children of Beulah Primary School.
“It was inspiring to be a part of Beulah Primary School’s luncheon fundraiser and experience the spirit of friendship that is fostered in Beulah. There is apparently a baby boom in regional Australia with 75 babies recently born in Yarriambiack, driving the need for change and particularly childcare,” Dr Webster said.
“I was also pleased to hear about the progress being made with the proposed Beulah Cooperative General Store and very impressed to learn that $140,000 has been donated already. I will be actively supporting any future funding submissions for this important local service in the town.
“It’s fantastic to see the vision and passion that the Beulah Cooperative has for the region, always seeking greater investment and improved infrastructure to better serve residents.
“A big thank you to Ross Williams and Jenny Turnbull, representatives of the Beulah Cooperative Committee for the invitation and I look forward to joining the community soon for another catch-up.”
Later in the day Dr Webster visited the Murtoa Recreation Reserve and Anzac Park in Warracknabeal, meeting with a number of enthusiastic club participants at each site.
“Precincts like ANZAC Park in Warracknabeal and the Murtoa Recreational Reserve are integral to the sporting and social infrastructure of the region. It was fantastic to see the vision and commitment of each group and hear their proposed plans moving forward,” Dr Webster said.
“The ANZAC Park development has been in the pipeline for 6 years and it is great to see a masterplan for the development nearing completion. The ongoing passion from locals is testament to the families, teams and of course the Trustees who remain committed to the fulfillment of this vision.
“I was also impressed with the concept plans for the Murtoa Recreational Park which the council and locals including Brett Schmidt, Chair of the Working Committee showed me.
“Beautiful Marma Lake is only visible through two glass doors in the existing community centre. The new plans will bring the outside in, and value the immense asset that the Lake is to the community.
“I can’t wait to see this fantastic project also brought to fruition and will do everything I can to support it happening as soon as possible.”