Benefits are there
- Wendy Lovell, State Member for Northern Victoria
I write regarding the article ‘Political opportunity’ (Shepparton News, February 16) and the ill-informed statements by State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes about the Victorian Coalition’s plan to have a regional sitting of Parliament in Shepparton.
Ms Sheed and Ms Symes are in their first term of parliament and neither has experienced a regional sitting to see first-hand the benefits it can provide to a regional city.
Since 2001, the Parliament of Victoria has had nine regional sittings — Bendigo and Ballarat in 2001, Benalla in 2002, Geelong and Colac in 2005, Lakes Entrance and Churchill in 2008, and Bendigo and Ballarat in 2012.
Regional sittings give those communities the opportunity to see Parliament at work first-hand and to lobby for their priorities.
But Ms Sheed and Ms Symes think Shepparton should be denied the same opportunity.
It is easy to see why Ms Symes disagrees with a Liberal policy, she is after all a Labor MP.
Residents must be wondering why Ms Sheed would not want to give Shepparton the opportunity to showcase our city and its priorities for infrastructure, rail, health, education and other needs to members of Parliament.
And why would she would want to deny schools, community groups and residents the opportunity to see Parliament at work without the expense of having to travel to Melbourne?
Is it because Ms Sheed has crossed the line and, rather than being Shepparton’s voice in Spring St, she has become the state government’s mouth piece in Shepparton?