After Greater Shepparton City Council had its first meeting for this year, it is clear there continues to be growth in all areas of the municipality.
Councillors voted in favour of a more expensive Shepparton Art Museum design, road projects were debated and a decision to send solar farm applications to the Victorian planning minister was endorsed.
With all this rapid development taking place across Greater Shepparton, there will always be opposition.
From residents who live close to large-scale projects to those who think funding could be spent differently, projects large and small will always face some kind of opposition.
Although it is important to consider all concerns raised when forging ahead with development, there would ultimately be a halt to Greater Shepparton’s growth if council failed to draw a line in the sand at some point.
It was evident at Tuesday’s council meeting that councillors’ thoughts are always with those affected by significant planning decisions.
Each councillor said they felt sympathy for those living in the path of growth.
But the reality is certain projects do need to go ahead in order to benefit the community.
Following the meeting, Mayor Kim O’Keeffe acknowledged that Shepparton was a growing city and as a council they could not stop growth.
She referenced recent projects such as the Victoria Park Lake precinct and the Shepparton Sports City projects that were multi-million-dollar council investments.
At the time there were many residents who were unsure if the investment would be worthwhile, but the areas continue to be well used to this day.
Cr O’Keeffe also noted the fact that future attractions such as the new Shepparton Art Museum and magistrates’ court would attract visitors from far and wide and it was a priority to ensure public transport was sufficient enough to get tourists to the area.
This will be a major necessity in order to make the expenditure worthwhile.
So while Shepparton forges ahead into the future, the feeling must surely be one of support for the difficult decisions councillors make and of a general confidence that we are heading into a brighter and more prosperous future.