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Robson to support ratepayers wherever they live

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August 23, 2017

Mick Robson says it would be an honour to serve on the first Federation Council.

Mick Robson who works as a station hand at Urana is contesting the Federation Council election because he would like to see ratepayers, wherever they live, receive representation on council.

Mr Robson said the need to have a shire-wide outlook was important if the community was to grow and prosper.
He also feels it is important to have at least one councillor on board who is not from a farming/business background.
“Their concerns are not always aligned with normal wage earners/ratepayers,” Mr Robson said.
“A good example is the former Urana Shire was proposing to increase rates by 63.1% cumulative over four years to survive.
“If the population continues to drop to 800, as predicted by 2031, it would only get worse.
“Declining population, coupled with increasing red tape imposed by the state government, made Urana Shire unsustainable without massive rate increases.
“All ratepayers, wherever they live, need representation on council and I believe I’m the best one to do this.”
Mr Robson said he decided to run as an independent candidate now the amalgamation had occurred.
“The new Federation Council has a bright future and it would be an honour to serve on the first council,” he said.
“Federation Council has achieved a lot in a short while - I’ve never seen so many replaced footpaths, roads graded etcetera as I have seen in the last 12 months. It’s time to look to the future.
“The former Urana Shire is about half the area and generates about a quarter of the rate revenue of the new council and yet is only a tenth of the population.”
Mr Robson and his partner Theresea, a teacher at Oaklands Central School, live between Urana and Corowa.
“We spend five days and four nights in Urana, and two days and three nights in Corowa,” he said.
Their three children all completed year 12 at Urana Central School, which has since been downgraded to primary due to low numbers.
“To retain our children in our community we need to foster employment opportunities or they move away never to return, except for occasional visits,” he said.
The foundation member of the Urana Vintage Machinery Club has seen first-hand how council amalgamations can work well.
When he lived in Queensland he saw the forced amalgamations involving Broadsound, Belyando and Nebo councils amalgamating into Isaac Regional Council.
“It’s about ten times bigger than the area Federation Council covers,” he said.
“The three mayors and various councillors predicted the end of the world as we know it, but life went on and things got done.”
In regards to his position on current council issues, Mr Robson is thankful the administrator has left the Corowa Swimming Pool decision to the incoming elected councillors.
“The community spoke loud and clear on this,” he said.
“My expectation is we currently have a 50 metre pool that is a regional facility and we need to keep a 50 metre pool.”
Mr Robson has also considered the proposed Howlong Compost facility, which he originally thought was going to generate 20 jobs for Howlong.
“It seems that only two permanent jobs will be created and seems like a lot of disruption for just two jobs,” he said.

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