Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the fast-tracking of $43.5m of works for the Shepparton train line is a win for the power of strong community advocacy.
Ms Sheed said today’s announcement by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan meant Shepparton District would have access to a fifth train service to the region next year, instead of having to wait until 2020.
“In May last year I asked Minister Allan to bring forward important upgrades to ensure the region was on track for the better and more frequent train service it deserves,” Ms Sheed said.
“I’m so pleased to hear today that the Minister has fast-tracked the $43.5m of works to upgrade Shepparton’s stabling facilities and extend a vital passing loop by a full year.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has announced she will recontest the seat at this year’s Victorian election.
Ms Sheed, who was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2014 on a platform of transport, health and education, said she had unfinished business and looked forward to continuing to represent the needs of the Shepparton District community.
“After so many decades of being ignored by consecutive governments, Shepparton District is finally getting the attention it deserves,” Ms Sheed said.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says a series of Friendship Cafes run by the local ethnic council will have a positive impact on the community.
Ms Sheed hosted a Friendship Café for about 20 young women from the region’s diverse multicultural communities at The Vault on Wednesday.
She and guest speaker Seema Abdullah, Deputy Mayor of Greater Shepparton City Council, spoke to the group about their roles in state and local government, their community involvement and their leadership journeys over morning tea.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the collection of community profiles released last week by the Murray Darling Basin Authority shows a drastic loss of employment in the Southern Basin’s irrigation-dependent communities.
The data tracks population and employment figures in irrigation-dependent communities from 2001 to 2016, a 15-year period covering the Millennium Drought, the Commonwealth buyback of farmers’ water entitlements and the further reduction of available water associated with the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Ms Sheed said the irrigation workforce in Shepparton slumped 24.3 per cent between 2001 and 2011, and a further 17.3 per cent between 2011 and 2016.
“After the Millennium Drought ended, you would have expected to see some recovery in job numbers as production returned to some sort of normal level,” Ms Sheed said.
“Instead, jobs have continued to bleed away from the sector since the Murray Darling Basin Plan came into effect.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has invited the Victorian Treasurer to join her on a train journey on the Shepparton line in the lead up to this year’s state budget.
Ms Sheed called on Treasurer Tim Pallas to experience firsthand the sub-standard travel conditions her constituents face on a daily basis.
“Shepparton District needs a commitment from your Government in the next Victorian State Budget to provide the massive investment required to bring our line into the 21st Century,” Ms Sheed said in Parliament yesterday.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to ‘call in’ four local planning applications for solar farms.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne last week announced he would appoint an independent panel to assess the applications at Congupna, Lemnos, Tallygaroopna and Tatura East after Greater Shepparton City Council requested he step in.
Ms Sheed said while it was usually preferable for councils to determine planning applications in their own municipality, the complexity of assessing solar projects in agricultural districts called for additional support.
Ms Sheed said she had raised her concerns with the Minister and urged the Government to address the lack of relevant guidelines.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says yesterday’s political stunt by the federal opposition has put the future of regional communities in jeopardy and could force the failure of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Last night the federal Greens, Labor and Nick Xenophon Team parties voted to block an adjustment to the Northern Basin’s water recovery target.
Ms Sheed said while the move was expected, it was a significant blow to all Basin communities – including communities in South Australia, whose government lobbied for the adjustment to be disallowed.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the welfare of local communities could be at risk if mobile black spot areas are not addressed.
Ms Sheed said the lack of mobile phone reception in towns such as Katunga and Katandra West, and along the Murray River, was a safety issue and needs to be addressed by the Victorian Government as a priority.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says she welcomes the opportunity to meet with Emergency Services Minister James Merlino this month to discuss ongoing issues with the construction of a new Shepparton fire station.
Ms Sheed invited the Minister to meet with representatives from the Shepparton Fire Brigade last week following a meeting with Shepparton CFA chief Peter Dedman.Read more
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the conclusions of a review of efficiency measures in the Murray Darling Basin are disappointing and are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Basin Plan legislation.
Ms Sheed said the review – completed by consultancy firm Ernst & Young for the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council – was a lightweight report which raised more questions than it answered and did not provide the data required for Basin Ministers to make informed decisions.
“This report is little more than a surface-level assessment based on inaccurate data assumptions,” Ms Sheed said.
“Not only have the potential water savings been inflated, the cost of on-farm efficiency measures and the market price of high-reliability water shares have been considerably underestimated and no costing has been provided for any of the proposed regional development initiatives for communities.”
Ms Sheed said she was disappointed that the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District, which is broadly acknowledged as one of the hotspots of negative outcomes arising from the Basin Plan, was not considered in the report as being worthy of a case study with a targeted analysis of the impacts of future water removal.