Council launches Advocacy Agenda

Published on 26 March 2024

Mayor Sophie Todorov speaking at an event

Council is calling on the State and Federal Governments to support key community projects, with the launch of its updated advocacy agenda. 

On Thursday, 14 March, Council hosted local State and Federal Members of Parliament at the Lilydale Civic Centre, to outline its advocacy agenda for coming years. 

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Sophie Todorov, said the advocacy agenda outlines to State and Federal Governments projects with clear local demand and benefit. 

“We know there are so many great projects and ideas that will bring results for our communities, but either sit with another level of Government, or just need investment to get across the line,” Cr Todorov said. 

“Our advocacy agenda puts to all levels of Government clear and concise information about these projects, and what support we’d like to see to make them reality. 

“A lot of these projects won’t be new – though they’ve been updated to reflect community feedback and need, and expert information we have available. We think each of them should be made a priority, and would like to see them get the support they deserve.” 

Council asked the State and Federal MPs to support projects, including: 

  • The Lilydale Bypass, rail-line duplication between Mooroolbark and Lilydale, and an additional train station at Cave Hill to support population growth 

  • Infrastructure projects to keep communities healthy, provide opportunities for women, girls and people with a disability to get more involved in local sport 

  • Township improvement projects in Lilydale and Wandin North, where there is a clear need for more paths for locals walking and cycling through town, 

  • Support for road construction projects to make local roads safer, protect communities from flood damage and support agribusinesses, following the Federal Government’s $103m funding cut to Roads for the Community, 

  • Further investment and policy shifts in telecommunications, to address poor connectivity for community members in their day-to-day lives and, critically, in emergencies. Council is also seeking significant improvements to system resilience, after storm activity has directly impacted connectivity locally 

  • Increased investment in mental health, including outreach services in schools to reach young people who are struggling and in Emergency Relief Services, 

  • Increased investment in Maternal Child Health, School Crossing Supervisors, Immunisation and Environmental and Public Health,  

  • Acknowledging the projected shortfall of 11,700 homes by 2032, Council is asking the State Government for a Victoria-wide approach to short stay rental accommodation – specifically, amending the Residential Tenancies Act to provide for the establishment of a short-stay rental register, to better regulate these properties, and 

  • Ongoing investment in the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, the Yarra Valley Trail and ngurrak barring (formerly RidgeWalk) so each project can be fully delivered, benefit the local economy and minimise disruption for locals. 

Cr Todorov said that Council will continue to publicise the need for these projects and push for support. 

“Our door will always be open to those who are willing and ready to work with us to deliver better outcomes for our communities,” Cr Todorov said. 

“We’ve had strong historical support from both levels of Government and the opposition, which has helped us achieve great things by working together.  

“We’re grateful for the collaborative relationships we’ve been able to build, and I’m really hopeful that our advocacy priorities are taken seriously and that our MPs and Government departments help us get some fantastic results for locals and visitors alike. 

“This week we had productive conversations with our local MPs about local concerns, such as drainage, and how we can work with the State Government to tackle the issue together over coming years. 

“Extreme weather over recent years has caused significant destruction to private properties and public assets, and our community members deserve a thoughtful and coordinated response from all levels of Government to help prevent this damage happening in the future. 

“We’re undertaking modelling and planning, ahead of our Draft Stormwater Management Plan being released, but we need funding and partnership from Government to have real impact on this issue. 

“We’ll have a lot more to say about our advocacy priorities as the next State and Federal elections get closer, and will continue to push for these vital projects for our communities in the meantime.”  \

See Council's Advocacy Agenda for 2024

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