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Time to buoy business

SOUTH Gippsland Shire’s new councillor Rosemary Cousin wants to work with the community to reinvigorate Leongatha’s business sector.
“As a regular customer coming to Leongatha, I’m deeply concerned about the number of vacant shops in the town and I want to hear from traders and the public about ideas that might turn the shire’s economy around,” the Allambee South resident said.
Cr Cousin said council had a strong leadership role to play in enhancing Leongatha’s economy but said “as to what the scope of that is at this stage, I’m not entirely sure”, given she was only sworn into council last Wednesday.
Cr Cousin believed the dairy downturn has had a major impact on Leongatha’s economy and the Victorian Farmers Federation and dairy farmers needed to determine if Saputo was giving farmers the best deal possible.
“We need to engage the big businesses in town to ensure they are doing things in the best interest of the shire,” she said.
As to what she meant by that, Cr Cousin said businesses’ growth plans, management of water supply and use of roads, their approach to climate change and their views on telecommunications, particularly any need to improve internet blackspots.
Amongst Cr Cousin’s first duties last Thursday were joining with other councillors to discuss the Council Plan and rating strategy.
Councillors have requested more information to inform their decision making around the rating strategy, which will determine how the rates burden is spread across ratepaying groups, such as owners of homes and commercial properties, and farmers.
Cr Cousin believed population growth in the region would help spread the rates burden across more ratepayers and is urging councillors to “stretch our thinking a little here” on rates, saying the historic rating system is “a bit out of touch with what is going in our economy”, referring to the growth of small scale farming and associated agribusinesses.
“We need to take some measured consideration. We need to keep these rates fair,” she said.
Last Wednesday, Cr Cousin signed the councillor’s oath of office and Code of Conduct at the Leongatha council chamber.
She will represent Tarwin Valley ward, filling the vacancy created by Maxine Kiel.

All official: South Gippsland Shire Councillor Rosemary Cousin with her husband Richard Nankin after she was sworn in as a councillor at the council chamber in Leongatha last Wednesday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26411

Posted by on Nov 6 2018. Filed under Business, Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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