• Loddon Herald

There are votes to be won here


MURTOA is a delightful Wimmera town, less than 30 minutes from Horsham, where tourists stop off to see the famous Stick Shed grain silo. It has a population similar to Loddon communities of Inglewood, Wedderburn, Boort and Pyramid Hill.

And last week, the Coalition promised that community $845,000 to build a child care centre in the Murtoa.

The announcement even had the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

But local Loddon communities, including those in the Calder growth corridor emerging north of Bendigo are still without any child care facilities.

The reasons to justify funding a new facility in Murtoa are even more compelling in the Loddon but so far, the Federal Government has been pretty much silent on the plight faced by local families, health providers and businesses whose staff, present and future, need child care.

There are two options on the board to take Loddon communities out of this child care desert that hampers our population and economic growth.

Co-location on school land or government assistance to make a business model realistic for private enterprise. Both require commitment from governments at federal and state levels, either would be an improvement on the current situation.

Without genuine and prompt support and action from the Federal and State Governments, their inaction will only exacerbate the population pains of Melbourne and severely retard growth in the Loddon.

To ignore local communities during this or any election campaign is inviting self-inflicted peril.

Federal election candidates were invited to comment on the local child care situation in this week’s Loddon Herald. Their responses on the issue may give an insight into their level of action and engagement to date and a hint of what, if elected, they would do.

There are votes up for grabs.


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