Small Towns

dsc_0398There is little I can say in regards to Greater Shepparton City Council’s collaborative approach to small towns. Since elected, I’ve been delighted to see Community Plans being tailored for all our small towns, as well as for some provinces within Greater Shepparton, such as St Georges Rd and Seven Creeks Estate. Each region has it’s own special charm and can grow the way they choose, with Council backing (budget pending).

These are done with great pompadour – neighbourhood BBQs, letterbox surveys, places for kids entertainment and one on one Council involvement from our Community department. This ensures everyone gets a chance to have their say on how their town or province should develop. We now have a new Master Plan for McLennan St Mooroopna, a new hall in Katandra West, numerous updated municipal town signage, public toilets in Toolamba, a Mooving Art cow in Arcadia, Rail trail in Murchison, amongst too many other things to mention…

One particularly astounding town is Dookie. It is off the beaten track, quirky and proud. Dookie managed to secure funding from Regional Arts Victoria for the Dookie Quarry Amphitheatre Project in 2014, as well as a 12 hour festival Dookie Earthed Small Town Transformation #loveDookie

Another great success is St Georges Rd annual Multicultural Food Festival. Greater Shepparton enjoys celebrating diversity, so what better way to showcase what we have, by an open invitation to visit the heart of our multicultural community?

Personally, I’d like to see more disability access in small towns, with better footpaths and drainage, particularly around schools. I’m hopeful Council’s Movement and Place Strategy will support this direction. I’d also have liked the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) to have been in Mooroopna.

Mooroopna is sometimes considered the ‘poor cousin’ of Shepparton and arguably are in need an economic stimulus more than Vic Park Lake. Also, the Indigenous name ‘Mooroopna’ fits well with SAM’s aim to promote Yorta Yorta art, but that’s an argument for another day…


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