Wyndham council has forked out more than $14,000 on two advocacy trips to Canberra in four months.
A delegation – including new chief executive Kelly Grigsby, advocacy director Bill Forrest, then-mayor Peter Maynard and councillors Glenn Goodfellow and Heather Marcus – spent three days in Canberra last month meeting federal government ministers, shadow ministers and advisers to put Wyndham’s needs on the radar.
Wyndham council’s travel register shows the trip cost ratepayers $6842.
The delegation’s visit followed one in June by Mr Forrest, Cr Maynard, and then-deputy mayor Marie Brittan, who attended the Australian Local Government Association’s national general assembly. That trip cost $7489.
Cr Maynard said the most recent delegation had:
- Met Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss about funding submissions for the Chirnside Park upgrade and development of an Aboriginal community hub.
- Met Assistant Defence Minister Darren Chester about maintaining defence jobs in the region and getting federal support for removing the level crossing at Laverton.
- Discussed the need for ongoing funding for 15 hours of four-year-old kinder.
Cr Maynard said raising awareness of the challenges facing “our growing community” was “critical”.
“That’s why we travelled to Canberra to highlight the vital need for transport, infrastructure, jobs and services for Wyndham,” he said.
Councillors Glenn Goodfellow and Heather Marcus said the October delegation was a great way to have conversations with the federal government without competing with every other local government in Australia, as happened at the Australian Local Government Association national general assembly in Canberra.
Cr Marcus said the recent delegation effort had been very beneficial. “We certainly didn’t waste any time. All the ministers or advisers we spoke to certainly know now where the City of Wyndham is located.”