Mayor airs federal budget concerns

CONCERNS about what impact the federal government's cuts to the public service in Canberra could have on Cooma-Monaro Shire and the wider region have been raised at a meeting of local government and federal representatives in Canberra last week.

Senator Zed Seselja, Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Peter Hendy and Member for Hume Angus Taylor met with local government representatives from across the region last week to discuss how they can work together to grow the economy.

Cooma-Monaro Shire Mayor Dean Lynch said he raised concerns about the cuts and the potential impact that would have on the region's economy.

"I expressed concerns about the federal government budget for this area. My major concern is with cuts to the Public Service in Canberra and the affect this will have on our area and on the economy," Cr Lynch said.

"In the longer term this does impact on the region.

"We have some people who live in the shire and work in Canberra in the public service. Then there are those from Canberra who might visit the region on weekends as tourists."

Cr Lynch said it was a positive meeting overall and was hopeful to see some outcomes.

"This was the first step to positive dialogue, us, as a group, talking to the three federal members," he said.

"We need to hunt as a pack. I want to see some good outcomes from this.

"We will set another meeting in the next few months and come back with a strategic project. I expect them to act on it."

The meeting was organised in collaboration with the ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, and the South East Regional Organisation of Councils (SEROC) which represents the councils of Bombala, Boorowa, Cooma-Monaro, Eurobodalla, Goulburn-Mulwaree, harden, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Snowy River, Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley and Young.

A joint press release put out by the three federal members said there was a need to "ensure that federal government policy encourages private sector growth in the national capital and surrounding region."

"During the Howard Government, approximately 60 per cent of the labour market was employed by the private sector- this was a great achievement which strengthened the local economy whilst paying off the large debt left by the previous administration," it said.

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