Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Will Diggers Rest Be "Out Of Melton" and "Out Of Hume"?

As Sunbury approaches the eve to becoming separate council to Hume, Diggers Rest is in limbo.

In 2013, a campaign was started asking for residents in Craigieburn and Broadmeadows to vote "Yes" to remove Sunbury from Hume. They argued that the Sunbury town has caused their rates to increase, and that the towns of Craigieburn and Broadmeadows have nothing in common with the residents and businesses of Sunbury.

Sunbury residents supported the argument, stating that the township would be sustainable, with low rate increases and very healthy capital works program.

When residents of Diggers Rest asked the question, "What will happen to our township? After all Diggers Rest and Sunbury have a combined economic, transport and education system." The lobby groups responded with an announcement that they had not defined the proposed boundaries.
383 Diggers Rest residents eligible to vote in the October 2013 poll, 141 voted in favour of Sunbury becoming its own shire and 77 voted against. One Diggers Rest resident, David O’Connor, said the vote failed to provide the town’s residents with any degree of certainty. He believes that Diggers Rest is an integral component for the future of Sunbury.

Diggers Rest has been considered a poor cousin of both Hume and Melton councils for many years. The town was split down the middle when those councils were established and  there have been many examples of poorer services compared to those council's centres and high development areas.

Recent decline in serviess include: restricted and insufficient planning of the Diggers Rest recreation reserve, dropping funds for the annual fair, dumping the local carols night, relocated the commercial hub from the train station to the new development area without any consultation. Many Diggers Rest residents do not know why their rates have continually risen but receive practically no services from their council.

What will happen now to our town? Will the changing politically boundaries weaken us further or should we be considered part of Sunbury?

Reference: Sunbury Out Of Hume

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