The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL: Migrant exploration makes sense

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017

We welcome a serious pitch to find out whether a structured skilled migration plan can address population stagnation and decline across our region.
There has been plenty of talk about its potential and we have even seen isolated examples of where the concept has worked in tandem with industry development.
Wimmera success story Rupanyup-Minyip community bank is leading a fresh charge, as part of a national program, to find out where skilled migrants might be able to fit in, fill gaps and stimulate growth.
Critically, what is interesting about the new approach is that it has established population growth as its primary objective.
It recognises, front and centre, that for regional development to occur, we simply need more people to call the Wimmera-Mallee home – perhaps not the other way round.
If that means attracting people from overseas, then so be it – the more the merrier.
Apart from coming up with a once-in-a-lifetime job-driving Snowy River Hydro Scheme, we need a creative, clever and consistent long-term plan that covers a variety of bases.
We have a bizarre anomaly. Some of our regional industries or businesses can’t fill jobs with suitably qualified people.
Yet there are people in dole queues in metropolitan areas, some of them newly arrived immigrants, crying out for work.
Something is terribly amiss and what we have in place at the moment is far from working.
We need only consider the population-based expanding Victorian Federal electoral boundaries to see that the population drift is real.
At the same time, we constantly hear about the population crush and pressure on services in Melbourne.
We wish everyone behind the new push for people the best of luck and encourage everyone to get on board.
To use an old expression, which comes in various forms, ‘for things to happen, something has to change’.
Access important
Watching morning and late afternoon traffic on Stawell Road in Horsham provides insight into why there has long been a call for a second vehicle bridge across the Wimmera River.
The dual carriageway is often bumper-to-bumper by the time traffic converges at Williams Road traffic lights or Wimmera Bridge.
It was during the 2011 flood that it became obvious that the bridge provided the only vehicle access from the well-established north side of the river to the rapidly developing south side. Close the bridge and the only way to get across the river by car was to travel many kilometres out of town.
We also had a sneak preview of the potential problem with a short-term traffic snarl created by Stawell Road-Williams Road intersection work earlier this year.
We now wait with interest to see what happens when major work to redevelop a notorious O’Callaghan Parade-McPherson Street intersection on the north side of the bridge gets underway.

Wimmera migration project target

The entire August 8, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Aug 8 2018

Posted by on Aug 8 2018. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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