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March 31, 2009

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester will pursue state and federal funding opportunities to seal the last remaining section of the Dargo High Plains Road.

Mr Chester met with a group of 20 Dargo and district residents on Monday night, where there was overwhelming support for improving access to the high country in a bid to boost the local tourism industry.

The community forum was hosted by Kilmany Uniting Care and the men’s health night included discussion on a range of local issues.

Mr Chester was guest speaker for the evening and highlighted the impact of global economic uncertainties on regional communities.

“It was a very informative meeting and the number one priority for the local community was to secure additional funding for sealing the Dargo High Plains Road,” Mr Chester said.

“There was a lot of debate about the impact of the economic downturn in light of the global financial situation but there was unanimous support for further State and Federal Government investment in the region.

“I will be writing to VicRoads plus the State and Federal Governments to establish whether there is any opportunity for the project to proceed in the near future and I will be reporting back to the community in the weeks ahead.”

Mr Chester congratulated Kilmany Uniting Care for arranging the meeting with the support of the Dargo Neighbourhood House.

“The ongoing drought conditions have placed a lot of pressure on individuals throughout the region and it was a good opportunity for men to get together in a social environment and discuss local issues,” he said.

“It is critical that men, in particular, don’t become isolated and take the time to keep in contact with their mates during difficult times.

“There is support available for anyone who is finding it a bit tough at the moment and I would encourage them to contact support services available within the region.”

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