Budget has too little for rural towns

Peechelba resident tells council
SMALL TOWN VOID: Ray Butters from Peechelba spoke strongly about the lack of funding from council for his community in recent years. PHOTO: Steve Kelly

PEECHELBA resident Ray Butters wants to know why there is so little funding for capital works in small towns within the Rural City of Wangaratta’s 2015-16 draft budget.

At Monday night’s special council meeting he called for differential rates to take in the fact that rural residents don’t get the same services that those living in urban areas do.

“Some 200 souls who live on about 50-60 properties (in Peechelba) are mistreated by the fact they have to travel (20-30km) to access assets,” he said.

“Rural residents don’t get any assets and you seem to be oblivious to that fact.”

Chief administrator Ailsa Fox hit back, saying council is “not oblivious” considering a major portion of the budget ($5.3m) is going into rural roads in 2015-16.

“It mightn’t be the amenities you talk about but it will be towards the things that enable you to access some of those assets,” she said.

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