On 23 October I had the pleasure of joining quite a number of Golden Plains
shire residents in Bannockburn to launch two new trial bus services for the
region. The trial Bannockburn loop will travel to Teesdale, Shelford, Inverleigh
and Bannockburn on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, linking people to services and
social opportunities in the area.
As I have mentioned in this chamber on a number of occasions,
the Golden Plains Shire is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the
state, and it is programs such as these that are encouraging this growth. But
even more so, it is the community involvement and community spirit that makes
this area such a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
Since the establishment of the Golden Connections project in
the shire in 2007 local people have been encouraged to work with the council,
the Brumby Labor government, community organisations and local businesses to
improve transport services across the shire. I acknowledge a very special member
of the community, Neila Freeman, who is 85 years of age. Neila presented a
petition after gathering over 60 signatures to lobby the local council for the
bus service. As a result of that and the fantastic work done by Mr Sam Lovejoy
from the Golden Plains Shire and Lorissa Scanlon and Richard Sloan from the
Department of Transport, these two services will give local people better access
to shopping, medical and social opportunities.
In speaking with locals in the area and the Golden Plains
Shire, I found that all reports suggest the service is being well patronised and
is another valuable asset to the Golden Plains community.