GOVERNOR’S ‘ENJOYABLE’ VISIT TO REGION
By Zoe McMaugh
There was no political agenda when NSW Governor Margaret Beazley AC KC visited the region last week, just a desire to get to know the community.
Her Excellency visited both Tocumwal and Finley, and also met with Southern Riverina residents and volunteers during her time in Deniliquin.
The tour started in Corowa last Wednesday, and the Governor remained in the region until Saturday.
Arriving in Tocumwal on Thursday afternoon, the Governor’s first stop was to view the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force Creek Walk with representatives of Berrigan Shire Council.
She also toured the new foreshore building, where they were treated to lunch catered by Finley’s Country Club Hotel.
Members of the Tocumwal Foreshore Committee, councillors and Tocumwal Rotary were in attendance.
After an hour to explore the Tocumwal Aviation Museum, Mrs Beazley then headed for Finley where she was greeted by Country Women’s Authority members from Finley, (Murray Hut), Jerilderie, Berrigan and Oaklands.
She was treated to a famous CWA afternoon tea while discussing local projects and issues.
“This was a very friendly and interesting meeting with everyone able to talk about CWA and where it is heading,” Jerildeire CWA member Dianne Mitchell said.
In Deniliquin Her Excellency was serenaded by Finley High School student Hailey McLean at the South West Music Regional Conservatorium live music series launch on Friday evening.
And Tocumwal and southern zone State Emergency Service representatives were involved in a breakfast with emergency services before the tour wrapped up.
“It’s been very interesting and very enjoyable,” Mrs Beazley said part way through the visit.
“One great advantage of coming to the regions is picking up the nuances, which can be a valuable tool for me.
“When I do come to the regions I don’t come with a pre-planned agenda but I do plan visits across a range of programs and projects so I can get a feeling of what is happening in the community.”
Mrs Beazley said she particularly picked up on a “strong community drive” in the Southern Riverina, and not just from council.
“The foreshore committee is doing a great job of looking after a beautiful natural asset for the community to use and attract others,” she said.
“Each of the places I visited has their own physical beauty they can build upon.”
Mrs Beazley said housing and labour shortages were common topics throughout her tour.
And while she has no influence over government decision making, being across the issues in NSW communities does allow her to direct attention toward certain matters.
“There is no direct way I can provide assistance (on issues raised with me), but I do meet with the ministers of the government each week and I often raise these matters with them. I can also encourage councillors here to be sure to talk to a minister.”