Hume asks: where do candidates stand?

Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou and representatives of clubs at DS Aitken Reserve
It's time: Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou with representatives of sporting clubs outside the pavilion at DS Aitken Reserve in Craigieburn.

Hundreds of people have registered their support to Hume City Council’s campaign in aid of projects that urgently require commitments by candidates for federal seats.

In May, Council called on the major parties to announce whether they would help to pay for an urgent upgrade to the pavilion at DS Aitken Reserve in Craigieburn.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said Council has been inundated with support from residents and community groups.

“We’ve run a survey on our website and people continue to tell us that DS Aitken Reserve’s pavilion can no longer cater for the sheer number of people who use the sporting ground,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“Residents email me personally about this issue too, because they want to see the tired pavilion better able to accommodate both male and female competitors.

“It’s been around for 50 years, but Craigieburn’s population has grown enormously in that time and the suburb is surely now Australia’s heartland for young families.

“We are determined to add new first aid rooms and improve the pavilion’s social area, so that the building can continue to host Craigieburn Football Club, Craigieburn Cricket Club and Craigieburn Superules Club.

“I want to thank everyone who has filled in the online survey and promise that Hume City Council will make sure that both major parties hear this very strong message.”

Council is yet to learn of any announcements about the pavilion from candidates for the seat of McEwen.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume would continue to campaign on a variety of issues ahead of 2 July.

She said Council had received feedback from local parents who were concerned that the Australian Government was set to end its funding of preschool.

“Hundreds of families have sent postcards to Hume City Council to demonstrate how they feel about this matter,” the mayor said.

“They are worried that kinder fees could go up if the Australian Government fails to continue to fund five hours of preschool every week.

“The support from Canberra has enabled many Hume children to access at least 15 hours of preschool on a regular basis, as the Victorian Government pays for 10 hours.

“The Australian Government subsidy is only scheduled to remain until the end of next year, and we’re concerned that many families in Hume simply won’t be able to make up the difference.

“I’m not surprised that so many people have taken part in Council’s postcard campaign, because Hume parents want the major parties to tell them where they stand.

“I have spoken to McEwen candidates about our fears on preschool funding, and Hume City Council hopes that the candidates will make their views clear before polling day.

“This is a bread and butter issue, and our residents are squarely focused on it because they know what’s at stake.

“Children who complete preschool generally achieve better results at school, and that’s ultimately good for the future of Australia.”

People can record their views about a range of federal issues which affect Hume through a questionnaire here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 20 June 2016

Updated : 5:13 PM, 21 June 2016

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