MP’s invite to the Prime Minister

By James Bennett

Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum is confident Prime Minster Scott Morrison will visit Shepparton during this term, but there has to be a need.

Mr Drum earmarked special events where the region could showcase its best features, such as the opening of the new Shepparton Arts Museum.

Mr Drum has been speaking with Mr Morrison and his office about an appropriate time but the dominant conversations were around the drought and water policy.

‘‘The Prime Minister’’s office is keen to get him out here to see Shepparton, but the biggest issue right now is the drought,’’ he said.

‘‘The break in the season has been fantastic, we’ve had rain through May and it had continued into winter so crops are looking strong.

‘‘We still have very low allocation of water and we still have high prices of feed.

‘‘What I’m talking to him about is how can we address the water issue and drought problems, and support those industries.’’

Mr Drum said Mr Morrison could only come for a purpose.

‘‘I don’t want to bring him here for the sake of bringing him here,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ll bring him here when there’s a strong need. What we need to do is get his feet under the desk but we’re having those conversations when would be the appropriate time to bring him into the area.’’

Mr Morrison would be the first Prime Minister to openly visit Shepparton in an official capacity in recent memory.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has visited Shepparton twice this year, including in April when he announced a $4million boost for Goulburn Valley Health.

Mr Drum said it would be fantastic for Mr Morrison to visit.

‘‘We have a few things happening and plenty of options,’’ he said.

‘‘Once we get a few of the projects up and running we’ll be keen to show him what we’re doing.

‘‘Some of those projects will be SAM, Connect GV and our investments in La Trobe University and Fruit Co.

‘‘We’re also going to start work on our medical school in Shepparton. There are a raft of things going on that will most likely interest the Prime Minister.’’

Mr Drum said Shepparton ‘‘nearly’’ had a visit by Malcolm Turnbull last year.

‘‘Before we could get there, he lost his job, but that’s history now.’’