Bega Valley Shire mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick and council's chief executive officer, Anthony McMahon headed to Sydney last week to discuss key issues at the Country Mayors Regional Health Forum.
They joined other council and civic leaders to address a broad range of health issues impacting communities across rural and regional NSW.
Mr McMahon said the forum was an excellent opportunity to discuss health issues affecting the Bega Valley Shire with people who can enact positive change.
"Just as important as the issues raised at these events are the people and ministers who attend with the intention of finding solutions," Mr McMahon said.
"When a minister at an event like this hears common issues raised around aged care, access and funding, they are better placed to work with everyone in developing strategies that hit the right mark.
"At this forum we had bipartisan support for addressing key issues with NSW Rural Health Minister, Bronnie Taylor and Shadow Health Minister, Ryan Park.
"Both the minister and shadow minister committed to focus on the recommendations made in the recent Parliamentary Inquiry to health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote New South Wales.
"This is wonderful news and we look forward to the NSW Government's formal response to the inquiry in the coming months," Mr McMahon said.
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Cr Fitzpatrick said a Country Mayors Association meeting was also held to discuss broader issues facing councils outside metropolitan areas.
"This was also attended by key members of the NSW Government, with Deputy Premier, Paul Toole, Local Government Minister, Wendy Tuckerman and Minister for Lands and Water, Hospitality and Racing, Kevin Anderson keen to sit down and talk through the big issues," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
"We raised issues around financial sustainability of local government, challenges of funding shortfalls on a range of grant programs and crown land related hold ups.
"Being on the Country Mayors Association Executive Committee helps us to lead conversations that are tailored to the needs of our community.
"Sharing issues management processes with other councils in the same position helps us look for solutions that may have already proven successful elsewhere.
"I look forward to maintaining discussion with other country mayors and NSW Government representatives to bring further funding opportunities and interest to the Bega Valley Shire," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
The Country Mayors Association represents rural and regional Councils across NSW and meets quarterly.
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