IN the lead up to the Federal Budget being handed down this May, Latrobe City Mayor, Darren Howe, and chief executive, Steven Piasente, attended the Canberra Delegation on February 29, 2024, with various government ministers to raise awareness and call for increased investments.

Council is calling on the federal government to invest in a range of projects and priorities that will support the Latrobe City community to thrive.

Capital: Latrobe City Mayor, Darren Howe and Latrobe City Chief Exective, Steven Piasente, in Canberra. Photograph supplied

Cr Howe met with the Net Zero Authority to advocate on behalf of the community regarding Council’s ‘Our Transition Plan’.

‘Our Transition Plan’ is a comprehensive roadmap that supports Latrobe City’s transition towards economic diversification. The Net Zero Authority was established to focus on the energy transition and will play a key role in a national shift to a clean energy future.

A key focus of these meetings includes advocating for investment into projects that will drive economic investment and support jobs in Latrobe City.

Mayor Howe said the Canberra delegation was crucial to discuss various advocacy items on behalf of council.

“Among a range of key meetings with federal government officials, I had the pleasure of talking with the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, the Honourable Kristy McBain,” the Mayor said.

“Minister McBain is a supporter of our region. We discussed our key council advocacy priorities, particularly the need for more housing and jobs locally.

“We also spoke about boosting tourism in Latrobe City and how we can advocate for showcasing what our region has to offer to visitors.”

Cr Howe also met with government advisors for the Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Murray Watt, to discuss the impacts of the recent wild storm which swept through the region in February.

The opportunity enabled conversation about additional funding for a new pavilion at Traralgon Recreation Reserve, which withstood the worst of the floods in June 2021.

“It was also fantastic to meet with Senator Anthony Chisholm, who is the Assistant Minister for Education where we discussed the importance of supporting Latrobe Regional Health to establish a Health education hub,” Mayor Howe said.

“This investment will address workforce shortages while improving patient outcomes and providing access to jobs.”

The Mayor also met with Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, to discuss all projects and priorities Latrobe City is advocating for.

For more information on council’s advocacy projects, visit