Putting Government Back To Work For Gippsland

The Andrews Labor Government today unveiled Victoria’s Regional Statement, a new vision for our regions that will change the way government works with the Gippsland region.

Premier Daniel Andrews today joined Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford, and regional leaders from across the state at Brown Brother’s Winery in Milawa to launch the Regional Statement and outline the Labor Government’s commitment to rural and regional Victorians.

The Regional Statement will give regional communities a stronger voice in government decision-making by directing priorities identified by regional communities straight into the heart of the Labor Government’s agenda.

The centrepiece of the Statement is the establishment of nine new Regional Partnerships across the state, with representatives from community, business and all three levels of government.

The Partnerships will be formed in nine regions covering rural and regional Victoria, which have been defined to reflect the real communities-of-interest that exist throughout regional Victoria.

The new Gippsland Region, which encompasses Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City, South Gippsland Shire and Wellington Shire, will have its own Regional Partnership, ensuring government decisions and investments reflect the priorities of the families, workers and businesses in Gippsland.

The Statement outlines the Labor Government’s significant commitments and investments for regional Victorians and highlights the opportunities and challenges for the Gippsland region.

The Labor Government will work with the Gippsland region to address these challenges, including:

• Improving social and economic opportunities while tackling high localised levels of unemployment: for example, unemployment is at 12 per cent in Morwell
• Improving health in the Latrobe Valley, through place-based initiatives under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan
• Identifying opportunities for environmental protection and enhancement that will support new and improve existing nature based tourism opportunities in the region – from further development at Phillip Island Nature Parks, to better linking of natural assets at Wilsons Promontory and the Gippsland Lakes

The Statement also outlines a number of new initiatives that will put the Government back to work for the Gippsland, including:

• Investing $20 million in the next stage of the Macalister Irrigation District project through the Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund
• Developing a $34 million Regional Skills and Training package that will help local communities in Gippsland, particularly disadvantaged groups and areas, access the training they need to get the jobs they want
• Delivering better reception for mobile devices along Traralgon V/Line rail routes through the Regional Rail Connectivity Project, making it easier for commuters and visitors to and from regional Victoria.
• Investing up to $25 million to upgrade ‘first and last kilometre’ routes across regional Victoria through the Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund. This will grow local agriculture by cutting travel times and costs for Gippsland Region producers
• Developing a pipeline of the ten most significant regional tourism projects to fully realise the economic potential of the State’s iconic assets, creating jobs, attracting new generations of domestic and international tourists, and increasing visitor spending opportunities.

The Regional Statement is available online at www.regions.vic.gov.au, along with details of the Labor Government’s commitments and projects currently underway to support the Gippsland region.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re putting government back to work for the Gippsland region with a commitment to create jobs, provide a better start for young people and ensure a brighter future for families and communities.”

“The Statement will make sure that more than ever, government is working for regional communities. Not those with the loudest voices – but the families, workers and communities that are the heart and soul of regional Victoria.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“No government should ever take regional Victoria for granted. Families in Gippsland deserve a government that works as hard as they do – and that’s what this Statement is all about.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Our new approach will harness input directly from Gippsland so that government decisions and investments reflect what really matters and will make a difference to Gippsland families, workers and communities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Daniel Mulino

“The new Regional Partnerships model will ensure the Government is acting locally to address local opportunities and challenges in the new Gippsland region.”