Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today made two important announcements for the Goulburn Valley.
Speaking at the Eastbank Centre, Mr Ryan launched the Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Plan and also declared the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund open for applications.
Mr Ryan said the Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Plan set out strategic approaches to leverage new industry, trade, investment and employment opportunities.
“Food production and food processing have a strong future in the Goulburn Valley and this plan will implement a long-term strategic approach to manage structural change in the region,” Mr Ryan said.
“The region produces 90 per cent of Australia's processed fruit and has trade links with domestic and international markets, including expanding premium food markets in Asia.”
MP for Shepparton Jeanette Powell welcomed the announcement.
“These strong domestic and international trade links have helped employment in agriculture and related manufacturing in the Goulburn Valley increase by 16 per cent in the last 10 years,” Ms Powell said.
“An independent Transition Committee made up of local stakeholders will oversee delivery of actions from the plan.”
Mr Ryan declared the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund open for applications.
“The new $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund fund will directly support business and industry to create jobs and boost productivity. The fund is now open for interested businesses and industry to apply,” Mr Ryan said.
“This fund forms part of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which supports local initiatives that create jobs and investment in regional and rural Victoria.
“To date, the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $380 million to support over 1,350 projects across regional and rural Victoria, leveraging $1.55 billion in total investment.”
Ms Powell said recent Regional Growth Fund investment in the Goulburn Valley includes $250,000 to help create 52 full-time jobs within three years at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton and boost company sales into Asia.
“Through the Coalition Government’s investment attraction and local strategic planning, we will make sure the Goulburn Valley makes the most of future opportunities for the benefit of all Victorians,” Ms Powell said.
The event was also attended Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh, who launched a major local agricultural industry initiative – the Goulburn Valley Fruit Growing Industry Roadmap.