Victoria’s nine regional partnerships will share in $1 million from the Andrews Labor Government to develop comprehensive digital plans to address the needs and priorities of their region.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford announced the Victorian-first program today, which includes investigative fieldwork and mapping of current services including mobile coverage, improved fixed broadband for businesses, and digital hubs and co-working spaces.
Each plan will include a complete picture of digital infrastructure needs and identify the local opportunities that unleash the latest economic and social potential of using new technology.
The need to address the digital divide when it comes to access and use of quality infrastructure and services was an overwhelming theme across the nine regional partnerships.
Over the past 18 months, the Regional Partnerships have made a significant impact. Each partnership’s voice – and that of others – led to a $45 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 for digital initiatives across the state.
This funding was in direct response to the community following all nine Regional Partnerships calling for improvements to digital infrastructure.
Regional Partnerships are the centrepiece of the Labor Government’s Regional Statement, and have been established in Barwon, Central Highlands, Gippsland, Goulburn, Great South Coast, Loddon Campaspe, Ovens Murray, Mallee and Wimmera Southern Mallee.
The partnerships have transformed the way rural and regional Victorians engage with government, as well as giving people a greater say about their local area.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We know that local communities are best placed to determine their priorities. We heard that digital connectivity was an absolute must for our Regional Partnerships – and we’re getting on with the job.”
“Improved digital connectivity will bring considerable benefits to regional Victoria – improving health, education and employment outcomes, and supporting businesses, economic growth and jobs in the region”
Reviewed 19 August 2020