The Andrews Labor Government is putting rural and regional Victoria back at the heart of the state’s economy with the official launch of the new $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF) in Castlemaine today.
Acting Premier, James Merlino this morning joined Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford in her home town of Castlemaine, and Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, to unveil the Fund’s guidelines ahead of applications opening on 1 July, 2015.
With a focus on creating jobs, improving the liveability of Victoria’s regional cities and towns, building critical infrastructure and boosting productivity and innovation to support new and emerging industries, the Fund will address key challenges and opportunities to unlock regional Victoria’s growth potential.
Outlining the guidelines, Ms Pulford urged regional and rural councils, not for profits, community groups and businesses, to get their applications in for a slice of the new dedicated regional fund.
The Fund has three programs with ten public grant program streams:
- $250 million Regional Infrastructure Fund: Visitor Economy, Productive and Liveable Cities and Centres, Enabling Infrastructure and Rural Development
- $200 million Regional Jobs Fund: Investment Attraction, Innovation and Productivity, Market Access and Employment Precincts
- $50 million Stronger Regional Communities Plan: Community Capacity Building and Population Attraction
These dedicated program and grant streams reflect the Labor Government’s investment in six high-growth sectors where Victoria is ready to lead the world, complementing the $500 million Premier’s Jobs and Investment Fund and the $200 million Future Industries Fund.
In addition to funding new projects across regional and rural Victoria that will build critical infrastructure, grow jobs and support emerging industries, the Fund will also deliver $200 million worth of projects and programs committed under the Fund at the election.
Initiatives include $19 million for the landmark 144 km Grampians Peak Trail, as well as major upgrades for the Geelong Performing Arts Centre and Ballarat Station Precinct, and the development of a world class health training centre and dental prosthetics laboratory in the Latrobe Valley.
In the jobs crisis that gripped our state over the last four years, regional Victoria fared the worst. Iconic businesses closed down, many more teetered on the edge and young people packed up and left town in search of jobs.
Our dedicated $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will ensure we can invest in the projects we need to repair the damage caused by the previous Coalition Government and get regional Victoria back on track.
For further information, application guidelines and information sheets on the program streams, visit
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier, James Merlino
“Our $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will kick-start growth in regional Victoria, putting our regions back at the heart of Victoria’s economy.”
“The Coalition left regional Victoria in a jobs crisis. We’re getting our regions back on track.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford
“Our Fund will invest in new, innovative projects so we can we can attract more families and visitors and revitalise our regional communities and towns.”
“We’re making sure our regional families are supported to live healthy, safe and comfortable lives, and that we are funding the projects communities and businesses need to create jobs and drive growth.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020