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Putting Government Back To Work For The Central Highlands Region

17 November 2015

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 Central Highlands 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 Central Highlands Region, which encompasses Ararat Rural City, Ballarat City, Golden Plains Shire, Hepburn Shire, Moorabool Shire and Pyrenees Shire, will have its own Regional Partnership, ensuring government decisions and investments reflect the priorities of the families, workers and businesses in Central Highlands Region.

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

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

  • Capturing opportunities in intensive animal and horticultural industries, the region has untapped potential with some of Victoria’s most productive soils
  • Addressing health challenges for a growing population. A master plan for the Ballarat Health Precinct will seek to encourage research, employment, investment and collaboration between Ballarat hospitals, education providers, medical service providers and related industries
  • Exposure to increased risk of bushfires experienced by towns and communities around Ballarat and along the Melbourne to Ballarat corridor, as well as in the Grampians National Park

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

  • Developing a $34 million Regional Skills and Training package that will help local communities in Central Highlands, particularly disadvantaged groups and areas, access the training they need to get the jobs they want
  • 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 Central Highlands Region producers
  • Delivering better reception for mobile devices along the Ballarat V/Line rail route through the Regional Rail Connectivity Project, making it easier for commuters and visitors to and from regional Victoria
  • Revitalising our regional economic services by transitioning our Regional Development Victoria offices into Regional Business Centres, with one of the first to be the Ballarat office. The Centres will provide a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to grow
  • 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 Link , along with details of the Labor Government’s commitments and projects currently underway to support the Central Highlands region.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re putting government back to work for the Central Highlands 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 Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard

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

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Our new approach will harness input directly from our regions so that government decisions and investments reflect what really matters to Central Highlands families, workers and communities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

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

Reviewed 10 February 2021

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