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 Wimmera Southern Mallee 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 Wimmera Southern Mallee Region, which encompasses Shire of West Wimmera, Shire of Hindmarsh, Shire of Yarriambiack, Shire of Northern Grampians and Rural City of Horsham, will have its own Regional Partnership, ensuring government decisions and investments reflect the priorities of the families, workers and businesses who live and work in Wimmera Southern Mallee.
The Statement outlines the Labor Government’s significant commitments and investments for regional Victorians and highlights the opportunities and challenges for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region.
The Labor Government will work with the Wimmera Southern Mallee region to address these challenges, including:
- Building community resilience to drought and bushfire
- Attracting new residents and addressing population decline and ageing, with Yarriambiack, West Wimmera and Hindmarsh populations projected to decline between 14 - 16 per cent for the 2011-2031 period
- Lifting levels of broadband access: currently, just 59.5 per cent of the population has access to broadband, the lowest level of access of any region in the state
The Statement also outlines a number of new initiatives that will put the Government back to work for the Wimmera Southern Mallee, including:
- Developing a $34 million Regional Skills and Training package that will help local communities in Wimmera Southern Mallee, 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 Wimmera Southern Mallee 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.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re putting government back to work for the Wimmera Southern Mallee 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 and Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“No government should ever take regional Victoria for granted – families in Wimmera Southern Mallee deserve a government that works as hard as they do – and that’s what this Statement is all about.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Steve Herbert
“Our new approach will harness input directly from our regions so that government decisions and investments reflect what really matters to Wimmera Southern Mallee families, workers and communities.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021