Treasurer Tim Pallas today visited Traralgon and joined the Committee for Gippsland to discuss rural and regional development and the proposed lease of the Port of Melbourne.
Mr Pallas, joined by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, spoke about the new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund for rural and regional Victoria, which will be established following the successful passage of the Port of Melbourne lease legislation.
Gippsland will benefit from the fund, which has the backing of the Victorian Farmers Federation. It will support vital investment in agricultural infrastructure to boost productivity, agri-business, increase exports and reduce costs so farmers can stay competitive.
The Gippsland region contributes approximately 14% of Victoria’s total agricultural production, worth $1.8 billion, with half of that being dairy.
The Andrews Labor Government has been working to help the Gippsland region to recover from a jobs crisis and four years of cuts to schools, hospitals and services by the previous Coalition Government.
The Labor Government is investing in the infrastructure needed to help farmers and producers get goods to market faster. This will allow them to take advantage of new local and international opportunities.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invested $500 million in a Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. Within it, the $200 million Regional Jobs Fund will support projects to give established industries a real future and emerging industries a real chance. The Budget also set aside $10 million for a new Gippsland Logistics precinct.
The Budget also included $257 million for 21 new regional carriages and more than $2 billion to remove 20 of Victoria's worst level crossings, including nine on the Dandenong corridor.
The Dandenong corridor services key regional freight and passenger rail lines from Gippsland, so removing every level crossing will enable more V/Line and freight services from Gippsland.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“The Andrews Labor Government has prioritised investment in agriculture to create jobs and drive economic growth to further support our regional and rural communities.”
“We’re working to support Gippsland’s supply chains to the Port of Melbourne and lucrative overseas markets, which will help to create jobs and drive growth for the region.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“It's always great to welcome the Treasurer back to Gippsland to hear directly from communities about the many opportunities and challenges here in the region. Our candid and productive discussions on a range of issues are continuing to drive real and positive change.”
“We’re getting on with the job that we were elected to do and delivering for Gippsland and for all of regional Victoria.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020