Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Gippsland Regional Partnership

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Our region
Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date
Our Regional Partnership: latest news
Our Regional Partnership members
Have your say
Our Regional Partnership Priorities
Budget 2018/19 outcomes

Our region

With a Gross Regional Product of $15.8 billion, Gippsland is one of the most diverse regions in Australia, and covers 33,000 square kilometres.

From unspoilt beaches to snowfields and rainforests, our region covers a vast range of stunning landscapes including the internationally renowned Wilson’s Promontory National Park and one of Australia’s best-known tourism experiences, the Phillip Island Penguin Parade.

Natural resources, leading to energy generation, agriculture, forestry and tourism, as well as manufacturing have traditionally underpinned Gippsland’s growth. The area produces around 90 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and 97 per cent of the state’s natural gas, but a global shift towards a low-carbon economy has created challenges for the energy sector and the region’s economy.

Our region has approximately 260,000 people and includes six municipalities:

Map of the Gippsland partnership region

Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date

The Gippsland Regional Partnership is one of nine Partnerships across the state, established by the Victorian Government, recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

We started work in 2016 and held our first Regional Assembly in Moe in November 2016. Following this, we presented the priorities which came from our first Assembly to Government.

Our priorities covered areas including connectivity (including train and internet), skills and education, family and community wellbeing, food and fibre, new jobs and industry, energy and resources and tourism.

The 2017/ 18 Victorian Budget brought outcomes for the Gippsland region including:

  • $435 million upgrade of the Gippsland railway line;
  • Funding to develop a Destination Management Plan for Gippsland;
  • $45 million across the state for the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

We held our second Regional Assembly in Sale in August 2017.


The Partnership has since taken the learnings from our 2017 Assembly and distilled these into priorities to present to Government.

Our 2017 Regional Priorities can be found here.

Partnership newsletter

Gippsland Regional Partnership newsletter - April 2018

Who are the Gippsland Regional Partnership members?

Maree McPherson

Maree McPherson – Chair

Maree McPherson is a highly experienced professional across not for profit, government and private industry sectors. She currently runs her own coaching, mentoring and facilitation practice and has previously headed up a number of organisations both in Gippsland and state-wide. Maree has held a number of pivotal positions on professional boards and committees across professional services, education and government. Maree is passionate about the aspiration of people and organisations in regional Australia, and community leadership, especially for women.

Jane Ponting

Jane Ponting – Deputy Chair

Jane Ponting is the Executive Officer for Gippsland East Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and is a current member of Committee for Gippsland. She has experience in public and private organisations. She is an advocate of sustainable education via business and community partnerships that provide greater opportunities for youth in the region. Jane is passionate about building the region’s economic and social fabric by increasing local employment opportunities for young people.

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson is Anglicare Victoria’s Regional Director for Gippsland. Jane heads or is a member of a number of boards and partnerships including, Inner Gippsland Children and Youth Area Partnership, Latrobe & Baw Baw Child FIRST & Integrated Family Services Alliance, and Latrobe Indigenous Community Partnerships Project. Jane brings strength in social justice and extended health and community networks. Jane is passionate about the welfare of the Gippsland community and addressing issues of disadvantage.

Roland Davies

Roland Davies

Roland Davies operates his own Energy & Resources Consultancy – Advantage Energy & Resources; he is currently working full time for Coal Energy Australia as the General Manager – Projects. Roland moved into this new role following a 35 year plus career with the Victorian Power industry. Roland is passionate about the energy and resources sector, particularly the growth, diversification and sustainability of the sector for the Gippsland region. Roland has been actively involved in community and industry based initiatives including membership of Clean Coal Victoria and the Mine Rehabilitation Advisory Committee.

Paul Ford

Paul Ford

Paul Ford is Chair of Agribusiness Gippsland and is a member of a number of other regional boards and committees spanning sectors that include food and fibre, education, health and community services. Paul is a fellow and past Director of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and actively supports projects that attract, retain and develop talented people within the agri-business sector. Paul is committed to fast tracking sustainable economic development and the prosperity of Gippsland.
Valerie Pokopiv

Valerie Prokopiv

Valerie Prokopiv works for RMIT in Research into Transitional and Transformational Communities. Valerie has broad industry networks and experience working across the three tiers of Government and has a commitment to a sustainable Gippsland. Valerie is passionate about securing good, well-paid employment for Gippslanders and improving educational outcomes to give our young people the best chance to fully participate socially and economically in the region.

Terry Robinson

Terry Robinson

Terry Robinson is the Chief Executive Officer of Destination Gippsland, the Regional Tourism Board with the role to inspire, influence and lead positive tourism outcomes through partnerships across Gippsland. Terry is also Chairman of Sydney Melbourne Touring, a cross-border association that promotes self-drive touring itineraries for international visitors between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. He has a keen interest in supporting Gippsland communities by helping them generate the benefits that come from building a strong visitor based economy.

Richard ElkingtonRegional Development Australia representative

Richard Elkington
Richard Elkington is Chair of Regional Development Australia Gippsland and Director of Paradise Consulting. Richard has also been an Executive Councillor of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce since 1999 and has vast governance experience and knowledge of the energy sector having previously been a General Manager of Loy Yang Power Ltd. Richard is passionate about Gippsland and the continued use of its vast energy resources.

Victorian Government representative:

Simon Cohen - Deputy Secretary Regulation & Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria - Department of Justice and Regulation

Local Government CEOs

Paul Buckley

Paul Buckley – CEO, Bass Coast Shire Council

Paul joined Bass Coast Shire Council in February 2014 after nine years as CEO of City of Latrobe, and a long and distinguished public service career which included being awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his outstanding public service and sustained leadership to the local community. Paul is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds positions on various community committees including Regional Development Australia (Gippsland) and the AFL Gippsland Commission.

Gary Gaffney

Gary Gaffney – CEO, East Gippsland Shire Council

Gary has worked in several industries during his career including major construction in the power and water industries. Gary has been the CEO at the Mansfield and East Kimberley Shire and a Director at the Baw Baw Shire. He was also the Executive Director of Industry and Investment at Regional Development Victoria and was head of Economic recovery for the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.

In the coming year Gary will focus on the leadership of the Shire’s administration to achieve community objectives and goals through corporate and cultural revitalisation and effective change leadership and management of resources.

Tim Tamlin

Tim Tamlin – CEO, South Gippsland Shire Council

At the age of 25 Tim was appointed to the role of Senior Technical Officer within the Highways Department in South Australia. At the age of 34 he was appointed as CEO of a private medium-sized national civil contracting company. Tim moved across to local Government in 2001, joining the City of Greater Dandenong. He thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of working with communities which led him to his current role of CEO, South Gippsland Shire Council. Tim’s qualifications include science, management, banking and finance disciplines and he holds an Australian Institute of Company Directors diploma.

David Morcom David Morcom – CEO, Wellington Shire Council

David grew up in the Gippsland region, before joining the Westpac Bank as an Economics Graduate in 1988, based in Hobart.  He spent 12 years in the Finance and Banking sector before moving to local Government where he has held roles as General Manager and CEO of various councils. David was appointed CEO of Wellington Shire Council in January 2012.  As well as holding a degree in Economics, he holds post graduate qualifications in Management and is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation in South Australia.

Gary Van Driel

Gary Van Driel – CEO, Latrobe City Council

Gary commenced at Latrobe City Council in January 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. 

Gary has over 15 years experience in senior management roles in Local Government across rural and regional Victoria. He is a qualified Civil Engineer and has also completed a Master in Applied Science with RMIT University and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Alison Leighton

Alison Leighton – CEO, Baw Baw Shire Council

Alison is a qualified engineer, an alumni of Harvard Business School, an MBA graduate and a member of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Victoria) Board, bringing a breadth of accolades and working knowledge to the role.
Alison has over 15 years of progressive leadership experience in infrastructure, planning, operations, program and service delivery and business transformation. Alison’s broad experience in local government is paired with an innovative, energetic and engaging approach to leadership.

Have your say

Our Gippsland Regional Partnership engage page is the place to go to let us hear your views or to contact the Partnership.

Gippsland Regional Partnership 2017 Priorities

Theme Regional Partnership Priority
Connectivity Transport network and digital technologies are current and well-functioning to meet the needs of Gippsland's people.
Energy and Resources
Securing Victoria's future resource needs and uses while also considering new energy technologies.
Family and Community Wellbeing
Ensuring Gippsland’s people meet the health and wellbeing standards of the average Australian.
Food and Fibre
Positioning Gippsland as open for business for Agriculture investment and as a leader in food and fibre technology.
Skills and Education
Gippslanders have increased aspiration and improved infrastructure to participate and succeed in education at all levels.
Visitor Economy and Tourism
Boosting the Gippsland tourism industry and increasing visitors to our unique region.
New Jobs and Industry
To improve employment opportunities in our region.

Gippsland Partnership priorities supported in the Victorian Government Budget 2018/19 include:

  • $35.5 million to redevelop Federation Training Morwell, including a Future Skills Training Centre and a Technical Training Centre of Excellence
  • $25 million for Federation Training’s Port of Sale Development to consolidate its services in Sale into a new Educational Community and Industry Hub
  • $0.7 million to establish a food and fibre taskforce to drive the development of the Gippsland Agriculture Agenda in the food and fibre sectors.
  • $115 million to expand the Wonthaggi Hospital Emergency Department

Click here to download the Gippsland Regional Partnership 2018/19 Budget Fact Sheet for more information. (PDF 478.4 KB)

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2018/19 outcomes for Victoria's regions




Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 26 June 2018