Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Gippsland Regional Partnership

Map of the Gippsland partnership region Gippsland Regional Partnerships Logo


From unspoilt beaches to snowfields and rainforests, Gippsland Regional Partnership covers a vast range of stunning landscapes.

Natural resources, including energy generation, agriculture and 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 have created challenges for the energy sector and the region’s economy.

The Gippsland Regional Partnership will continue to work on challenges and opportunities already identified by the region, including diversification of the region’s economy, tackling localised high-level unemployment, improving health in the Latrobe Valley and supporting nature-based tourism.

The infrastructure needs of local communities to accommodate growth will also be on the table.

The Gippsland Regional Partnership will also work closely with the newly formed Latrobe Valley Authority to support community and build a stronger Latrobe Valley.

Local Government Areas:

Email the Gippsland Regional Partnership

2017/18 Victorian Budget outcomes for Gippsland

State-wide Budget Investments benefiting regions:

Regional Victoria will share in a range of significant state-wide investments that address a range of Regional Partnership priorities including:

  • $29 million for priority initiatives by the Partnerships, as well as funding to enable more comprehensive engagement in each region and to undertake further development of regional priorities.
  • $45 million to the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.
  • $1.45 billion for upgrades to regional rail infrastructure across the state.
  • 25% reduction in the payroll tax rate for regional businesses – expected to benefit 4,000 businesses.    
  • $50 million to double the First Home Owner Grant to $20 000 for new homes in regional areas.
  • $1.7 million to re-establish the Victorian Rural Women’s Network (RWN) to promote women’s economic participation and professional development.

Gippsland Regional Partnership highlights include:

  • $435 million upgrade of the Gippsland Line to run more frequent, safe and reliable services and create more than 400 jobs, with a project office in the Latrobe Valley.
  • $95 million will be invested in Stage 2 of the Gippsland Rail Upgrade which will duplicate the Avon River Bridge, enabling faster, more reliable services to Bairnsdale.
  • Funding to develop a Destination Management Plan for Gippsland Commitment to build a new government office with 150 public service jobs.

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

Regional Assembly snapshot

The Gippsland Regional Partnership will host their second regional Assembly on 16 August in Sale. Local residents, government and businesses will come together to talk about Gippsland’s strengths and challenges and their vision for the future of the region.


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.

Paul Ford

Paul Ford – Deputy Chair

Paul Ford is Chair of Agribusiness Gippsland 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’s committed to fast tracking sustainable economic development and prosperity of Gippsland.

Mary Aldred

Mary Aldred

Mary Aldred is the Chief Executive Officer of Committee for Gippsland, a peak business and industry organisation for the Gippsland Region. Mary holds a number of positions on professional boards and committees, including Latrobe Regional Hospital, and is a member of the Gippsland regional plan leadership group. Mary supports strong partnerships between government, industry and community. Mary is passionate about improving higher education outcomes in Gippsland and attracting investment to the region.

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, specializing in Business Development and Emissions Reduction Technology Demonstration. 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 Mine Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, CCSNET Science and BCIA Research Advisory Committee; he is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy.

Jane Ponting Jane Ponting

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.

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.

Regional Development Australia representative

Richard Elkington
Richard Elkington is Chair of Regional Development Australia Gippsland and Director of Paradise Consulting, Gippsland Ports Committee of Management and East Gippsland Water Corporation. 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:

Luke Wilson - Lead Deputy Secretary Agriculture & Resources - Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources

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 Gippsland Regional Partnership, Regional Development Australia (Gippsland) and the AFL Gippsland Commission.

Gary Gaffney – CEO, East Gippsland Shire Council

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 where he developed a passion for working with people. At the age of 34 he was appointed as CEO of a private medium-sized national civil contracting company. Tim thoroughly enjoyed this role but found it very taxing on his young family as he was away from them for long durations. This was the catalyst for his move into local government. He joined the City of Greater Dandenong in 2001 and thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of working with communities and developing teams which led him to his current role of CEO, South Gippsland Shire Council. Tim’s tertiary 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 Latrobe City Council on Monday 19 January 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. 

Gary has over 15 years experience in senior management roles in Local Government across rural and regional Victoria. 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.
Alison is a collaborative leader, focused on performance and productivity on behalf of Council and seeks to empower the Baw Baw Shire team to deliver outstanding service to the community in all areas of the municipality.



Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 24 August 2017