Regional Development Victoria

Regional Partnerships and Assemblies

Regional Partnerships Logo
What are Regional Partnerships?
What do Regional Partnerships do?
What are Regional Assemblies?
When are the Regional Assemblies?
Are the Regional Partnerships having an impact?
How do I find my local Regional Partnership?
How can I have my say?
Latest Regional Partnership news

What are Regional Partnerships?

Victoria’s nine Regional Partnerships were established by the Victorian Government in 2016 recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

Through ongoing consultation, including nine annual Regional Assemblies, the Partnerships ensure regional communities have a greater say about what matters to them, and that the voices of these communities are heard directly at the heart of Government.

The nine Regional Partnerships are shown on the map below. They are from west to east: Mallee, Wimmera Southern Mallee, Great South Coast, Central Highlands, Loddon Campaspe, Barwon, Goulburn, Ovens Murray and Gippsland.

Map of regional Victoria highlighting the partnership regions

Each Regional Partnership is made up of community and business leaders who are passionate about regional Victoria. They are joined on the Partnership by the CEOs of local councils, a representative of Regional Development Australia and a Victorian Government representative, so that all levels of Government are represented. Regional Partnerships were the centrepiece of Victoria’s Regional Statement.

What do Regional Partnerships do?

Regional Partnerships consult and engage with their communities year-round to identify priorities for their regions and to develop collaborative solutions to local problems.

From transport and education, to tourism, health and economic opportunities, the Regional Partnerships provide an opportunity for local communities to have their voices heard and acted on.

The Partnerships provide advice directly to the Victorian Government about these regional priorities so they can then be incorporated into government policies, programs and planning.

Partnerships work across all government portfolios and with the three levels of government to address the often complex issues facing rural and regional communities. They build on and complement existing regional leadership and working groups and strategic planning processes. 

What are Regional Assemblies?

The cornerstone of the Regional Partnerships’ engagement with their communities are the annual Regional Assemblies, first held in 2016, and again in 2017 and 2018. There have been 27 Assemblies to date.

Across the nine Partnerships, more than 2,000 people attended a Regional Assembly in 2018.

Each 2018 Assembly was unique. But, with each Partnership hosting its third major consultation, there was a focus on demonstrating what has been achieved to date and on in-depth consultation on a few key priorities. Among the topics discussed across multiple Assemblies were education and youth, preventative health initiatives and the economy.

Following each 2018 Assembly, the Partnership Chair is writing to attendees with a report back on key issues discussed. Each Partnership is then taking messages and learnings from its 2018 Assembly, and from its wider consultation, to present to Government.

When are the Regional Assemblies?

The 2018 Regional Assemblies were held from May to July 2018. The table below shows dates, locations and report backs from Assemblies. 

Date Assembly Location
Report Backs 
Loddon Campaspe Thurs 3 May
Loddon Campaspe report back
Wimmera Southern Mallee Wed 30 May
WSM report back
Mallee Thurs 31 May Kerang Mallee report back
Great South Coast Wed 13 June Hamilton Great South Coast report back
Central Highlands Thurs 14 June
Ballarat Central Highlands report back
Ovens Murray Wed 27 June Wangaratta Ovens Murray report back
Gippsland Thurs 28 June Wonthaggi Gippsland report back
Goulburn Wed 18 July Shepparton Goulburn report back
Barwon Thurs 19 July Wallington
Barwon report back

Are the Regional Partnerships having an impact?

Click here for the latest Regional Partnership news.

Now into their third year, Regional Partnerships, and the communities they represent, are seeing the results of their work, with the Victorian Government listening to, and investing in, what Partnerships – and their communities – are asking for.

Following the 2016 Assemblies, each of the nine Partnerships asked for improvements to digital infrastructure and in May 2017 the Government announced a $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program bringing regional Victoria better broadband, mobile coverage and Wi-Fi hubs. Over the past year, each Partnership has been working with Government, and the community, to design a digital plan tailored to their region’s specific needs.

Better rail was a high priority for many communities and Partnerships and the Government also announced major investments in rail in regional areas in both 2017 and 2018. Regional roads were also high on the list of priorities in several regions and the last two Budgets have brought significant investment.

In 2017 and 2018, the Victorian Government has also announced support for specific Priorities identified by Regional Partnerships.

This includes $12 million for the North-East Cycling Optimisation Project to strengthen the reputation of the Ovens Murray region as a world class cycling destination, $800,000 to establish Victoria’s first Cross Border Commissioner (a Mallee Regional Partnership priority), $5 million towards the Healthy Heart of Victoria program which is a major initiative in Loddon Campaspe to improve community health and $300,000 for a Housing First Response pilot study to address homeless in the Central Highlands.

Other Partnership projects to win support include $23 million for the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence, a state of the art educational, sporting, cultural and community centre based on Yorta Yorta country in Shepparton (a Goulburn Partnership priority), $60 million for the redevelopment of Federation Training campuses in Gippsland (a Gippsland Regional Partnership priority) and $153.2 million for the Geelong City Deal, which includes funding towards implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan Stage 2 (a Great South Coast Regional Partnership priority) and for the development of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the revitalisation of central Geelong (Barwon Regional Partnership priorities).

However, the Partnerships are about more than just bringing money to a region.

They are also successfully bringing different levels and parts of Government and different community groups together, to build relationships, share ideas, speak and solve issues in regions. They are having an impact on the way government works and delivers services and programs in regional areas.

One example of this is in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region, where the Department of Education and Training and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership are working together on a trail to deliver better services for the early years in regional, rural and remote communities.

How do I find my local Regional Partnership?

Regional Partnership boundaries were mapped in consultation with local communities, bringing together areas with common interests. As a result, the Partnerships are smaller than Regional Development Australia areas and Regional Development Victoria’s five administrative boundaries.

The nine Regional Partnerships are:

  • Barwon - Colac Otway (Shire), Greater Geelong (City), Queenscliffe (Borough), Surf Coast (Shire)
  • Central Highlands - Ararat (Rural City), Ballarat (City), Golden Plains (Shire), Hepburn (Shire), Moorabool (Shire), Pyrenees (Shire)
  • Gippsland - Bass Coast (Shire), Baw Baw (Shire), East Gippsland (Shire), Latrobe (City), South Gippsland (Shire), Wellington (Shire)
  • Goulburn - Greater Shepparton (City), Mitchell (Shire), Moira (Shire), Murrindindi (Shire), Strathbogie (Shire)
  • Great South Coast - Corangamite (Shire), Glenelg (Shire), Moyne (Shire), Southern Grampians (Shire), Warrnambool (City)
  • Loddon Campaspe - Campaspe (Shire), Central Goldfields (Shire), Greater Bendigo (City), Loddon (Shire), Macedon Ranges (Shire), Mount Alexander (Shire)
  • Mallee - Buloke (Shire), Gannawarra (Shire), Mildura (City), Swan Hill (Rural City)
  • Ovens Murray - Alpine (Shire), Benalla (City), Indigo (Shire), Mansfield (Shire), Towong (Shire), Wangaratta (Rural City), Wodonga (Rural City)
  • Wimmera Southern Mallee - Hindmarsh (Shire), Horsham (Rural City), Northern Grampians (Shire), West Wimmera (Shire), Yarriambiack (Shire)

How can I have my say?

The focus for each Partnership’s consultation is the annual Regional Assembly. However, you can have your say and get involved year-round through the Partnership's Engage page.

You can find also out more about your local Partnership, including contact details, by viewing the individual Partnership's page.

  • Share this page:
  • twitter share button
  • facebook share button