Supporting workers to make a move to Victoria's north west08/07/2021
The Victorian Government is backing businesses and industries in the state’s north west to attract critical workers through new investments to tackle housing shortages and other barriers to regional workforce attraction.
The Government today announced a $5 million investment in new Regional Workforce Pilots which would be strategically located across the state to help regional and rural communities attract the workers they need.
The availability of suitable accommodation in the north west is hindering the agricultural sector to attract and support a seasonal workforce. In May 2021, job vacancy rates for the broader region were 73 per cent above the pre-pandemic average.
The pilots will build on new Victorian Government investments for housing projects in Robinvale designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to the region. This includes a $500,000 investment in the Swan Hill Worker Housing initiative to subdivide land and construct four houses for workers.
In Mildura, an $800,000 investment in the Ramsay Court Worker Accommodation project is supporting the refurbishment of 25 rooms to create purpose-built housing for seasonal workers.
The Regional Recovery Fund is also supporting the Sea Lake Housing Development, with a $300,000 grant to support the Buloke Shire to develop the town’s former school site into six residential blocks that will be sold to private investors for housing accommodation.
The fund is also supporting the development of the Loddon Mallee Housing Revitalisation Strategy. This will be an action plan to address housing challenges and opportunities, with four business cases to be created to support implementation of priority initiatives identified from the plan. Another business case will be developed to revitalise key sites in Robinvale for seasonal worker accommodation.
All 10 local councils in the Loddon Mallee region have identified housing shortages as key barriers for population growth and workforce attraction. Issues include land supply, strategic planning, approvals, and supply of affordable, social and seasonal worker housing.
The Regional Workforce Pilots are part of the Government’s almost $30 billion investment in regional and rural Victoria since 2015. Other pilots will be located within the Grampians region, Great South Coast and Alpine Shire in the North East.
The Regional Workforce Pilots and regional housing initiatives build on the Government’s historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new secure and modern, social and affordable homes throughout the state – with $1.25 billion being invested in regional Victoria.