Reflections from the Chair, Kylie Warne23/04/2018
The first 18 months of the Barwon Regional Partnership have been ones of delivering results for our community.
In November last year, we presented, for the second year, our region's priorities to the Victorian Government's Rural and Regional Ministerial Committee.
In our first year, we had pushed for funding for better digital connectivity for our schools, for the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan and for the establishment of a Great Ocean Road Taskforce. We were pleased to see many of these priorities funded in the 2017/18 State Budget.
This year’s presentation of priorities was the culmination of a process that included building on significant work of a range of organisations and involved input from our community via our second Barwon Regional Assembly (held in Geelong in September with 300 participants and four Victorian Government Ministers), as well as online consultation, stakeholder briefings, round tables with subject matter experts and 'Home Turf' days with young people.
In total, more than 20,000 local people directly or indirectly helped shape our Partnership's thinking this year. Thanks to those of you who contributed!
Our priorities for this year are contained in a matrix which articulates actions, across funding, policy and service delivery areas.
Our advice was timed to coincide with the 2018/19 Budget cycle. We acknowledge the finite nature of the annual state Budget, and that delivery of large projects can be a “long game”. Nevertheless, we believe the delivery of these projects will drive us towards a more prosperous future for our region, where every person can reach their potential.
The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Federal and State governments was a step towards realising a range of the priorities identified by the Barwon Regional Partnership, including a Geelong Exhibition and Convention Centre and, together with our neighbours, the Great South Coast Regional Partnership, further investment into our national asset – the Great Ocean Road.
The outcomes delivered by the Barwon Regional Partnership reflect the calibre and passion of our members, who hail from local government, private businesses and the not-for-profit sector.
I look forward to continuing to lead this dynamic group and keeping the conversation going between the community and Government in 2018.
Kylie Warne, Chair, Barwon Regional Partnership