Reflections from the Chair, Maree McPherson - April 201823/04/2018
Welcome to what I expect will be another exciting year of community engagement for the Gippsland Regional Partnership.
It’s been nearly two years since the Partnership was formed, and there is much to look back on.
The 2017 Regional Assembly and the mini Assemblies were the Partnership’s second major opportunity to consult with the Gippsland community. The Assembly was held in Sale in August 2017 and was buzzing with energetic conversations about how we can make Gippsland better.
The resounding priority was skills and education. The community sees strengthened knowledge and skills as the most important aspect in growing the region’s future prosperity both economically and socially.
Earlier, our inaugural Assembly was held in Moe in October 2016, directly after the announcement that Hazelwood would close. As a result, the key priorities raised were heavily weighted towards job creation and connectivity. The State Government responded with support for rail and digital upgrades and the GovHub.
Since the closure of Hazelwood, the region has witnessed the creation of 570 new jobs, with many more yet to be announced. We have come a long way and our economic prosperity is looking healthy.
Overall, the Partnership has consulted with over 500 local people across every Gippsland municipality. Participants have willingly shared their insights and ideas and we have taken this information to the State Government’s Rural and Regional Ministerial Committee.
Our 2017 priorities presented to the State Government were timed to coincide with the 2018/19 State Budget cycle. We are looking forward to some positive announcements next month when the Budget is presented and are optimistic that our region will benefit from our advocacy efforts.
We are excited by some wonderful regional projects that are occurring across Gippsland. Some of these projects are covered in this newsletter, including the Destination Management Plan and the Gippsland Tech School.
Your views on how we can best transform Gippsland are welcome throughout the year and not just during Assembly time. However, I am very much looking forward to seeing the community at our 2018 Assembly in Wonthaggi on Thursday 28 June.
Our Engage web page remains open or, alternatively, you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your views are incredibly valuable and means our region is heard right at the heart of Government.
I look forward to continuing the conversations in 2018, and I hope the year will be an incredibly positive and sustainable one for the Gippsland region.
Maree McPherson, Chair, Gippsland Regional Partnership