Budget 2019/20 delivers for Great South Coast as Partnership outlines strategic focus28/05/2019
Great South Coast Regional Partnership Acting Chair David Pope today welcomed the whole of government focus on delivering for rural and regional Victorians as outlined in the Victorian Government’s 2019/20 Budget.
Across the state, the Budget includes funding for public transport, country roads, tourism infrastructure and TAFE facilities, and provides health facility upgrades while supporting jobs. The Budget provides further tax relief for rural and regional businesses, with the regional payroll tax rate to be reduced to 25 per cent of the metropolitan rate by 2022-23.
In Great South Coast, specifically, there is:
- $16 million for SW TAFE’s library and learning hub, as part of the $2.6 billion Delivering for Regional and Rural Victoria program
- $5 million to develop the Budj Bim Master Plan
- $1.6 million to establish a new statutory authority to manage and protect the Great Ocean Road,
- An extra $18.8 million for the Geelong City Deal, which covers Geelong and the Shipwreck Coast
- Funds to upgrade facilities at the Agricultural College at Glenormiston.
- Investment in Baimbridge College in Hamilton, Terang College and Mortlake P-12 College.
Mr Pope explained that the Regional Partnership is about much more than securing funding at Budget time and that over the past year, the Partnership has collaborated with the Department of Education and Training (DET) on the development of a Skills Profile, while it has also been advocating for the rollout out of the Baby Makes Three program, a key prevention activity for the early years and post-natal setting. In addition, it has joined with the state and local Governments to advocate for investment in the Maroona Rail Line, between Ararat and Portland, and has been working with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) to develop a digital plan for the region.
Mr Pope says the Partnership - one of nine across the state - is now in its third year and is evolving. Last week the Partnership published its Outcomes Roadmap, which outlines its key, long-term strategic areas of focus and where it is looking to make a real difference.
“This year, as part of the natural evolution of our Partnership, rather than running a large Assembly, we are in the process of identifying a few key issues where we will run smaller, targeted meetings,” he explains.
“At these forums, the Partnership will engage with Government, the community and stakeholders in a more decisive, focused and strategic way in order to make a substantial difference in a specific area. The issues we address will mirror the outcomes we are striving to achieve, and we’ll let the community know about these areas of focus shortly via our Facebook page.”