Budget 2019/20 delivers for Loddon Campaspe as Partnership outlines strategic focus28/05/2019
The Victorian Government’s 2019/ 20 Budget delivers for Loddon Campaspe, including $16.7 million for the Twin Rivers School project in Echuca, as part of a $2.6 billion Delivering for Regional and Rural Victoria program.
Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership Acting Chair Dave Richardson today welcomed the Budget, which provides a whole of government focus on delivering for rural and regional Victorians, with improvements across the state to 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 Loddon Campaspe specifically, as well as the boost for schools in Echuca, there is:
- $166 million over four years to build new law courts in Bendigo, and
- Almost $50 million to deliver better train services for Bendigo and Central Victoria, including funding to support planning for a Bendigo line upgrade and the re-establishment of the station at Harcourt. There’s also money to construct new stations at Goornong, Raywood and Huntly.
“There are several important investments for the Loddon Campaspe region in the Budget which match the Partnership’s priorities which is great to see,” explains Mr Richardson, but he adds that the Regional Partnership is about much more than securing funding at Budget time.
He explains that over the past year, the Partnership has been working with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to develop a localised early years language and literacy strategy, as well as with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) to develop a Loddon Campaspe digital plan.
In addition, Partnership priorities funded in previous Victorian Budgets, for example, the Healthy Heart of Victoria project, which received $5 million last year and is designed to improve the health of those living in the region, are now in full flight—with the Active Living Census, an important element of the initiative, now live.
Mr Richardson 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.”