Reflections from the Chair, Win Scott – May 201920/05/2019
This message forms part of a Mallee Regional Partnership newsletter published in May 2019. See the whole newsletter.
Introducing our Outcomes Roadmap
Since our inception in 2016, the Mallee Regional Partnership has heard from thousands of people in our region. You’ve told us what is needed and what should change; and each year we’ve taken your input and presented priorities to the Victorian Government. As a result of the three submissions that we have made to government, many priorities have been funded across the Mallee.
The region’s current priorities have been documented in an Outcomes Roadmap which is a summary of the key long-term outcomes this Partnership is currently striving to achieve. It also has a description of the actions and key projects the Partnership is focusing on, and what success will look like for the region.
The roadmap is a living document that will evolve over time. New priorities will no doubt present themselves and we will have new initiatives to address current and future issues.
We would be pleased to hear your feedback or your ideas for future priorities. The Mallee Regional Partnership members are keen to talk to groups or individuals so please contact us if you are interested in having someone from the Partnership meet with you or your group.
This newsletter provides an opportunity to update you on Partnership news and several of our major initiatives and where they are at.
Firstly, the Mallee Regional Partnership congratulates Minister Jaclyn Symes as the newly appointed Victorian Minister for Regional Development. Minister Symes is also the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Resources – all portfolios that are important to Regional Partnerships across the state.
We would also like to thank Minister Jaala Pulford for her leadership in driving Regional Partnerships since they were created as an outcome of the 2015 Victorian Regional Statement. Over two and half years, Minister Pulford has been a great advocate for Partnerships – she really listened to our communities, and then helped us work with Government to make things happen in our region.
We have appreciated Minister Pulford’s support and friendship and we wish her well in her new portfolios as Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, and Minister for Fishing and Boating.
In the newsletter, you can read an update on the Victorian Cross Border Commissioner, as well as about projects underway across other Partnerships. The Mallee Regional Partnership had an update from Commissioner Luke Wilson recently on the initiatives he has taken. We were impressed with how much has been achieved since his appointment, and quietly proud that this initiative came from the Mallee.
On our other initiatives:
The Mallee Research and Innovation Centre has been funded and is rolling out. The Centre is a joint project between the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and local organisations, with a focus on horticulture and water management. The research focus is timely, and we look forward to reporting the outcomes to you as they emerge.
Small Town Big Difference is the thinking behind creating a fund for small projects that will make a big difference. We know it is sometimes difficult for towns and community groups to get funding for ‘small’ projects and yet communities can deliver great things for a relatively small investment. We’ll keep you posted on our progress on this fund.
Three of the messages we heard loudly and clearly from the last Mallee Regional Assembly were the lack of General Practitioners in the region, your thoughts on how to achieve a ‘thriving economy’, and the impact of population decline on the region’s liveability. In response, we are investing in several proposal developments:
- We are in the process of commissioning an investigation of models for delivery of primary health care to the Mallee. We will use that to lobby for actions to improve your access to primary health care;
- The Mallee Regional Economic Growth Strategy is in the process of being endorsed by your Councils. Once endorsed, we will produce an ‘Investment Prospectus’ and lobby for critical investment into the Mallee;
- Sustaining rural towns – our engagement with Mallee communities has told us that access to services, loss of population and skills shortages are some of the problems being experienced across the region. We are committed to telling the stories, lobbying for resources and gaining investment to sustain our small communities, our businesses and the spirit of the Mallee.
As mentioned by the Minister, in 2019, our Partnership will run several very targeted engagement sessions. These are currently in development and we will use our Facebook page to keep you updated on engagement.
Lastly, I thank my colleagues on the Mallee Regional Partnership who put in a huge amount of time and effort to ensure that your voices are heard and that the work of the Partnership leads to action which results in real change for our region.