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The 2018 Great South Coast Regional Assembly in summary by Chair Emily Lee-Ack


The 2018 GSC Regional Assembly was the Partnership’s third major opportunity to consult with the community.

In addition to local residents, businesses and organisation representatives, the Assembly – held in Hamilton on 13 June 2018 – was attended by two Victorian Government Ministers: the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and the Attorney-General. In total there were 290 in the room, of whom more than 240 were community members.


The GSC Regional Partnership designed this year’s Assembly to build on the work, input and feedback provided to the Partnership through previous Assemblies and broader consultation with the community and Government.

The Assembly provided the GSC Regional Partnership an opportunity to present a brief summary of some of its achievements over the past eight months since our last Assembly. As part of this, we screened two videos, which showcased the fantastic work being undertaken by the Beyond The Bell initiative and the Great South Coast Food and Fibre Council. These two projects – priorities of the Great South Coast Regional Partnership – address some of the key issues facing our region in supporting and developing our young people – the future of our region. View the videos on Beyond the Bell and the Food and Fibre Council.

With three Assemblies held by our Partnership since 2016, we now have a clear understanding of, and a strong evidence base for, the issues facing our region. Discussions at this year’s Assembly aimed to gain more detailed ideas and opportunities to resolve issues relating to the Great South Coast region’s Economy, Education, Health and Community Wellbeing, Transport and Infrastructure, and Culture and Environment.

The evening was full of conversation and interesting discussion, and generated many ideas which the Partnership will now review alongside the online feedback received.

Some of the ideas that attracted the strongest support at the Assembly and online include:

Partnership ThemeWhich ideas received the highest % of votes at 2018 GSC Regional AssemblyHighest 2018 Online Public Survey Vote


Strong and diverse regional economy with more local jobs

  • Supporting infrastructure for industry; including roads, rail, NBN and other technologies
  • Better branding for the region as a place to visit, live, work and invest
  • Consideration of skills shortage – a number of positions in the Allied Health field remain unfilled resulting in lack of services


Accessible, quality education and training

  • Funding for adequate infrastructure for schools
  • Incentives available to attract to and retain professionals in the region: Education, Business, Allied Health
  • Roll out early transition initiatives for vulnerable children into school such as Beyond the Bell, Stepping Stones to School across the region
  • Alternate education options in Hamilton for those young people who don’t fit the mainstream settings – support Beyond the Bell work
  • Improve Baimbridge College so students feel like they are a deserving part of our community

Health & Community Wellbeing:

Attractive, safe, vibrant and liveable community

  • Our children are everyone’s business and our greatest asset. Stepping Stones – financially supported and rolled out across the whole region to address vulnerability early for children in our region
  • Greater emphasis on health prevention
  • More early intervention programs around mental health, youth education programs around alcohol/other drugs and the prevention of violence
  • We need to take a regional approach to managing our waste from manufacturing to retail to household consumption

Transport & Infrastructure:

Better roads, transport and infrastructure as enablers for prosperity, safety and liveability

  • Great South Coast Integrated Transport Strategy: Road, Rail, Air, Connection to Avalon, New Technologies ie Hyperloop
  • Secure needs based funding
  • Improved roads through the Western District eg Hamilton to Portland, Hamilton to Warrnambool and most of the Hamilton Highway
  • Improve roads to withstand heavy vehicles, improve rail to support freight, passing lanes on Hamilton Hwy, duplication of Princes Hwy

Culture & Environment:

Renowned environment, culture and iconic landscapes

  • Be ready for implementation for when UNESCO application to Budj Bim world heritage listing and RAMSAR applications are accepted
  • Have first class arts facilities funded and developed within the region
  • Greater opportunities for young people to engage in the arts (not just sport) after school
  • Activation of spaces to support local arts/culture and more celebrations to celebrate diversity to create more welcoming communities

The Great South Coast Regional Partnership would like to especially recognise the efforts made by all the young people who attended the Assembly. On the night, they put forward the following idea:

  • Funding to establish a virtual hub with a physical presence for university cloud learning in each major town.

Moving forward

As a Partnership, our role is now to take the messages and ideas from our 2018 Regional Assembly and action them. We will present on our 2018 priorities to the Rural and Regional Ministerial Committee later this month.

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