Regional Development Victoria

Regional Partnerships

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What are Regional Partnerships?
What do Regional Partnerships do?
How do Partnerships engage with communities?
Are the Regional Partnerships having an impact?
How do I find my local Regional Partnership?
How can I have my say?
Latest Regional Partnership news


What are Regional Partnerships?

Victoria’s nine Regional Partnerships were established by the Victorian Government in 2016 recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

Through ongoing consultation, the Partnerships ensure regional communities have a greater say about what matters to them, and that the voices of these communities are heard directly at the heart of Government.

The nine Regional Partnerships are shown on the map below. They are from west to east: Mallee, Wimmera Southern Mallee, Great South Coast, Central Highlands, Loddon Campaspe, Barwon, Goulburn, Ovens Murray and Gippsland.

Map of regional Victoria highlighting the partnership regions

Each Regional Partnership is made up of community and business leaders who are passionate about regional Victoria. They are joined on the Partnership by the CEOs of local councils, a representative of Regional Development Australia and a Victorian Government Deputy Secretary, so that all levels of Government are represented. Regional Partnerships were the centrepiece of Victoria’s Regional Statement.

What do Regional Partnerships do?

Regional Partnerships engage with their communities and local stakeholders year-round to identify priorities for their regions and to develop collaborative solutions to local problems.

From transport and education, to tourism, health and economic opportunities, the Regional Partnerships provide an opportunity for local communities to have their voices heard and acted on.

The Partnerships provide advice directly to the Victorian Government about regional priorities so they can then be incorporated into government policies, programs and planning.

Partnerships work across all government portfolios and with the three levels of government to address the often complex issues facing rural and regional communities. They build on and complement existing regional leadership and working groups and strategic planning processes. 

How do Partnerships engage with communities?

From 2016 to 2018, Regional Assemblies were a major feature of Regional Partnership engagement with their communities. Assemblies were large, town hall-style community gatherings where many locally-important issues were discussed. They helped Partnership members appreciate the full range of issues in their region, as well as garnering suggestions for tackling these issues. In 2018, more than 2,000 people attended a Regional Assembly. In addition to Assemblies, each Partnership held smaller meetings with specific groups in their communities.

In 2019, Partnership engagement is evolving.

Having heard from a large number of community members over three years, Partnerships published their Outcomes Roadmaps in early 2019. These are a summary of the key long-term strategic areas of focus for each Partnership moving forward. The Roadmaps outline where each Partnership is looking to make a real difference.

In 2019, Partnership engagement will be much more focused than in previous years and will be with key stakeholders in a small number of priority areas. These areas will align with the Partnership’s long term priorities as expressed in the Outcomes Roadmaps. The intention is for a focusing of effort to enable real change of the ground.

Are the Regional Partnerships having an impact?

Visit here for the latest Regional Partnership news.

Regional Partnerships, and the communities they represent, are seeing the results of their work, with the Victorian Government listening to, and investing in, what Partnerships – and their communities – are asking for.

Following the 2016 Assemblies, each of the nine Partnerships asked for improvements to digital infrastructure and, in May 2017, the Government announced a $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program bringing regional Victoria better broadband, mobile coverage and Wi-Fi hubs. Over the past year, each Partnership has been working with Government, and the community, to design a digital plan tailored to their region’s specific needs.

Better rail was a high priority for many communities and Partnerships and the Government also announced major investments in rail in regional areas in 2017 and 2018. Regional roads were also high on the list of priorities in several regions and the last few Budgets have brought significant investment.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Victorian Government has also announced support for specific Priorities identified by Regional Partnerships.

This includes $12 million for the North-East Cycling Optimisation Project to strengthen the reputation of the Ovens Murray region as a world class cycling destination, $800,000 to establish Victoria’s first Cross Border Commissioner (a Mallee Regional Partnership priority), and $5 million towards the Healthy Heart of Victoria program which is a major initiative in Loddon Campaspe to improve community health.

Other Partnership projects to win support include $60 million for the redevelopment of Federation Training campuses in Gippsland (a Gippsland Regional Partnership priority) and more than $370 million for the Geelong City Deal, which includes funding towards implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan Stage 2 (a Great South Coast Regional Partnership priority) and for the development of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the revitalisation of central Geelong (Barwon Regional Partnership priorities).

However, the Partnerships are about much more than just bringing money to a region.

They are also successfully bringing different levels and parts of Government and different community groups together, to build relationships, share ideas, speak and solve issues in regions. They are having an impact on the way government works and delivers services and programs in regional areas. They are leading to a focus on local issues and government policies, and their impact , at the local placed-based level.

One example of this is in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region, where the Department of Education and Training, Department of Health and Human Services and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership are working together on a trial to deliver better services for the early years in regional, rural and remote communities.

How do I find my local Regional Partnership?

Regional Partnership boundaries were mapped in consultation with local communities, bringing together areas with common interests. As a result, the Partnerships are smaller than Regional Development Australia areas and Regional Development Victoria’s five administrative boundaries.

The nine Regional Partnerships are:

  • Barwon - Colac Otway (Shire), Greater Geelong (City), Queenscliffe (Borough), Surf Coast (Shire)
  • Central Highlands - Ararat (Rural City), Ballarat (City), Golden Plains (Shire), Hepburn (Shire), Moorabool (Shire), Pyrenees (Shire)
  • Gippsland - Bass Coast (Shire), Baw Baw (Shire), East Gippsland (Shire), Latrobe (City), South Gippsland (Shire), Wellington (Shire)
  • Goulburn - Greater Shepparton (City), Mitchell (Shire), Moira (Shire), Murrindindi (Shire), Strathbogie (Shire)
  • Great South Coast - Corangamite (Shire), Glenelg (Shire), Moyne (Shire), Southern Grampians (Shire), Warrnambool (City)
  • Loddon Campaspe - Campaspe (Shire), Central Goldfields (Shire), Greater Bendigo (City), Loddon (Shire), Macedon Ranges (Shire), Mount Alexander (Shire)
  • Mallee - Buloke (Shire), Gannawarra (Shire), Mildura (City), Swan Hill (Rural City)
  • Ovens Murray - Alpine (Shire), Benalla (City), Indigo (Shire), Mansfield (Shire), Towong (Shire), Wangaratta (Rural City), Wodonga (Rural City)
  • Wimmera Southern Mallee - Hindmarsh (Shire), Horsham (Rural City), Northern Grampians (Shire), West Wimmera (Shire), Yarriambiack (Shire)

How can I have my say?

You can find out more about your local Partnership, including contact details, by viewing the individual Partnership's page.

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