Industry leaders from across the region have discussed key opportunities for the region with State Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, during his visit to the electorate yesterday.
Mr Guy joined Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, in meeting with some of the area’s key business leaders, speaking about the challenges facing their respective industries and also the region’s strengths and opportunities.
The pair toured Bulmer Farms, one of Australia’s largest salad vegetable growers, Vegco and Patties Foods, the latter two the largest private employers in the region. Mr Guy also used the visit to discuss the need to decentralise Melbourne to help manage Victoria’s growing population.
“Victoria is growing at 100,000 people a year and it's vital state governments plan for this growth,” Mr Guy said.
“Businesses like Bulmers, Vegco and Patties are integral to regional Victoria and are businesses we assisted to expand when in government.
“When you consider Vegco produces 40 million packaged salad units a year and is the biggest producer of packaged salads in the country and Patties Foods produces 50% of the pies we consume in the country, it is just amazing in a country town like Bairnsdale, but shows the potential of rural and regional Victoria.
“It's been great to talk to industry leaders about the challenges and improvements required, such as water security, power and freight costs,” he said.
Mr Bull said he was pleased to have the Opposition Leader visit East Gippsland.
“Matthew has been able to experience first-hand some of our region’s amazing success stories, but our businesses need support from government and that was a clear message,” he said.
“Things that were raised were our road and rail connections and how disappointing it has been to have our country roads funding cut under this government.
“It’s also great for the industry leaders to be able to meet with Matthew and discuss the opportunities in front of them.
“When it comes to contributing to the state and national economy, East Gippsland certainly kicks the tin and this certainly gives Matty are clearer picture of the region’s business community and economic input,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, and State Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, met with Bill and Andrew Bulmer, of Bulmer Farms.
Thursday, October 20, 2016