East Gippsland has a strong role to play in decentralisation
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East Gippsland has a strong role to play in decentralisation

East Gippsland has a strong role to play in the Liberal-National Coalition’s decentralisation plans, as identified in the Population Policy Taskforce’s interim report, launched earlier this week.

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said this was made clear by Opposition leader, Matthew Guy, when he visited the region this week and spoke at two functions in Bairnsdale.

“The document has many strong references to the entire Gippsland region and specifically mentions the expansion of existing local East Gippsland industries, including agriculture and tourism.

“The report also earmarks major improvements to the Gippsland (Bairnsdale) rail line, particularly regarding the need to boost its reliability and improve existing services.

“The announcement by my Federal colleague, Darren Chester, to upgrade the Avon River bridge at Stratford is good news, but it is just a start,” he said.

Mr Bull said the Population Policy Taskforce’s interim report was another step forward in the Liberal-Nationals’ plan to develop a whole of government approach to managing the state’s population growth.

“In the lead up to 2018 I look forward to making some local announcements around policies and projects throughout East Gippsland that will support this population report.

“Victoria is the fastest growing state in Australia, with more than 100,000 people moving every year – but just 15,000 will move to regional Victoria with 85% growing Melbourne unsustainably,” Mr Bull said.

“The Taskforce, which had Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien, as Deputy Chair, has been consulting with local communities and stakeholders over the past six months, including Gippsland, and the interim report is an overview of the key issues raised so far.”

Mr Bull said if Victoria’s growth was not addressed, by 2051 there would be an additional 3.8 million people in Melbourne, but only 690,000 people moving or settling in the rest of Victoria.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said Daniel Andrews had no plan and no vision to decentralise Victoria’s exploding growth.

“Of the people who move to our state each year, 85 per cent will move to Melbourne, but still the Andrews Labor Government is doing nothing to make sure our country communities share in this growth,” Mr Walsh said.

“There's more to regional and rural Victoria than just Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong and the Liberal-Nationals Population Policy Taskforce has been listening to our country communities as we develop a whole of government approach to managing population growth in our state.”

The interim report and more information on the Taskforce can be found at www.vicpopulation.com.au.


Caption: Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, and Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, examine the findings of the Population Policy Taskforce in State Parliament this week.


Friday, June 23, 2017