Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan
Regional Growth Critical To Victoria’s Future
Victor P Taffa
Regional Victoria holds the key to balancing the state’s future population growth, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan told a gathering of business leaders in Melbourne last night.
Speaking at the VECCI Presidents Function, Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had a long-term commitment for accelerating growth in the regions.
“Our regional communities have been resilient amidst a tough global economic climate but it is imperative that government stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our local communities.” Mr. Ryan said.
“Regional Victoria now accounts for around a quarter of the state’s economic output, worth around $71 Billion annually. Regional Victoria also accounts for one quarter of the state’s population, and one-third of Victoria’s exports.
“What this clearly shows is that growth can be effectively realised in regional Victoria and our challenge is to continue to build on this growth.”
Mr. Ryan said the Coalition Government had set a new regional development agenda to support communities outside Melbourne.
“Accelerating growth in regional Victoria can be achieved through a long-term commitment to investing in our state’s different regional areas and strengthening their links to national and international markets.” Mr. Ryan said.
“Central to this is the Coalition Government’s $1 Billion Regional Growth Fund, which has $500 Million allocated in the first four-year term to build a better future in regional Victoria.
“Over the next four years the government will provide a total of $1.1 Billion funding for regional projects, including $500 Million from the Regional Growth Fund, the $20 Million Regional Aviation Fund and a further $160 Million will be provided for rural roads and bridges.”
Mr. Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, more job opportunities, economic and social resilience and better quality of life.