Vic councils to set up economic development grouping

Five councils in the Barwon South West region will create a regional economic development strategy as part of a Brumby Government scheme to boost rural and regional economies.

In Torquay today to brief community leaders on the Brumby Labor Government's $631 million Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria, Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan also announced $140,000 in government support for the $280,000 G21 Regional Economic Development Strategy.

She said the strategy would identify the region’s economic advantages and outline strategies and actions for supporting growth and development of the regional economy.

“The strategy will include the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Colac Otway Shire, Golden Plains Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe,” she said.

“It will enable the G21 group of councils to collaborate in research and development, encourage investment in the region leading to more jobs, and ensure everyone shares in the prosperity a stronger economy brings regardless of where they live in the region.”

Member for South Barwon Michael Crutchfield said the strategy would provide a clear way forward for the councils to boost the regional workforce as a result of stronger business investment.

“Residents in the G21 councils will reap the benefits of more jobs in a stronger local economy with every chance those jobs will be higher paying and more advanced,” he said.

“This means more people can work locally and contribute to our local economy.”

Member for Geelong West Ian Trezise said the strategy would also serve as a framework for individual councils to develop local economic development plans if they require the extra detail.

Ms Allan said her visit to Torquay was a great opportunity to speak directly with community leaders about how best their towns and cities could benefit from the $631 million Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria package.

“Today I was able to brief local community leaders on how they can best tap-into this new, supplementary Government funding that will help them usher in a new era of opportunity and prosperity in the Geelong region,” she said.


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