Gippsland › Latest news › Baw Baw Local News

Baw Baw Shire Council exclusion from Growing Suburbs Fund deeply disappointing and harms Gippsland economy

Despite rapid population growth, Baw Baw Shire and other peri-urban councils are denied vital funding support, putting our communities at a disadvantage. The communities should not bear the brunt of this shortsighted choice.

By news@gippsland - 1st September 2023 - Back to News

It is with profound disappointment that we address the recent decision by the state government to exclude Baw Baw, and all other Peri-Urban Councils, from eligibility for the Growing Suburbs Fund. This decision disadvantages our people and our economy. The stated purpose of the Growing Suburbs Fund has been to support councils experiencing significant population growth. Baw Baw is one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria.

Council is imploring the government to reconsider this decision, as it fails to acknowledge the unique challenges and needs of our peri-urban areas

Council is imploring the government to reconsider this decision, as it fails to acknowledge the unique challenges and needs of our peri-urban areas

Population growth concerns

We are on the frontline of the population flowing out from Melbourne's east hunting for better affordability and livability, with thousands of families choosing to make their homes in our diverse and thriving communities.

Regions like ours are more reliant than ever on state and federal governments to meet the growing needs stemming from these huge population shifts. Removing our eligibility for this funding takes away one of the last significant streams of funding left to our region. This decision is out of touch with the reality on the ground.

Sustaining peri-urban vitality

Our communities are characterised by their unique blend of urban and rural environments- but also their challenging needs in terms of infrastructure, community services, and environmental preservation. The Growing Suburbs Fund has been instrumental in addressing these needs, ensuring that our peri-urban areas remain sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant.

We strongly urge the state government to reconsider this decision and recognise the value and importance of Baw Baw Shire, and all Peri-Urban Councils. Our growth should not go unsupported, nor should our communities bear the weight of this shortsighted decision.
In unity and commitment to our community.

Peri-urban challenges addressed

Cr Michael Leaney, Deputy Mayor of Baw Baw Shire said, "Sadly, it is clear that there is little understanding of the ever-increasing challenges faced by Peri-Urban communities like Baw Baw struggling with massive population growth."

"It is time for the state government to have a clear definition of Peri-Urban areas so we do not slip between the policy cracks. Funding programs for Peri-Urban areas must be provided urgently and be based on need, and not just an arbitrary line on a map which can be moved at the stroke of a pen," Cr Leaney said.

Cr Darren Wallace, East Ward said, "The decision to exclude Peri-Urban Councils from the Growing Suburbs Fund is completely shortsighted and out of touch with reality. But that is what we have come to expect of this government - covering their eyes to the real challenges our people face."

Unmet funding desperation

Cr Peter Kostos, East Ward said, "Growth is not confined to inner suburbs. Baw Baw is teeming with life and potential, but we are at risk of being swept away by the flood of growth. We are every bit as deserving of funding as any other area in the state."

Cr Danny Goss, Central Ward said, "This decision is an absolute joke. I am sick and tired of seeing the way this government treats our Shire. It is time that they were held accountable for the absolute disdain they show for the needs of our community."

Cr Jazmin Tauru Central Ward said, "It is disheartening to see the unique challenges we face overlooked by the state government. We stand united in our request for reconsideration and fair allocation of resources."

Community voices matter

Cr Farhat Firdous, Central Ward said, "This is about more than just funding. This is about recognising and valuing the unique contributions of every community. Our voice and our needs matter, and all decisions that potentially impact our capacity to serve our communities should be taken in consultation with the relevant stakeholders."

Cr Tricia Jones, West Ward said, "I remain hopeful that the state government will see the broader picture and reconsider this decision, aligning resources with the actual needs of our communities."

Cr Keith Cook, West Ward said, "The Growing Suburbs Fund has helped us provide important infrastructure to meet the needs of our community in the face of the unprecedented population growth. I hope this decision can be reconsidered."

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


Published by:

Edit this news article

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2024 Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.