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Important Gippsland projects funded by 2022/23 Victorian government budget announced by One Gippsland
With a new federal government in play and a state election at the end of the year, the One Gippsland team has been working hard to ensure that our beautiful region is top of mind for politicians and policy makers.
During these past few months, we have had a busy calendar to advocate for a better deal for Gippsland. This has included a lot of work in the lead up to the Federal and State budgets. I'm pleased to see this paying off, with specific funding commitments for Gippsland road and rail as well as new funding for regional digital connectivity.
One Gippsland delegation will focus our efforts on specific initiatives to support the recovery of the tourism industry and to build the capacity of our local economy
We are thrilled to welcome a new board member with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) joining the team, bringing the voice of our Aboriginal People to the table. GLaWAC has a membership base of more than 600 Traditional Owners and continues to provide joint management for a number of parks and reserves across the region.
I would like to congratulate the Members and Senators on their election to the 47th Parliament of Australia and the incoming Albanese government. A warm applause is also necessary for Mr Russell Broadbent MP Member for Monash and the Hon Darren Chester MP Member for Gippsland winning back their seats. The One Gippsland Board looks forward to working closely with them to champion the interests of our region.
One Gippsland meets with the opposition roundtable, the Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and Harriet Shing MP to advocate for the region
In the lead up to the federal election our board has worked closely with both the federal government and the opposition to champion the strategic challenges facing Gippsland. This included the opportunity to brief incoming Cabinet Ministers the Hon Jason Clare MP and Hon Catherine King MP to discuss regional services and infrastructure.
The recovery of the tourism and special events industry is a high priority as booking numbers across the region continue to lag. The board had a productive meeting with then Shadow Minister for Sport and Tourism Senator the Hon Don Farrell MP to discuss a number of priority tourism projects as outlined in our Pre-Budget Submission. We look forward to working closely with the Senator in his new Ministerial portfolio with responsibilities of Trade, Tourism and Special Minister of State to progress these important issues.
Digital connectivity continues to be a major issue across our region - an issue we have raised with new Cabinet Ministers the Hon Jason Clare MP and the Hon Catherine King MP. We look forward to our region taking advantage of the Australian Labor Party's Better Connectivity for Rural and Regional Australia Plan.
Freight, roads and ports
The Hon Melissa Horne, State Minister for Ports and Freight and Fishing and Boating, accepted our suggestion of a visit to the region. Her travels included East Gippsland to see firsthand the issues in our local ports. Our team also briefed the Office of the Hon Ben Carroll MP, the Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety. We highlighted several road projects that are of strategic importance to the region. We were pleased to see some of our priorities (link to budget release) funded in the state budget after our initial briefings.
Food and fibre
We were pleased to have a fruitful discussion with the Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP Victorian Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture on key enablers for the agriculture industry, including housing, digital connectivity and education/skills.
The future economic success of Gippsland's, Victoria's and indeed Australia's industries are dependent on strengthening supply chains between regions, distribution points as well as air and seaports
Budget boost for Gippsland
The 2022-23 State Budget included a number of important announcements for Gippsland including:
Regional roads - $101 million
- Bass Highway, Kilcunda, infrastructure improvements
- Strzelecki Highway between Morwell and Mirboo North overtaking lane
- Princes Highway at Lookout Road, Kalimna, intersection improvements
- Princes Highway and Bairnsdale-Dargo Road, Bairnsdale, intersection improvements
- Funding to develop the Croajingolong Coastal Wilderness Walk
- $1 million to continue establishment of the Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park
- $31 million to facilitate stabling of VLocity trains at Bairnsdale and improve reliability on the Gippsland line
- $57 million to implement the Sustainable Water Strategy for Central and Gippsland regions
- $4.75 million towards developing new facilities at Traralgon Recreation Reserve, which is a key component of the Traralgon Flood Recovery Project
- $4.5 million to protect and improve lighthouses including at Point Hicks and Wilsons Promontory
- $6.5 million for a new emergency department mental health and alcohol hub at Latrobe Regional Hospital
- $37.5 million to deliver additional breast cancer screening across new and existing services through BreastScreen Victoria
- Upgrades to Yinnar Primary School, Bass Coast Specialist School, East Gippsland Specialist School, South Gippsland Specialist School and Warragul & District Specialist School
The One Gippsland team will be working hard to ensure Gippsland is top of mind for the new Albanese government as they develop their first budget.
We continue to work closely with members of Parliament from both sides of the chamber and both levels of government, hosting productive meetings with Russell Broadbent MP the Federal Member for Monash, Tim Bull MP the State Member for Gippsland East, Darren Chester MP the Federal Member for Gippsland and Harriet Shing MP the State Member for Eastern Victoria.
We also hosted a highly successful round table event, with State Opposition Shadow Ministers and local members attending for a focused meeting on Gippsland's priorities across various portfolios.
Pictures from One Gippsland website.
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