Federal Election a chance to address funding imbalance for regional Victoria

Regional Victorian communities are calling for commitments to major infrastructure, roads and digital connectivity in the lead up to the Federal Election.

Regional Cities Victoria Chair Cr Kim O’Keeffe called on every political party and candidate to recognise the role of the regions in driving the national economy, and to commit to strategic regional investment.

“The message from regional Victoria is loud and clear. Any plan to recover and rebuild after the pandemic must include strategic investment in our regions,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

“We are seeing unprecedented population shifts into regional Victoria, and we need Commonwealth policy and funding that supports sustainable growth and ensures our regions are great places to work, live, and visit.”

Regional Cities Victoria comprises the 10 largest regional cities in Victoria – Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, and Wodonga. Collectively, these cities are home to more than 800,000 Victorians.

“In many areas, our communities and businesses are still waiting for the basics; safe roads and reliable internet connections. That’s why we need to see major investment into the Building Better Regions Fund and the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, as well as increased investment in digital connectivity,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

“The lack of targeted investment in regional Victoria in the 2022/23 Federal Budget was highly disappointing. Regional Cities Victoria looks forward to seeing new commitments in the coming weeks that will ensure we get a fair share of funding.

“It’s critical governments invest in growing the regions – all regions – to ensure we all thrive.” 

The full Regional Cities Victoria Advocacy Strategy 2022-2025 is available here.

Download the media release here.