RCV response to 2024-25 Federal Budget

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Regional Cities Victoria (RCV) Chair Cr Shane Sali, Mayor of Shepparton said the 2024-25 Federal Budget delivered an important victory for RCV, with funding to help ease the housing shortage in regional Victoria.

“RCV welcomes the Federal Government’s $1 billion investment in a program that can help unlock more housing in regional Victoria,” Cr Sali said.

The Government is making available an extra $1 billion to states and territories to deliver new housing – including for connecting essential services such as water, power, sewerage and roads. This investment expands on the $500 million already committed through the Housing Support Program to support enabling infrastructure to unlock more homes.

“In the lead up to both the State and Federal Budgets, RCV advocated for greater investment in enabling infrastructure to unlock new housing stock in regional cities. The expanded Housing Support Program will help local government make it quicker, easier and more affordable for people to build new homes in Victoria’s regions.”

“RCV is committed to strengthening our regional economies, encouraging sustainable growth, and maximising regional liveability. We want to help build a prosperous regional Victoria through investment in infrastructure and services that help grow our cities’ economies and communities,” Cr Sali said.

“To do that we need considered investment that underpins long-term economic prosperity, keeps the cost of living down, and improves liveability in the regions.

“Challenges such as a lack of housing supply and workforce shortages need to be addressed in the short term to unlock regional Victoria’s growth potential.”

RCV acknowledged the Albanese Government’s continued support of regional Australia through ongoing investment made in programs including Growing Regions, Roads to Recovery, Housing Support and Regional Precincts and Partnerships.

However, Cr Sali said RCV remained concerned about the lack of investment in community infrastructure needed to meet the growing number of people who want to live and work in regional Victoria.

“It’s been two years since the Albanese Government was elected. We’ve had reviews and we’ve lost some big projects. These announcements of buckets of money were welcome, but it’s time to tip that money into regional Victoria,” Cr Sali said.

“Local infrastructure projects are a vital part of any regional community. They not only improve the liveability of regional cities and towns but also contribute to the local economy and create local jobs.

“RCV will continue to work with and advocate to the Federal Government to ensure regional Victorians are not left behind – this is specifically important given the pace of growth across regional Victoria.”

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, and contribute to approximately 10 per cent of Victoria’s economy.

Media contact: Emily Broadbent – 0413 133 627