Brumby outlines sustainable population boom

Updated November 6 2012 - 11:59am, first published February 1 2009 - 11:32pm

THE State Government has announced a plan for a new era of growth in regional Victoria.The Blueprint for Regional Growth has been named as one of the Government’s top priorities for 2009.Premier John Brumby said the blueprint would position Victoria’s regions to be productive, sustainable and liveable, preparing regional areas for a projected 477,000 new residents by 2036.“Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley are expected to accommodate more than 40 per cent of regional Victoria’s population growth between 2006 and 2036.“And with lifestyle locations such as coastal areas, alpine Victoria and along the Murray River also set to grow, now is the time to develop a blueprint that will position regional and rural Victoria for future growth and the challenges ahead.” Development of the Blueprint for Regional Growth is a key part of the statement of government intentions for 2009, unveiled by the Premier at the first sitting of Parliament today. Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Jacinta Allan said the blueprint was being developed through the Ministerial Taskforce on Regional Planning. The taskforce has held community consultations in Bendigo, Ballarat, Churchill, Geelong, Horsham, Nagambie and Warrnambool, and will hold its next consultation in Swan Hill.“Economic growth in many regional and rural centres has been remarkable,” Ms Allan said.“This blueprint will outline measures to boost towns and cities even further - jobs and new investment.“Each town and each region is unique, and so, too, are their challenges. “That’s why we have been working closely with local communities across Victoria to plan the future development of towns, jobs and investment, and the services needed to keep our young people in the country.”Meanwhile, the Opposition has criticised the Government for failing to deliver on many promises in the 2008 statement of government intentions.Releasing Not Delivering for Victoria, an analysis of the laws introduced by Labor since John Brumby promised many new bills in Parliament last February, Leader of the Liberal-National coalition Ted Baillieu said Labor’s laziness meant that many of those bills had not appeared.He said key areas where Labor failed to deliver for country Victorians included agriculture, water, transport, health and drugs, and the environment.“John Brumby claimed last February that in 2008 the Government would be focused on delivering its commitments and tackling the major challenges facing Victoria.“But with water shortages, slow or cancelled regional train services and not enough police on the streets, many Victorians will be asking just what John Brumby did in 2008.“Country Victorians expect their Government to deliver on its promises, but John Brumby and his Government have failed them once again.”