VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews says Bendigo can expect fresh builds should his government win re-election in 2022.
As the state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Andrews expects the economy to be strong enough to allow additional infrastructure spends.
"It is in the recovery phase but I had a meeting with the head of treasury today (Wednesday) and that bounce back is very strong," Mr Andrews said.
"Obviously there's a lot of damage there, and we don't for a moment diminish what many businesses and families still face ... (but) the regional unemployment numbers are at 3.3 per cent."
The comments came during the Bendigo Advertiser's one-on-one interview with the premier, nearly 12 months out from the upcoming state election.
Mr Andrews reflected on the role of his government in 2022, the election and what direction he would go in if he was given four more years as premier.
In Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been arguing that it is time for governments to step back and let Australians take control of their lives again.
Mr Andrews agreed the need for unprecedented government intervention had passed.
"The good news is that all those rules are off, they're gone, apart from masks in a few settings," he said.
The premier still saw a role for governments to reform, and to use building projects to underpin confidence in the economy.
"You can't be complacent, you must keep investing, you must keep building," he said.
Mr Andrews defined the question for voters at the 2022 election as one of unfinished business, both for him and the wider agenda his government had committed to since it first took office.
That included a commitment to three-year-old kindergarten for all children, mental health reforms and a host of other sweeping changes.
"We can't stop that work. We can't pause on the next set of projects, the next set of reforms. We were elected to get things done," he said.
Liberal leader Matthew Guy has used an opinion piece in today's (Saturday's) Advertiser to cast the question as a referendum on "the consequences of Labor's world-record setting 263-day lockdown".
Waiting lists for elective surgeries have blown out, people's mental health has plummeted and many family businesses have closed for good, according to Mr Guy.
"Confidence is fractured. Residents are fatigued," he argued.
His opinion piece did not touch on any projects being considered for Bendigo, and Mr Andrews did not announce any new infrastructure promises during his interview with the Advertiser.
There are plenty of big projects around town that they could commit to in 2022.
That includes a host of projects that the City of Greater Bendigo will spend the year pressing state leaders to support.
The projects start out at $150,000 to help refine a business plan to do up the Central Deborah Gold Mine.
They top out at $38 million to help develop desperately needed industrial land for businesses.
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