The Nationals Gippsland South Regional Development

Fund created local jobs and investment

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has praised the work of the previous Government’s Regional Growth Fund in delivering jobs and investment to the electorate of Gippsland South.

Mr O’Brien was responding to Labor statements about the Regional Growth Fund today which highlight that Labor just doesn’t get country Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund delivered great projects for all of country Victoria, and under my predecessor Peter Ryan the electorate of Gippsland South was absolutely no different,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There were numerous excellent projects in all of our communities that were funded that supported community infrastructure, jobs and investment to make our part of the state a better place to live.

“We’re not surprised to hear Melbourne Labor attacking this fund given they have put up a sham replacement and thinks that regional Victoria is Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.”

Mr O’Brien said some of the more than 35 funded projects in Gippsland South included $1.5 million for site and energy upgrades at Murray Goulburn Leongatha which secured local jobs, $500,000 to rebuild Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club, $500,000 to build the Yarram Hub and $2 million for the Foster to Welshpool Great Southern Rail Trail extension.

Mr O’Brien noted an Auditor General’s report tabled today on the Regional Growth Fund made recommendations on how the department could better manage regional programs but said the principle was not in dispute.

“We in The Nationals don’t apologise for a second for making sure that country Victoria gets its fair share,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Regional Growth Fund delivered by The Nationals in Government was a billion dollars over eight years, a fact which we were always very clear about. It was $500 million over the forward estimates period that the budget is always framed around and it delivered great things   for rural and regional Victoria.

“I’m proud to be part of a party that delivered such great support to so many projects around the state and delivered jobs and important community infrastructure in Gippsland South.”

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