Gippsland South The Nationals

Richer city, poorer country is not good for our state

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said a new report released today highlights the need for a strong population and decentralisation policy in Victoria.

Mr O’Brien said latest figures released by SGS Economics and Planning which calculate capital city and rest-of-state GDP figures highlight that Melbourne continues to grow while country Victoria is now going backwards.

“This is a very concerning set of statistics. It highlights that the gap between the rich city and poorer country areas has widened over the last nine years and indeed growth in rural and regional Victoria is going backwards.

“While these figures have been driven by structural changes in the economy including the closure of some major manufacturing industries, this is not something that we can sit back and ignore.

“As a member of The Nationals, regional economic development is at the core of everything I stand for and we must do better to support our rural and regional areas.

“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition has established a population taskforce to come up with policies to get people and jobs into country parts of the state and relieve the burden on an already overcrowded Melbourne.

“We can’t let business as usual continue and we must provide jobs and economic stimulus in country areas including in Gippsland.

 “The Melbourne Labor Government hasn’t helped by axing programs to build country infrastructure such as the Country Roads and Bridges Program.  It took The Nationals in Parliament to force Labor into giving a share of the $9.7 billion from the lease of the Port of Melbourne back to the country.”

Mr O’Brien said the population taskforce would be undertaking regional forums over the coming year and he looked forward to it visiting Gippsland South.

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The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, at State Parliament, says the State urgently needs a population and decentralisation policy.

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