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Budget boost for fast growing fringe

Peri Urban Councils Victoria (PUCV) has today welcomed the release of the 2022-23 Victorian State Budget, and the important funding allocated to fast-growing peri urban regions.Bass C Inverloch Farmers Market -0570 (3)

“This budget will go some way to supporting growing fringe regions around Melbourne and Geelong to manage growth and offer a better balanced lifestyle” PUCV Chair and Councillor of Bass Coast Council Cr Brett Tessari said.

“The peri urban regions are experiencing some of the highest growth rates in the country so it’s great to see this budget once again back the Growing Suburbs Fund and other grant programs to support growing regional towns” Cr Tessari said.

Important investments announced as part of the budget include:

  • Extending the $50 million Growing Suburbs Fund;
  • $5 million for grants to support growing regional towns;
  • $101 million for state regional road upgrades;
  • An additional $30 million for the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund; and
  • $300 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund for vital regional health projects; and
  • $17 million to protect and preserve our coastal environment from erosion and flood risks, $10 million for investment in Great Ocean Road erosion management and funding to upgrade jetties and national parks.

“As we head into a state election later in the year, we will be looking for investments that support the future of the fast growing fringe regions and the growing population who choose to live there” Cr Tessari concluded.

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Peri Urban welcomes federal budget

Peri Urban Councils Victoria (PUCV) has today welcomed the release of the 2022-23 Federal Budget, and the important funding allocated to fast-growing peri urban regions.

“This budget will assist the peri urban region to manage growth in a sustainable way” PUCV Chair and Councillor of Bass Coast Council, Cr Brett Tessari said.

“PUCV have been making a pitch for more infrastructure and services to support a better balanced lifestyle in our fast-growing peri urban regions” Cr Tessari explained.

“It’s good to see this budget acknowledge the regional migration trend, and back that up with funding for digital connectivity, transport and job creation” Cr Tessari said

New figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the population of peri urban and regional Australia grew by 70,900 people during 202/21,the first time in 40 years that Australia’s regional population grew more than the capital cities.

Relevant investments announced as part of the budget that will benefit the peri urban region include:

  • A new $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program for local priorities in infrastructure, manufacturing and industry development, skills and training, research and development and education;
  • A new $1.3 billion telecommunications package to connect regions through better telecommunications and support regional growth;
  • $500 million (until 2024) added to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program: an extension of the program (total investment in the program is $3 billion);
  • $40 million (over 4 years) for the Bridges Renewal Program: an increase of $10 million per year;
  • Regional Home Guarantee – providing up to 10,000 places each year for next 3 years to support first homebuyers to in regional areas; and
  • $150.3 million to support medical training in rural and regional Australia.

“PUCV is calling on both sides of parliament to continue to invest in important civic and cultural infrastructure to support the COVID-led exodus from our cities” Cr Tessari said.

We will be working with the Government and Opposition in the lead up to the Federal Election to ensure the peri urban region receives a fair slice of the pie,” Cr Tessari concluded.

Peri Urban area investment supports a better balance

The Peri Urban Group of Rural Councils are ready to partner with the State and Federal Governments to ensure they are growth-ready ahead of the expected influx of domestic and international migration in 2022.

With a federal and state election looming the PUGRC are making a pitch for infrastructure and services to support more Victorians to secure a better-balanced lifestyle.

Cr Brett Tessari, PUGRC Chair and Bass Coast Councillor said the COVID-led exodus from major capitals had been well documented, particularly as the work-from-anywhere phenomenon has become the new norm.

“What has been less understood is that the Peri Urban areas in a commutable distance from these capitals have borne the brunt of this growth, and we know this trend will continue as migration picks up due to the borders opening” Cr Tessari said.

The PUGRC member regions were expected to grow by almost 50% or more than 100,000 by 2036, however, with the COVID induced regional shift it is possible that this figure will be reached much sooner.  This is supported by statistics from the Centre for Population’s Regional Internal Migration Estimates, which highlighted that in the 12 months to March 2021, 43 per cent of those leaving Melbourne settled in regional Victoria.

The PUGRC are calling for:

  1. Placemaking: civic and cultural infrastructure to secure the liveability of PUGRC communities;
  2. Job Creating Tourism Assets: development of tourism assets for a stronger COVID recovery;
  3. Digital Connectivity: to support the work from home movement; and
  4. Transport Connectivity: to increase the connections between our communities, regional cities and Melbourne.

“With the borders fully opening and migration expected to reach pre-pandemic highs, we urgently need the State and Federal governments to act fast and invest in our member areas accordingly,” Cr Tessari said.

“We are ready to grow and support people looking for a better balance and really that is a win-win for everyone,” he concluded.


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