Draft Rural Drainage Strategy Consultation

The Victorian Government has released the Draft Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy(draft Strategy) for an eight-week consultation period from 25 October 2017 through to 20 December 2017.

In October 2016, the Victorian Government released its strategic plan for water management in Victoria – Water for Victoria. The plan commits to developing a Victorian rural drainage strategy through an open and consultative process.

Regional forums and workshops will be held in November to provide an opportunity for the community and stakeholders to contribute to the development of a final Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy.

For more information, to download a copy of the draft Strategy, and find to how to have your say, please visit www.engage.vic.gov.au/ruraldrainage, or contact the project team directly via email at enquiry.VRDS@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Early Christmas for Carroll – new Victorian Cabinet

The Victorian Government has added a new portfolio and Minister with their reshuffle.

Ben Carroll has entered Cabinet and will take on the portfolios of Industry and Employment.

Treasurer Tim Pallas will take on the Resources portfolio.

Philip Dalidakis will become the new Minister for Trade and Investment and the new portfolio of Innovation and the Digital Economy.

Jenny Mikakos will add a new portfolio of Early Childhood Education to her existing portfolios of Families and Children, and Youth Affairs.

Ministerial Portfolios

  1. Daniel Andrews,  Premier
  2. Jacinta Allan,  Minister for Public Transport, Minister for Major Projects, Leader of the House (Legislative Assembly)
  3. Ben Carroll Minister for Industry and Employment
  4. Philip Dalidakis Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business
  5. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Suburban Development
  6. Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Roads Safety, Minister for Ports
  7. John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport, Minister for Veterans
  8. Martin Foley, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Equality, Minister for Creative Industries
  9. Jill Hennessy,  Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services
  10. Natalie Hutchins,  Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Women, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
  11. Gavin Jennings,  Special Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
  12. Marlene Kairouz, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Local Government
  13. James Merlino,  Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Emergency Services
  14. Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Families and Children, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Youth Affairs
  15. Lisa Neville,  Minister for Police, Minister for Water
  16. Martin Pakula, Attorney-General, Minister for Racing
  17. Tim Pallas, Treasurer, Minister for Resources
  18. Jaala Pulford, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional Development, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
  19. Robin Scott, Minister for Finance, Minister for Multicultural Affairs
  20. Gayle Tierney, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Training and Skills
  21. Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

Release of the 5 Year Victorian Infrastructure Plan

The Victorian Government has released the first five-year Victorian Infrastructure Plan, laying out the government’s infrastructure priorities over the coming years.

The Government has also responded to each of Infrastructure Victoria’s 137 recommendations. The Government has accepted the majority of its recommendations with 134 of them either supported in full or, in-principle, or partly supported.

Read the strategy – https://www.vic.gov.au/system/user_files/Documents/vip/Victorian%20Infrastructure%20Plan.pdf

Relevant inclusions for the Peri Urban region include:

  • $530.6 million to maintain and upgrade roads and bridges and undertake planning work towards future road improvements to cater for regional growth, as well as improving travel times and safety on
    Victoria’s roads.
  • $110 million to fund the first stage of a new Surf Coast Rail project to prepare the corridor for duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds and reserve land for a future line to Torquay
  • $518 million to upgrade the Ballarat line to Melton, to increase the reliability of services for the Ballarat region and Melbourne’s outer west.
  • $22.4 million for the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program to support local councils across the state to build new libraries and upgrade facilities to meet growing demand.
  • $22 million for Better Indoor Sports Stadiums to develop multi-use indoor stadiums across the state.
  • $120 million for the Community Sport Infrastructure Fund to support planning and improvement works for community sport and recreation facilities.
  • $50 million through the Shared Facilities Fund to create smart, multipurpose ‘hubs’ at major schools across the state that will be accessible to all members of the community
  • $44 million to address mobile blackspots by building and upgrading mobile base stations across Victoria. This project is in partnership with the Commonwealth Government and mobile carriers.
  • $25 million to encourage the development of innovative broadband market solutions in regional Victoria. This project will support enhanced broadband demonstration projects and the roll-out of public Wi-Fi.
  • $68 million to provide reliable access to digital services in the classroom that are essential to teaching and learning and an additional $16.4 million to improve bandwidth and digital connectivity for students
    in rural and regional Victoria.
  • $18 million to fund improvements to mobile connectivity for commuters along the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon and Seymour rail lines. This is being delivered through an innovative partnership with mobile carriers and leveraging state infrastructure.
  • $25.5 million for Smart Planning, which is reforming the planning system by simplifying rules and policies, and developing modern digital tools that will make the system more efficient, effective, accessible and transparent.
  • Complete a school investment pipeline on government’s five-year investment program in new and upgraded facilities to allow for planning certainty.
  • $10 million to plan and build Early Childhood Development facilities colocated at new primary schools.
  • $2.4 million towards the Protection of Victoria’s Iconic Beaches and Coastline program for coastal management, monitoring of hazards and upgrading critical coastline infrastructure.
  • Establish and maintain buffers that separate waste management facilities from other uses, and apply best practice standards to help protect communities.
  • $16 million to modernise Werribee and Bacchus Marsh irrigation districts, primarily through replacing existing open channels with pipeline.
  • Progressing $8.2 million of feasibility investigations into other grid extensions and upgrades across Victoria. This includes $1.1 million from the Victorian Government, $5.5 million from the Commonwealth
    Government and $1.6 million from project proponents.

Smart Planning Discussion Paper

Smart Planning has released a discussion paper canvassing substantial reforms to Victoria’s planning system through proposed changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP).

The Discussion Paper
The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on the discussion paper’s proposed reforms, which aim to simplify and improve the operation of the VPP, and lay foundations for further future transformative initiatives. The reforms are grouped into five themes:
· A simpler VPP structure with VicSmart assessment built in
· An integrated planning policy framework
· Assessment pathways for simple proposals
· Smarter planning scheme drafting
· Improve specific provisions.

Have your say
Feedback on the discussion paper closes at 5 pm on Friday 24 November. You can find out more, download the discussion paper and provide feedback by visiting Engage Victoria -https://engage.vic.gov.au/reform-victoria-planning-provisions

The feedback received will inform the scope of a reform package that is expected to be delivered in mid-2018.

For further info email smart.planning@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Shadow Cabinet Reshuffle

The Victorian Opposition has reshuffled its front bench, adding some new faces to the Shadow Cabinet Line-up.

The team have added new responsibilities including Autism, Small and Medium enterprises, Melbourne’s West and Geelong. The line-up appears to be lacking a Shadow Minister for Regional Development.

Matthew Guy MP Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Liberal Party
Shadow Minister for Population
Peter Walsh MP Leader of the Nationals
Deputy Leader of the Coalition
Shadow Minister for Agriculture
Shadow Minister for Decentralisation
David Hodgett MP Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight
Steph Ryan MP Deputy Leader of the Nationals
Shadow Minister for Water
Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships
Shadow Minister for Young Victorians
Mary Wooldridge MP Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council
Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council
Shadow Minister for Health
Gordon Rich-Phillips MP Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council
Shadow Assistant Treasurer
Shadow Minister for Government Administration
Shadow Minister for Aviation
Michael O’Brien MP Shadow Treasurer
Brad Battin MP Shadow Minister for Emergency Services
Shadow Minister for the Building Industry
Tim Bull MP Shadow Minister for Disability
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Shadow Minister for Racing
Neale Burgess MP Shadow Minister for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
Robert Clark MP Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations
Shadow Minister for Counter Terrorism
Manager of Opposition Business
Georgie Crozier MP Shadow Minister for Housing
Shadow Minister for Families and Children
Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
David Davis MP Shadow Minister for Public Transport
Shadow Minister for Planning
Shadow Minister for Equality
Emma Kealy MP Shadow Minister for Country Health
Shadow Minister for Mental Health
Shadow Minister for Senior Victorians
Shadow Minister for Women
Tim McCurdy MP Shadow Minister for Sport
Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation
Shadow Minister for Veterans
David Morris MP Shadow Minister for Finance
Shadow Minister for Local Government
Shadow Cabinet Secretary
Edward O’Donohue MP Shadow Minister for Police
Shadow Minister for Community Safety
Shadow Minister for Corrections
Craig Ondarchie MP           Shadow Minister for Investment and Jobs
Shadow Minister for Trade
John Pesutto MP Shadow Attorney-General
Inga Peulich MP Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Ryan Smith MP Shadow Special Minister of State
Shadow Minister for Industry
Shadow Minister for Cost of Living
Tim Smith MP Shadow Minister for Education
Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government
David Southwick MP Shadow Minister for Innovation
Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources
Shadow Minister for Renewables
Heidi Victoria MP Shadow Minister for Arts and Culture
Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs
Nick Wakeling MP Shadow Minister for Environment


Neil Angus MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury
Melina Bath MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Education
Bernie Finn MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Shadow Assistant Minister for Electoral Integrity
Shadow Assistant Minister for Melbourne’s West
Margaret Fitzherbert MP Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader
Shadow Assistant Minister for Health
Michael Gidley MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Small Business, Investment, Jobs and Trade
Andrew Katos MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Geelong
Cindy McLeish MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Environment, Communities and Volunteers
Simon Ramsay MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Agriculture
Dee Ryall MP Shadow Assistant Minister for Economic Development

New Shadow Cabinet for VIC


New Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria

The Victorian Government has released new Urban Design Guidelines.

The guidelines provide advice on:
• the design of public spaces
• building design in relation to a building’s interface with public spaces, and
• the layout of cities, towns and neighbourhoods.

The Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria are a reference document in all planning schemes through the State Planning Policy Framework.

They support state agencies, local councils, and the development sector to deliver liveable, safe places.


Metropolitan partnerships

Six Metropolitan Partnerships across Melbourne have been created to inform the Government’s priorities in the upcoming budget.

Working closely with their communities, the Partnerships will identify opportunities for social, economic and environmental outcomes and advise the government on actions for the liveability and prosperity of their metropolitan region.

The membership of each Partnership includes eight community and business representatives with varied backgrounds, experiences and networks, the CEO of each of local government in that region, a Deputy Secretary from the Victorian State Government, and a representative from the Commonwealth Government.

For opportunities to participate in partnership forums sign up at Engage VIC


Victorian Rural Women’s Network

The Victorian Government has re-established the Victorian Rural Women’s Network. For more information.

100 farmers in 100 days

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is supporting a call for 100 retiring farmers to sign up to a succession planning solution that brings the best aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns.

For most people, the dream of being a farmer is out of reach because of the excessive capital requirements to buy a farm. For older farmers with no family successor, who want to step back but see their farm and community continue, the options are also limited.

Cultivate Farms from Albury NSW, provides the perfect answer to these problems and is leading the call for 100 farmers to put their hands up to get involved in supporting the next generation.

As the national winner of the RAI’s Lightbulb Moments competition, which helps regional people turn their bright ideas into reality, Cultivate Farms matches aspiring farmers, farmers stepping back and investors – to own and operate a farm together.

‘We’re thrilled to be recognised, and as passionate advocates for regional Australia we believe we can bring hundreds of young people back onto farms, into communities and back on the netball and football field’ said Sam Marwood, Co-founder of Cultivate Farms.

Selected by a judging panel of five, including Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Cultivate Farms received project development and mentoring support from the RAI and Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

‘Keeping Australian agriculture strong, profitable and sustainable means we need a new generation of farmers. Access to capital to buy farms has been a long standing issue for the next generation starting out, but Cultivate Farms tackles this challenge head on with its novel and innovative skills development and farm-matchmaking approach’ Minister Nash said today.

RAI CEO Jack Archer, highlights Cultivate Farms is ready for growth having proved its model by successfully connecting young farmers with opportunities to own and manage their own farms

‘The Cultivate Farms team, including Sam Marwood and Tim and Tegan Hicks, are now looking to partner with more farmers wanting to take a step back, creating a consistent flow of opportunities for the best aspiring farmers to step into’ he said. ‘It’s a great way for farmers to pass on their legacy, stay involved in the farm and have a positive impact on the future of their community by attracting new farming families to town’ he continued.

Cultivate Farms now aims to scale up, actively seeking expressions of interest from farmers.

‘We want to connect with 100 retiring farmers in the next 100 days, so we can bring more young, aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns; So if that’s you, or someone you know, we want to hear about it’ said Sam Marwood.

Read more or apply

Regional Living Websites go live

The long awaited Regional Living websites have gone live. Promoting the best of regional living, the websites replace the Regional Living Expo.  Take a look and share these with your communities:

  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/barwon/surf-coast
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/central-highlands/golden-plains
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/central-highlands/moorabool
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/loddon-campaspe/macedon-ranges
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/goulburn/murrindindi
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/gippsland/baw-baw
  • http://regionalliving.vic.gov.au/explore-regional-victoria/gippsland/bass-coast