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:
- Placemaking: civic and cultural infrastructure to secure the liveability of PUGRC communities;
- Job Creating Tourism Assets: development of tourism assets for a stronger COVID recovery;
- Digital Connectivity: to support the work from home movement; and
- 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.