An Andrews Labor Government will get regional Victoria back on track with a $500 million plan to support major projects, create the jobs of the future and build stronger regional communities.

Under Denis Napthine, regional Victoria has been abandoned. Companies are closing their doors, young people can’t get a job, TAFE campuses have closed, roads are crumbling and the health system is in crisis.

Labor will establish a $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, to get regional Victoria back on track. The fund will be divided into three parts, focusing on major projects, employment and communities.

  • A $250 million Regional Infrastructure Development Fund will invest in projects that create jobs, support population growth, change our economy, and meet the needs of our cities. There will be dedicated funds for the 10 regional city councils and the 38 rural councils. Projects already announced include $19 million to help complete the Grampians Peak Trail, a major tourist drawcard.
  • A $200 million Regional Jobs Fund will help companies grow their workforce, expand their markets and create the jobs of the future. Labor will also establish eight business centres in regional Victoria to provide expert advice and assistance to companies looking to expand or relocate. Projects already announced include a $3 million manufacturing hub in Geelong and a $1 million plan to support research in horticulture.

A $50 million Stronger Regional Communities plan will help our regional towns attract families and young people to live and work. As part of the plan, $25 million will be allocated to A New Future in Regional Victoria fund, focused on creating more training opportunities closer to home. Projects already announced include $600,000 to sponsor the Stawell Gift and secure its future.

Under the Coalition, the unemployment rate in regional Victoria has grown from 5.3 per cent to 6.8 per cent. Regional Victoria is home to 25 per cent of the population but only gets 4 per cent of funds for major projects.

Download: Labor’s Plan for Regional Victoria