Monday, February 26, 2024

Regional cities united in call for fairer share of State funding

Mildura Rural City Council has joined Victoria’s 10 largest regional cities in calling for a fairer share of State Government funding at the launch of Regional Cities Victoria’s (RCV) State Election platform.

RCV comprises Mildura, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga, representing more than 800,000 Victorians.

Deputy Mayor, Jason Modica and Chief Executive Officer, Martin Hawson will represent Mildura at the state-wide launch at Parliament House.

Based on the theme The time is now – Embracing our regions, the RCV election platform outlines priorities including:

  • A $500 million investment to fund enabling infrastructure in regional cities to ensure key utilities and services are provided. This is aimed at accelerating developments and relieving critical land and housing shortages.
  • Establish a ‘regional spend guarantee’, ensuring at least 20% of public agency and government entity investments are regionally-based.
  • Establish a new Regional Living Fund to invest in civic, community, and cultural infrastructure and open spaces to enhance the liveability of regional cities and boost the visitor economy.

Cr Modica highlighted the importance of a strong, united voice to represent regional Victorians.

“With the State Election coming up, now is the perfect time for regional cities to stand up and let the various political parties know very clearly, and very loudly, that we need more State Government funding for the regions, and this is the perfect way to do this,” Cr Modica said.

Mildura Rural City Council Deputy Mayor, Jason Modica.

“For too long we’ve seen regional Victorian Councils needing to shoulder what I believe to be an unfair burden to fund the critical services and facilities our community needs and deserves.”

Mr Hawson said that while each of the 10 RCV Councils have their own unique challenges, the priorities outlined in the election platform will benefit each of the respective municipalities, including Mildura.

“We certainly have our own challenges in terms of the level of disadvantage in our community, the sheer size of our municipality and the need to provide services and infrastructure across such a large area with a relatively small rate base,” Mr Hawson said.

“Despite each of our unique challenges, the priorities outlined in the Regional Cities Victoria election platform promise to deliver benefits to all regional Victorian areas, including our own municipality.

“Regional Cities Victoria is the perfect vehicle for us to unite with our fellow regional Victorian counterparts to advocate for not just a larger share of State Government funding in the future, but a fairer share.”

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