Saturday, April 13, 2024
10.2 C
Kilmore
- Advertisement -

Call for regional funding amid population boom

Popular Stories

By Colin MacGillivray

Federal Member for Nicholls Sam Birrell has called on the government to increase regional infrastructure spending after the Regional Australia Institute, RAI, revealed an additional 11 million people would live in Australia’s regions by 2032.

The RAI last week launched a plan titled Regionalisation Ambition 2032 – a Framework to Rebalance the Nation, which would see 11 million more people living outside Australia’s capital cities in the next decade.

- Advertisement -

The figure was 500,000 more than a previously estimated regional population growth of 10.5 million.

Mr Birrell said he was concerned the Federal Government would disproportionately reduce regional infrastructure spending.

“I want to continue to develop our region and regional Australia more broadly. I don’t want an Australia that’s dominated by a few ever-expanding megacities,” he said.

“For Nicholls and other regional electorates to cope with the influx of new residents during the pandemic and the forecasts for further population growth there needs to be a steady and reliable pipeline of investment.

“Labor already has a raft of programs and funding committed by the former [Liberal-Nationals] Coalition government under review and has indicated it will scrap billions of dollars in regional investment planned for the next decade.”

Mr Birrell called on the government to commit funding to several key infrastructure projects in his electorate.

“Having met with Mitchell Shire Council, Seymour Health and the wider community on a number of occasions, I know how important the establishment of the Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub is,” he said.

“This centre is a worthy project that will change lives directly, turning around years of intergenerational disadvantage with improved access to health and mental health support alongside other community services.

“[The Coalition] promised $10 million dollars for this facility during my campaign and while that is now unable to be delivered, I will be continuing to advocate to the Albanese government for funding to get this critical project off the ground.”

Mr Birrell said he was working to secure funding for Seymour RSL to improve its facilities, as well as other projects such as high-speed electrified rail throughout Victoria.

RAI chief executive Liz Ritchie described the Regionalisation Ambition 2032 as a national first, identifying 20 targets in areas such as housing, education, health, jobs and skills, digital inclusion, transport, childcare, community participation, migration, climate, innovation and the resilience of regional communities to close a divide between city and country life.

“Regionalisation is about delivering on the potential of regional Australia and rebalancing our nation,” she said.

“We’ve seen more than a 100 percent jump in job vacancies in the last 2.5 years. More than 3.7 million regional Australians live in a childcare desert.

“Regional home building approvals have declined in five out of the last 10 years. Remote students do half as well as their metropolitan counterparts in NAPLAN.

“These issues are all interlinked, complex and equally as important, so the development of a holistic and integrated framework is a momentous step forward to achieving better outcomes for all.”

People can view the full Regionalisation Ambition 2032 report at rebalancethenation.com/common/Uploaded%20files/Rebalance-the-Nation/Rebalance-the-Nation-Report-2022.pdf.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles