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Chamber of Commerce and Industry launches election wishlist

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The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, VCCI, last week released its 2022 state election regional platform, Growing Regional Victoria.

Growing Regional Victoria incorporates consultation with businesses across the state, including roundtable meetings, focus groups and member surveys ahead of the November 26 election.

The VCCI is Victoria’s peak business body, representing 50,000 members and clients.

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It made 17 recommendations to help grow regional Victoria, including: creating a housing development scheme to expand housing supply and planning; funding an industry-led initiative to encourage new and young regional Victorians to work in industries with labour shortages; creating an agriculture passport to allow seasonal employees to work across growers and farms; increasing the payroll tax threshold from $700,000 to $1.2 million and decreasing the rate from 1.21 per cent to zero in regional Victoria; developing a 10-year experience economy strategy focused on tourism and events ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games; creating a manufacturing strategy and fund; and commissioning a state-wide review of local content procurement processes in collaboration with the State Government and at least six regional councils.

VCCI chief executive Paul Guerra said regional Victoria was ‘the lifeblood of Victoria’s economy’ and that its would play a role in powering Victoria’s future.

“Our regions are home to one in four Victorians and account for 700,000 jobs and almost 40 per cent of the state’s small businesses,” he said.

“Victoria is also Australia’s biggest food producer and in 2026 will host the first truly regional Commonwealth Games.

“Generating $72 billion annually and contributing nearly 20 per cent to Victoria’s economy, regional Victoria also provides a third of the state’s total exports, and it’s crucial that we empower our regions to continue to grow and innovate.

“For Victoria’s regions to prosper we need to invest in infrastructure, transport and housing and ensure we are developing a skilled workforce for the future.”

Growing Regional Victoria is one of the four pillars of the VCCI’s state election platform. Other pillars are strengthening Victoria’s jobs and skills, building Victoria as the best state to operate a business and driving Victoria’s economy.

To view Growing Regional Victoria, people can email media@victorianchamber.com.au.

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