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Helping attract and retain workers in regional Victoria

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Regional Victorian workers will benefit from a huge boost to affordable housing and accommodation, part of the State Government’s investment in supporting local businesses to retain and attract workers.

Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Regional Development Gayle Tierney were at Ararat on Friday to announce the opening of the $150 million Regional Worker Accommodation Fund for workers in key industries where staff are in demand like agriculture, hospitality and teaching.

Building and construction companies are amongst the wide range of eligible groups that can now apply for grants between $150,000 and $5 million to develop projects that support local businesses to retain and attract workers by delivering affordable housing and accommodation.

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The government is also delivering $1 billion through the Regional Housing Fund – building more than 1300 new homes with a mix of social and affordable housing, on top of the Big Housing Build, which includes $1.25 billion to build new homes in communities across rural and regional Victoria.

The $25 million Regional Council Support Package is also now open, supporting local projects that will bring long-lasting benefits to rural and regional communities – empowering local volunteers, strengthening businesses and communities and promoting traditional owner culture, participation and leadership.

Premier Jacinta Allan said the announcement followed extensive consultation with councils, industry bodies, traditional owner groups and communities about what they needed most to ensure they thrived into the future.

“Regional Victorians have told us that more places to live, work and stay across the state is what really matters to them – and that’s exactly what we will deliver,” she said.

“The investment will mean Victorians can live close to where they work, towns and communities can build the local projects that matter to them, and that our fantastic regional towns are attracting the visitors they need to keep their local economies booming.”

Minister for Regional Development Gayle Tierney said an expression of interest process for the Regional Worker Accommodation Fund will run until February 25.

“We know one of the biggest barriers for regional businesses and employers to find the workers they need is affordable housing and accommodation that is close by – so we are creating solutions to boost that supply,” she said.

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