small business | November 16, 2016
Population growth opportunity for regional areas
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says the Liberal Nationals new Victorian Population Policy Taskforce will look at the best way to balance population growth across Victoria, and give locals a say in how.
The taskforce has released a discussion paper ‘Looking Forward – Managing Population Growth for all Victorians’ which looks at tackling Melbourne’s population growth crisis by creating opportunities for rural and regional growth. Ms Kealy is Vice-Chair of the Taskforce.
“Victoria’s population is growing by 1 person every 5 minutes or one hundred thousand people, the size of a packed MCG, every year. Of these, approximately 92% are headed towards Melbourne, putting extra strain and congestion on the cities infrastructure every day”, Ms Kealy said.
“At the same time many of our rural communities are experiencing population decline. This situation provides a real opportunity to reverse this declining trend and boost our local economies in a sustainable way.
“There are many success stories of positive population growth and development in regional Victoria, but we need strong leadership and a plan so that our wonderful rural communities not only survive, but thrive into the future.
“The challenge for Victoria is not just about the number of people, but where these people are choosing to live and how state government can regionalize this growth for the benefit of our whole state, not just focusing on Melbourne alone.
“The current city-centric Andrews Government has no policy to manage and grow the population of regional Victoria.
“The discussion paper provides the opportunity for all Victorians to have input into this important policy issue and I encourage regional Victorians to have their say at www.vicpopulation.com.au.
“The Liberal Nationals are committed to balance population growth across the entire state, unlike the current Labor Government which is totally focused on Melbourne while country Victoria gets left behind”, she said.