| April 02, 2019

Lowan losing population under Labor

Daniel Andrews’ Melbourne-centric agenda is strangling growth in country communities, The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has said.

The latest Regional Population Growth report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show declining populations in the Glenelg, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack Local Government Areas.

Ms Kealy said this was a stark contrast to Melbourne, which was growing by 327 people every day.

“Labor has a blinkered view that Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong represent regional Victoria,” Ms Kealy said.

“The real story is that regional Victoria continues to suffer as a direct result of Labors city-centric policies and lack of funding.

“Melbourne is quite literally bursting at the seams while the population of our regional communities continues to fall.”

Melbourne grew more than any other capital city in Australia in the past 12 months with 119,400 new residents, compared to 93,400 in Sydney.

Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said a population plan was desperately needed to better manage all of Victoria’s growth.

“Without a population plan, country Victoria is missing opportunities for new jobs and investment that comes with population growth,” Mr Walsh said.

“A plan for better public transport, hospitals, schools and services right across our state – beyond the regional cities of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong – would encourage more people to live and work in our country communities.

“It would also help strengthen community groups, sporting clubs and volunteer organisations in regional Victoria that are struggling to attract new members.

“But nothing will change while Daniel Andrews continues to blindly push a Melbourne-centric agenda and ignores country communities.”

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