| June 21, 2017

Nationals and Liberals launch Population Policy Taskforce interim report

The Liberal and Nationals have taken the next important step in developing a policy to manage Victoria’s exploding population with the launch of the Population Policy Taskforce’s interim report.

The Taskforce has been consulting with local communities and stakeholders over the past six months. The interim report is an overview of the key issues raised so far.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP said if Victoria’s growth was not addressed by 2051 there would be an additional 3.8 million people in Melbourne, but only 690,000 people would settle in the rest of Victoria.

“Our country communities have identified shrinking populations, an unreliable public transport system and the rising cost of energy as some of the key issues they are facing,” Ms Kealy said.

“Regional Victoria’s proportion of our states population has been decreasing every year for the past decade. We desperately need government action to halt this trend.

“The release of the Population Policy Taskforce interim report is another step forward in our plan to develop a whole of government approach to managing our population growth.

The Taskforce, led by chair and Member for Kew Tim Smith and deputy chair and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien, travelled across the state holding community forums in Mildura, the Latrobe Valley and Shepparton. From these forums regional taskforces have been established in Shepparton, Ballarat and Geelong.

Localised forums are planned for Horsham and Hamilton in the coming months to receive feedback on the interim report.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said Daniel Andrews had no plan and no vision to decentralise Victoria’s exploding population growth.

“Of the people who move to our state each year, 90 per cent will move to Melbourne, but the Andrews Labor Government is doing nothing to make sure our country communities share in this growth,” Mr Walsh said.

“There's more to regional and rural Victoria than just Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong. The Liberal Nationals Population Policy Taskforce has been listening to our country communities as we develop a whole of government approach to managing population growth in our state,” he said.

Ms Kealy is encouraging everyone in the Lowan electorate to visit vicpopulation.com.au to read the interim report.

“Submissions on this important topic will continue to be received until the end of September and can be made online or mailed to the Victorian Population Policy Taskforce, 1/400 High Street, Kew Vic 3101,” she said.

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