The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, is encouraging regional Victorians to have their say on Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure strategy.
Infrastructure Victoria is an independent body which advises the state government how and where infrastructure is needed to support fair access for all.
Ms Cleeland said Infrastructure Victoria has opened public consultation to help identify infrastructure needs across the state from 2025 -2055.
“Given the city centric nature of the Andrews Government, it’s vitally important for regional Victorians to be aware of this consultation process and provide input,” said Ms Cleeland.
“Under the Andrews Government, the infrastructure needs of regional Victoria has been relegated to the back of the queue – our roads, hospitals, public transport, housing and community facilities have failed to keep pace with demand resulting in social inequity in our country areas.
“In the last state budget, regional Victoria only received 13 per cent of infrastructure funding despite representing 25 per cent of the population – the city bias must be addressed in future budgets.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the need for improved infrastructure in regional Victoria after many people made the decision to move from Melbourne into the regions.
“The ongoing economic uncertainly and rising cost of living in Victoria, combined with benefits of space, lower house prices and a higher quality of life has all placed pressure on regional infrastructure.”
Ms Cleeland said given Infrastructure Victoria’s consultation is looking at the needs of the state up until 2055, it was vital for young people to have their say and not just those living in Melbourne.
“Ultimately any infrastructure decisions made for the coming 30 years in regional Victoria is going to impact the lives and livelihoods of young people and their future families.
“While infrastructure Victoria is holding a youth forum, it’s metropolitan based – youth forums should also be held in all regional centres to provide balance.
“The future needs of all Victorians must be the focus of state government decision making, and regional Victoria deserves its fair share of infrastructure spending to address inequalities.
“Our local communities want tangible action delivered in a timely manner – not a headline when it comes to important regional infrastructure projects.
“I’m encouraging locals to have their say so the needs of regional Victorians are firmly put on the state government’s agenda.”
Infrastructure Victoria’s consultation process remains open until 28th May. Feedback can be completed online at https://engage.vic.gov.au/victorias30yearinfrastructurestrategy