Posted on 15. Jun, 2010 in Victoria

A new $631 million blueprint unveiled by the Victorian Government today will drive economic growth in regional and rural Victoria by attracting jobs and population growth, major new investment and more opportunities for young people to keep them living and working locally.

Premier John Brumby and Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan unveiled Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria which delivers a new vision, backed by record funding, to secure the future prosperity of regional and rural Victoria.

Mr Brumby said that under Ready for Tomorrow, the Victorian Government would deliver action and investment to create new opportunities and a prosperous future for families in Victoria’s regions.

“Our Government is determined to support families living and working in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Brumby said.

Ready for Tomorrow is a $631 million strategic investment by our Government to drive a new era of opportunity and prosperity in regional Victoria.”

Mr Brumby said Ready for Tomorrow built on the $11.7 billion injected by the Victorian Government over the past decade to transform regional Victoria into the best place to live, work, invest and raise a family.

“We spent our first 10 years in government working in partnership with communities to put the heart back into regional and rural Victoria and we want to work in partnership with rural and regional communities to build a prosperous future for families,” Mr Brumby said.

Ready for Tomorrow is about backing our regional communities to be leaders in new job creation, new industry development and new ideas.

“It’s about supporting first-class opportunities for our young people so they want to live and study in our regions. It’s about growing our regions through investments that create jobs in local communities and it’s about protecting the lifestyles that regional families have come to cherish. 

“That means building on our strengths in agriculture and food, manufacturing, services and information and communication technology.

“It means building up industries where we have a competitive advantage and it means building the right infrastructure for growth to lock-in a prosperous, sustainable and liveable future for our regional centres and small towns. 

“In the past decade, our partnership with regional and rural Victoria has produced remarkable results: more than 120,000 new jobs created, population growth to 1.45 million and our regions are contributing $62.6 billion towards the state’s economy, up a massive 30 per cent since 1999.

“This blueprint brings together the work of regional councils, business and community groups from across Victoria who worked in partnership with us to shape a vision for their futures.”

The centrepiece of Ready for Tomorrow is a Tertiary Education Opportunities package to make it more attractive for young people to study and return to work in the regions, with more university and TAFE courses, more accommodation, cadetships and new higher education targets. 

The blueprint delivers $260 million for the largest-ever expansion of the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to drive construction of world-class infrastructure in areas of tourism, industry development, innovative water and cleaner energy projects and transport improvements.

It also outlines a new strategy to support future population growth and planning that will guide sustainable economic and social growth in Victoria’s regions.

Ready for Tomorrow commits $631 million across five key strategies:

  • $110.1 million for Investing in Skills and Young People with a new tertiary education package to deliver more opportunities in tertiary education for young people and to make it more attractive for them to stay in or return to the regions. It includes new targets to increase enrolments and graduates, new infrastructure support to encourage investment in student accommodation and for TAFE and university facilities, leadership and cadetship programs, a new youth strategy and support to develop new regional leaders;
  • Backing Jobs and Industry with $99.4 million towards a new action plan to create thousands of new jobs, boost regional industries and help small business. It outlines a commitment to grow government jobs in the state’s regions, drive up skills, training and exports, support farmers, the food and beverage industry and tourism growth;
  • $203.9 million for Building Infrastructure, Connecting Communities to provide regional Victorians with world-class infrastructure in water, cleaner energy, transport and industry development, improvements to broadband services, local roads, timber roads, bridges, bus service expansion as well as more affordable housing;
  • $158.4 million for Supporting the Regional and Rural Way of Life with funding for sports clubs, cultural activities and community. It includes infrastructure and amenities support for the well-being of older people in small communities, promoting regional Victoria as a great place to live and work, a boost to programs to help landholders manage vegetation with funding available for building performing arts centres, galleries and other civic amenities; and
  • Planning Better Regions – A New Partnership backed by $58.9 million to establish a new approach to regional planning and development including significant funding to support the planning and design of regional cities and towns, support for the development of new growth areas in regional cities, support for future planning in coastal areas and local government. It also includes grants to local councils for future planning work and expertise within local councils, fast-tracking projects to help local communities adapt to climate change and support for smaller councils.


Ms Allan said Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria also signalled a new way forward in regional development policy with local communities, council and industry to get more opportunities for greater ownership over planning for the future in their own regions.

 “There is no doubt that regional and rural Victoria is thriving but we must work hard to maintain and build on its strengths to lock-in a bright, prosperous future,” Ms Allan said.  

“We want to protect the regional way of life while ensuring that the economic and social benefits of population growth flow to regions and towns.  Our plan is to create more jobs close to where regional Victorians live and we want regional Victoria to offer a range of opportunities for young people to build their skills and join the workforce.

“There are more jobs, more people, a significantly stronger economy and many more opportunities in regional Victoria than 10 years ago. This blueprint will build on that growth to drive our regions forward for generations to come.”

Listen to the Premier:!

For more information visit Regional Development Victoria –

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