Benalla Population Decentralisation

Labor’s population projects for Benalla off target

02 October 2019

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has queried the state’s official population projections which predict Rural City of Benalla will grow at a rate of just 0.2 per cent over the next 17 years.

The government’s official population figures, set out in Victoria in Future 2019, show the Andrews Government expects Benalla to add just 640 new residents to its population between now and 2036.

“I’m concerned that the Andrews Government is using these population projections when it is considering where it invests,” Ms Ryan said.

“The document states that these projections ‘are used by decision makers in government, business and the community’.

Ms Ryan said in contrast to the very low growth rate the Andrews Government was predicting for Benalla, Melbourne was expected to grow by more than two million over the same period.

“Clearly these figures don’t reflect the growth we know is happening in our region,” Ms Ryan said.

“Local real estate agents say the housing market is stretched as people move to the area to take up new jobs.

“The ability of our region to grow also hinges on the government’s willingness to invest here and to get serious about decentralisation.

“That’s the reason The Nationals committed to a $19 billion investment to create a network of high speed trains across Victoria at the last election.

“Improvements in our train service would help unlock the potential of our region by encouraging more people to move out of the city.

“If the Andrews Government believed in decentralisation, it would aim far higher for Benalla than a growth rate of just 0.2 per cent over the next two decades and it would invest in the basic infrastructure we need like new trains.

“Unfortunately these figures show yet again that people who live beyond the city’s limits aren’t a priority for this government.”

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