The Nationals call for feedback on population policy

21 June 2017

Wednesday 21 June 2017

The Nationals call for feedback on population policy

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan is urging locals to give input into a new plan to manage Victoria’s exploding population.

The call comes following the release of an interim report this week by the population policy taskforce established by The Nationals and the Liberals to develop a policy to rebalance the state’s population growth.

Ms Ryan has invited Danny O’Brien and Tim Smith who are leading the taskforce to hold roundtables in Seymour and Benalla in August to provide further feedback on the plan.

“Victoria is the fastest growing state in Australia, with more than 100,000 people moving here every year, but less than 10 per cent of the people coming to the state are settling in rural or regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.

“If we don’t address current settlement patterns, by 2051 there will be an extra 3.8 million people in Melbourne but only an extra 690,000 people in regional Victoria.

“It is crazy that we have great schools like Thoona and Tatong closing because they can’t get enough students while in Melbourne’s outer suburbs schools are bursting at the seams.”

Ms Ryan said the taskforce had consulted with communities around Victoria including Mildura, the Latrobe Valley and Shepparton over the past six months and the interim report presented an overview of the key issues raised so far.

“Country communities raised concerns about a shrinking population and expressed frustration about unreliable public transport and the rising cost of energy,” Ms Ryan said.

Taskforce vice chair Danny O’Brien said the policy was a “no-brainer” when regional communities were crying out for jobs, investment and population.

“We’ve had some great ideas at the forums so far and I look forward to hearing the perspective of residents across the Euroa electorate,” Mr O’Brien said.

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

“Of the people who move to our state each year, 90 per cent will move to Melbourne, but still 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 and the Liberals and 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.”

To read the report, visit click here. 

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