The Federal Government has responded to calls from Committee for Gippsland for investment into small and medium business, infrastructure and technology in this year’s Federal Budget announced overnight.
Committee for Gippsland CEO, Jane Oakley said that funding announced into roads, infrastructure and telecommunications programs was welcomed investment that will benefit not only local industry and community but also visitors to the region.
“$10 million towards the Mallacoota-Genoa Road improvements, $380 million Pakenham roads upgrades, and $51 million towards Princes Highway East, between Rosedale and the New South Wales border, will have significant benefits to the region in terms of road safety and freight efficiencies.
“Importantly, these priorities align with those identified by the Gippsland Regional Plan Leadership Group to the Federal Government as part of our recent submission, advocating for a more connected region by targeted investment.
“Committee for Gippsland has undertaken extensive engagement and preliminary work over the past 12 months and is pleased that these announcements will deliver economic recovery and growth along with social outcomes aimed at improving the standard of living for Gippsland residents.
“Budget measures that have delivered reduced taxes to employees will hopefully flow through our community with local spending or on the visitor economy, while tax offsets provided to small business will enable local tradies and business owners to upgrade their tools or purchase a new vehicle.
“Further funding allocated to programs such as Building Better Region Fund will make a significant contribution to delivering enabling infrastructure across our region, while the investment into connectivity will be a boost for local businesses, families and visitors to Gippsland.
“Gippsland has a long and proud timber industry and we are particularly pleased to see investment into forestry that helps secure long-term sustainable forest and timber products, with the Committee for Gippsland now advocating on the core challenge being reduced timber supply and fast-tracking future investment into plantation growth.
‘There are key opportunities for Gippsland in this year’s Budget, with investment across areas such as health, tourism, agriculture, workforce skills and training, aged care, while also improving access to markets for our food, fibre and advanced manufacturing sectors.
“Importantly, Gippsland’s clean energy sector will also benefit with access to the $1.6 billion allocated Federally to fund priority technologies, including clean hydrogen and energy storage,” Ms Oakley said.
The Committee for Gippsland is advocating for future funding into the Traralgon Bypass.