Planning Minister Mathew Guy launched the Loddon Mallee North Regional Growth Plan, a long-term vision for managing growth and change and protecting liveability in the region.
The Loddon Mallee North Regional Growth Plan, which involves Buloke, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill councils, together with Plan Melbourne, the metropolitan planning strategy, provide a long-term vision for Victoria and bring together state and local government and regional communities.
“With modest population growth anticipated over coming years, a key focus of future planning is the continued growth of this region’s local economy and allowing regional centres to grow and thrive. I recently announced a commitment of $12.3 million in the 2014–15 State Budget to facilitate the implementation of regional growth plans and the role of the Rural Council Planning Flying Squad in assisting councils with major projects and developments, and immediate statutory planning support,” Mr Guy said.
“The Loddon Mallee North region’s economy is driven by its competitive advantage in agriculture and its strategic location on national transport routes, and it is important to maximise these for future job creation and industry attraction.”
According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, key features of the plan include:
- An anticipated population of 160,000 in the region by 2041;
- Growing and diversifying the region’s economy by taking advantage of value-adding opportunities and emerging industries, particulary in agriculture, mining, alternative energy and tourism sectors;
- Promoting Mildura as a regional city and supporting growth in and around regional centres such as Echuca and Swan Hill to ensure access to services and infrastructure;
- Creating affordable housing and job opportunities through a network of towns, including Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Kerang, Kyabram, Robinvale, Rochester, Sea Lake and Wycheproof;
- Protecting and improving the region’s environmental and cultural heritage assets to achieve the best outcome for the environment, economy and community; and
- Encouraging flexible and adaptable freight connectivity to the transport network.