Farm Guide VIC : 2014-15
62 Rural&RegionalDevelopment All are underpinned by comprehensive strategic planning and policy development in partnership with key stakeholders and local community organisations. This rigorous policy and planning work, and grassroots collaboration with local people is why RDV-supported projects and place-based initiatives have such a strong record of successful outcomes, wherever they are around the state. On the ground, that success translates into more competitive regional businesses and more liveable regional communities. It also means country areas are able to provide more jobs and better career opportunities across a broad range of industries and professions, including in the primary production and agribusiness sectors. Delivering $1 Billion in support for country Victorians The Victorian Government’s flagship program for regional and rural Victoria is the $ 1 billion Regional Growth Fund. This progam supports major strategic infrastructure projects and community-led local initiatives through a range of programs designed to suit diverse, region-specific requirements. The overall aim of the fund is to support projects that strengthen the economic base of communities, provide better infrastructure, facilities and services, and create jobs and improved career options for regional Victorians. To reinforce the Government’s grass roots approach to identifying priority community projects, the fund provides flexible funding through the five Regional Development Australia Committees. This method helps ensure communities are able to properly fix gaps in services and infrastructure, and effectively contributes to creating new job opportunities. Through the Regional Growth Fund, the Government has so far approved almost 1,500 grants at a value of over $400 million for projects worth over $1.6 billion. More than 15,000 regional jobs expected through infrastructure investment The major infrastructure investment plank of the fund, the Economic Infrastructure Program is designed to deliver strategic infrastructure and strengthen regional industries. Since it was established, the Economic Infrastructure Program has supported over 90 major projects with a total project value of more than $1 billion. This investment is expected to create over 5,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, help retain more than 8,100 jobs and support a further 3,700-plus jobs during construction. The Economic Infrastructure Program is versatile. It supports projects across a wide range of regional industry sectors, including dairy, livestock, horticulture and agri-food. For example, this year, the Government announced $1.95 million to support the $ 5 million Landsborough Valley Water Supply Pipeline to boost the operation of six vineyards in the region. The project involves constructing over 25km of pipeline and associated pumping infrastructure to provide the properties with a more reliable raw water supply. The project will give the associated vineyards more opportunity to grow and diversify, help create 12 new and 25 seasonal jobs, and 14 jobs during construction. The Government also provided $1.5 million towards Burra Foods’ $22 million Infant Formula Water Initiatives project in Korumburra. This project will secure 101 jobs at the Korumburra plant and create an estimated 26 new jobs, plus new jobs on farms and in associated supply chain businesses. The project will expand Burra Foods’ Milk Powder Division by constructing a wet blending plant, upgrading the existing Milk Powder Dryer and undertaking of a series of water and wastewater initiatives.