Planning Minister Matthew Guy last week announced the regional growth plans for the Great South Coast, Wimmera Southern Mallee and Loddon Malle North regions.
A commitment of $12.3 million in the 2014-15 State Budget
has been made 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.
The plans for Great South Coast, Wimmera Southern Mallee and Loddon Malle North regions outline a long-term vision for managing growth and change and protecting liveability in the regions.
They are three of eight regional growth plans that are being prepared across Victoria.
The Great South Coast Region
The Great South Coast plan anticipates a population of 102,000 to 132,000 by 2041 and involves Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool councils.
The key features of the plan include:
- Warrnambool remaining the key population and employment centre for the region, while Portland and Hamilton continue to be important regional centres.
- Expanding the region's nationally significant role in food, fibre and energy production as well as further development and diversification and support of emerging industries.
- Building a network of district towns that share services and connections, including Allansford, Camperdown, Casterton, Cobden, Coleraine, Dunkeld, Heywood, Koroit, Mortlake, Port Campbell, Port Fairy, Terang and Timboon, will support local communities, industries and services.
The Wimmera Southern Malle Region
The Wimmera Southern Mallee plan anticipants population growth from 50,700 to 51,300 by 2041 and includes the Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack councils. The plan identifies Horsham as a central point for development.
Key features of the plan include:
- Encouraging building on the grain production
- Diversifying and value-adding by leveraging new opportunities from industry and infrastructure such as the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal and the Wimmera-Mallee pipeline.
- Developing wine-related tourism at Great Western and nature-based tourism around key attractions including Halls Gap and the Grampians National Park, Little Desert National Park and major lakes and cultural heritage sites.
The Loddon Malle North Region
The Loddon Malle North regional plan anticipates a population growth from 134,000 to 160,ooo by 2014 and the plan involves Buloke, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill councils.
Key features of the plan include:
- Growing and diversifying the region’s economy by taking advantage of value-adding opportunities and emerging industries, particularly 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
- Encouraging flexible and adaptable freight connectivity to the transport network.