Deputy Speaker, it is my belief that the key- to rural and regional Australia- having a long term sustainable and happy future, lies in a coordinated approach to regional development. We need a clear vision for our future and we need mechanisms for coordination, planning and advocacy.
On Friday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Hume Regional Development Australia committee (Hume RDA) and learning of the excellent work they are undertaking to bring such a future to the people of Indi.
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an initiative of the Commonwealth Government. It brings together all levels of government to support the development of regional Australia. It is based on a national network of 55 RDA committees made up of local leaders who work in a voluntary capacity with all levels of government, business and community groups.
In Victoria RDAs are a joint initiative of the Australian Government and The Victorian Government department of Regional Development.
Deputy Speaker, I am proud to say to this House that the Hume RDA has a strong history of success in:
- Advocating for our region’s interest
- Encouraging greater connection between all levels of government, community, business and industry
- Supporting implementation of the regional priorities
- Facilitating advancement of growth and development opportunities.
In practical way it is undertaking work in the following areas
- Helping the community adapt to a future with less water,
- Planning for a low carbon energy future,
- Revitalisation our regional cities, centres, towns and villages
- Developing our tourism facilities ,
- Building strong manufacturing and agricultural sectors supported by capable workforce,
- Positioning the Hume region in the global food economy,
- Linking communities through building transport capacity and capability,
- Taking collective action and developing strategies for our digital future and building digital readiness across the region.
I would like to draw to the attention of this Chamber, 5 important reports that have been authorised by Hume RDA:
- Freight directions in the Hume region
- A digital Strategy for a smart region
- Hume Region significant tracks and trails strategy
- Food opportunities in northern Victoria
- And importantly
- Aspirations and destinations of young people – a study of young people in 4 small towns and their communities and schools
Deputy Speaker, RDAs do important work. They have proven to be the pivotal point in regional planning and development. In Indi and the Hume Region they are playing a vital role in coordinating regional planning. They need our continuing support and resources!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the staff and members of the HUME RDA for their outstanding work
Mark Byatt – Chair, Rowena Allen, Janelle Boynton, Steve Crawcour,
Colin Elliott, Ben Hardman, Elizabeth Mellor, Jim O’Connor, Doug Sharp, Tony Thompson