Benalla Rural City Councillor Barbara Alexander has made a representation on behalf of the Community Plan Implementation Committee at the Federal Inquiry into Regional Development and Decentralisation.
Cr Alexander made several recommendations which included:
●Improved access to reliable telecommunication and public transport, including a reliable rail-link with Melbourne.
●Encouraging the Federal Government to implement a population dispersal strategy, including relevant support services which facilitates sustainable growth.
●Acknowledging the work, knowledge and skills that already exist in Benalla; as well as identifying opportunities to further invest and develop key capabilities for future economies to prosper and grow.
●Fostering ongoing partnerships with tertiary education providers, such as GOTAFE and Charles Sturt University, to upskill the local workforce.
●A whole of community approach working in partnership with local, state and federal government, community groups, businesses and sporting clubs to help drive economic development.
The regional development and decentralisation inquiry was put into place on the recommendation of Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
Decentralisation as a tool for regional development has the potential to deliver growth and prosperity and is an opportunity to develop a plan which works towards a more cohesive, vibrant, inclusive region.
The inquiry is an opportunity to embed the needs of regional Australia into policy making as well as recognising the regions’ individual strengths and circumstances.
One fifth of submissions came from the Indi electorate, more than any other.
The recommendations put forward by Cr Alexander were identified as part of the Benalla Rural City Council Community Plan.
It was overseen by a community-based steering committee with 11 independent community representatives from across Benalla.
The Plan, which was developed and launched in 2016, outlines broad objectives and strategic directions for strengthening liveability, sustainability, inclusiveness and resilience.