Taskforce to help spread population
THE Victorian Opposition has launched a new taskforce aimed at spreading the state’s population boom to the regions.
The Victorian Population Policy Taskforce features a panel of eight independent specialists, ranging from academics and public policy experts to rural bankers and economic theorists.
The panel will now begin the process of engaging and consulting with the Victorian community and various stakeholders as well as tapping into their own experiences to produce a comprehensive set of recommendations to make Victoria a state of cities.
‘‘The taskforce will look at how we grow all of Victoria,’’ Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said.
‘‘At the moment, something like 90 per cent of Victoria’s population growth is going into Melbourne.
‘‘Victoria is growing by 100,000 a year, which is effectively adding another Ballarat or Bendigo to the population every year. We want to see more of that population growth out in regional Victoria.’’
A series of suburban and regional forums, as well as road shows, will be held to hear feedback from the Victorian community on managing the population growth.
But the taskforce has attracted criticism from the Victorian Government, with Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford claiming the Liberals had no plans for extra infrastructure to meet the population demand.
‘‘The Liberals should stop thinking about Melbourne’s inner east and start thinking about Victoria’s regional towns and Melbourne’s outer suburbs,’’ she said.
‘‘People don’t move to regional towns and cities because of a population policy. They do it because of jobs, high quality schools and hospitals, decent transport links and better family and lifestyle opportunities.
‘‘This is a policy thought up in Kew, written for Kew and only delivering for Kew.’’
The discussion paper for the taskforce can be viewed at vicpopulation.com.au/documents