Coali­tion com­mit­ment

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

AN ELECTED Lib­eral Na­tion­als govern­ment will re­store the plan­ning fly­ing squads to sup­port de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment growth in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

The Coun­cil Plan­ning Fly­ing Squad pro­gram will re­lieve Vic­to­ria’s ru­ral and re­gional coun­cils which are un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure from rates cap­ping, rising costs and skills short­ages.

An­nounc­ing the pol­icy in Lakes En­trance, Shadow Min­is­ter for Re­gional Vic­to­ria and De­cen­tral­i­sa­tion Peter Walsh said the fly­ing squads would sup­port the Lib­eral Na­tion­als’ de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion plan to en­cour­age busi­ness to ex­pand, re­lo­cate and in­vest in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

“These fly­ing squads will take the pres­sure off coun­cils by giv­ing them ex­pert re­sources, when they need it, to make the most of de­vel­op­ment and new in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in coun­try Vic­to­ria,” Mr Walsh said.

“Daniel An­drews axed the plan­ning fly­ing squad in 2015 and con­tin­ues to re­in­force he’s the Premier for Mel­bourne by fail­ing to de­velop a plan to grow all of Vic­to­ria, not just Mel­bourne.

“The Lib­eral Na­tion­als have a de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion vi­sion to turn Vic­to­ria into a state of cities, not just a city state, and that is un­der­pinned by bet­ter plan­ning.”

The fly­ing squads had proved to be a suc­cess be­fore they were axed in 2015.

An in­de­pen­dent re­view found the fly­ing squads had a cost-ben­e­fit ra­tio of $1:3, with the pro­gram cited as lead­ing prac­tice by the Aus­tralian Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion.

Shadow Min­is­ter for Plan­ning David Davis said the State Govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to axe the pro­gram was short-sighted.

“Daniel An­drews can’t see past Mel­bourne’s tram tracks, but the Lib­eral Na­tion­als will grow the whole state — not just Mel­bourne,” Mr Davis said.

“If we can help re­gional and ru­ral coun­cils cre­ate busi­ness and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, then we are also mak­ing re­gional Vic­to­ria a more at­trac­tive place to live and work.”

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