Re­gional voices heard at assem­bly

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - By SI­MONE KERWIN

AT­TEN­DANCE of more than 200 peo­ple at Wed­nes­day night’s Ovens Murray Re­gional Assem­bly in Wan­garatta was testament to the suc­cess of the part­ner­ships pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Vic­to­rian Min­is­ter for Re­gional Devel­op­ment Jaala Pul­ford.

The assem­bly in­vited res­i­dents from through­out the North East to take part in round table dis­cus­sions on top­ics like sus­tain­able farm­ing, over­com­ing the dig­i­tal gap, en­trepreneur­ship, re­new­able en­ergy, and sup­port­ing chil­dren and young peo­ple.

“There were lots of peo­ple at­tend- ing from Wan­garatta, but also from right across the re­gion,” Ms Pul­ford said.

“There was a great en­ergy in the room, and some fan­tas­tic ideas.

“I sat on ta­bles dis­cussing dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity and en­trepreneur­ship, and there were some won­der­ful ideas.

“This is the third year we have had the re­gional assem­bly, and ev­ery time we get deeper and more so­phis­ti­cated dis­cus­sions, with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent ar­eas at­tend­ing.”

In re­sponse to crit­i­cism in metropoli­tan me­dia ear­lier this week that the part­ner­ships con­cept amounted to a ‘talk-fest’, Ms Pul­ford said May’s State Gov­ern­ment bud­get in­cluded fund­ing for $760 mil­lion for projects that had emerged from re­gional part­ner­ship dis­cus­sions.

“This is the ex­act op­po­site of a talk-fest,” she said.

“But we have tried to not rate the suc­cess of the pro­gram only in dol­lars; some­times it is more about how the gov­ern­ment de­liv­ers things like health ser­vices.”

Ms Pul­ford said while the re­gion’s rail ser­vice re­mained the num­ber one pri­or­ity among those dis­cussed at the assem­bly, ideas around en­trepreneur­ship were also high on the agenda.

PHOTO: Kylie Wil­son

LIS­TEN­ING TO LO­CAL NEEDS: Jaala Pul­ford (Min­is­ter for Re­gional Devel­op­ment), Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria), Danielle Green (MLA, Yan Yean), Martin Fo­ley (Min­is­ter for Men­tal Health and Ben Car­roll (Min­is­ter for In­dus­try and Em­ploy­ment) at­tended Wed­nes­day’s Ovens Murray Re­gional Assem­bly at the Wan­garatta Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.