Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden. Could the minister outline to the house the details of the newly announced Coastal Settlements of the Future initiative?
Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I welcome Ms Tierney’s interest in these matters. Her extensive region has certainly got quite a number of coastal frontages that are obviously of interest to many people in her community. I know that she has been a very strong advocate for the work and the commitment of this government in coming to deal with the many coastal impact issues we will have to contend with in future years.
We know that rural and regional Victoria is growing substantially.
Victoria is a prosperous state, and people are either coming here or staying here in large numbers rather than moving interstate. They are taking up opportunities here. There is no better indication of that than the growth in rural Victoria. It is projected that rural Victoria may grow by an additional 550 000 people by the middle of this century. The trends suggest that a large proportion of that growth is likely to occur in coastal Victoria. We have designated growth nodes in coastal Victoria, and there has been a lot of work in those areas around accommodating growth in the relevant locations. We are conscious that the potential effects of climate change and sea-level rise could have quite a profound impact on many of these communities. We need to bear in mind each of these communities and plan to deal with these matters.
We have previously committed $11 million through the Future Coasts program, and part of our Ready for Tomorrow announcement — a $631 million commitment to provincial Victoria by this