I rise to make a statement on the Regional Development Victoria (RDV) annual
There are positive statistics in this reporting period. Some
2395 new jobs were created in provincial Victoria, facilitating $1.52 billion
worth of new investment and $273.7 million in new exports.
The commencement of all these initiatives and programs was
announced under the government’s $502 million action plan for growth in
provincial Victoria, which is titled Moving Forward — Making Provincial
Victoria the Best Place to Live, Work and Invest. During that period a number of
Victorian businesses displayed their confidence and strength in provincial
We saw a number of significant investments, including the
investment by Unilever Australasia, which invested $58 million in the expansion
of its manufacturing plant. We also saw GlaxoSmithKline’s $20 million expansion
of its local alkaloids manufacturing facility in Port Fairy and KR Castlemaine’s
$15 million upgrade of its Victorian plant.
We also saw significant investments, although smaller than
those I have mentioned, in smaller communities. In the report Mr Dan O’Brien,
who was then the chief executive of RDV, stated:
- Provincial Victoria is growing with record numbers of jobs, investments and
people flowing into the regions.
We have seen that continue since this reporting period.
The raw statistics support this statement of strong regional
growth, and this has occurred since 1999, during the period of the Bracks and
Brumby Labor governments. We have seen an additional 92 000 people call regional
Victoria home; an additional 134 000 jobs have been created; building approvals
have doubled to $4.47 billion; and a number of infrastructure projects have been
supported by the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund.
As well as all parts of provincial Victoria, western Victoria
has been flourishing and has been very much part of these fantastic statistics.
Recently this house became aware of Satyam Computer Services investing $75
million in a project at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, creating 2000 jobs in
the region. We have also seen Mortlake Employment Services investing $2 million
in an export-accredited meat-boning plant, which is creating 100 jobs in that
The report goes into great detail about a plethora of programs
under RDV supporting anything from infrastructure to bushfire recovery to the
Small Towns Development Fund and support for the wine industry. But I would like
to focus on some of the projects initiated and in some cases completed during
the reporting period, with particular emphasis on western Victoria.
When reading the report the great diversity of RDV’s role in
continuing to build rural and regional Victoria is evident. Some of the projects
from the reporting period include a $25 000 grant to CRF (Colac Otway) Pty Ltd’s
Colac meat processing facility, which created 20 new jobs following its $3
million expansion under RDV’s community regional industry skills program. There
was also a $50 000 grant through the regional innovations clusters program to
assist the establishment of new businesses in the Wimmera region’s grain sector.
There is a whole range of areas, but I take this opportunity to
sincerely thank the staff of RDV for their professionalism, wealth of knowledge,
experience, eagerness to assist and serious commitment to regional and rural Victoria. I have really appreciated
their assistance right throughout western Victoria during my term in office, and
I congratulate RDV on being of enormous benefit to rural and regional Victoria
and on a very successful reporting period. I commend this report to the house.