Infrastructure barriers to Latrobe City investment and jobs

In support of the established Latrobe Valley’s Economic Growth Zone and the State Government’s efforts to transition the Latrobe Valley’s economy, targeted intervention is urgently required to deliver strategic investment in enabling utility services and infrastructure in the region.

This issue is evidenced by a number of residential growth and new industry investment opportunities that have either ‘stalled’ or simply ‘passed us by’ due to limited capacity or availability of necessary infrastructure. This issue remains a significant impediment to Latrobe City continuing to grow and diversify our economic base as one of Victoria’s four Major Regional Cities.

Recognising the critical nature of this issue, Latrobe City Council has for many years advocated for the establishment of alternative funding and regulatory arrangements to address these infrastructure barriers.

In response to Council’s and the community’s previous concerns, the Victorian Red Tape Commissioner completed an independent review in March 2017, followed by a report in late 2018 by LVA that further investigated this matter.

Council is concerned that these findings have not been released despite a number of approaches to the State Government. Council is therefore requesting that the reports are made public to assist with identifying options to resolve these infrastructure barriers.

The State Government policy indicates a need to distribute population to regional areas. For this to be achieved, corresponding investment in infrastructure and services must follow.

Mayor Cr Graeme Middlemiss states “Council wants to support the good work and significant public investment undertaken by the state and decided at the Council meeting held 3 June 2019 to write to relevant Ministers requesting the release of both the Red Tape Commissioners report, and the Latrobe Valley Authority report which explored the establishment of alternative funding mechanisms to resolving infrastructure barriers.”

“Council will continue to advocate for the establishment of what it is calling a ‘Regional Infrastructure Fund.’ Such a fund could be established with an allocation of coal resource royalties. This is not about giving handouts rather intervening in what we consider to be a regulatory and market failure and to support ongoing transition of the economy.”

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