Baw Baw Shire Council welcomed a visit from Victorian Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane at the West Gippsland Arts Centre on Wednesday.
The purpose of the visit was to explore ways for the State Government and Council to work together through programs like the Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF) to create local jobs and support those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
The Minister met with Mayor Cr Danny Goss and CEO Mark Dupe to discuss the current challenges and upcoming opportunities for the Shire.
The Mayor provided an update on growth statistics for the Shire, with the population projected to increase to 110,000 by 2035.
Council anticipates a further 20,000 new homes will be constructed in the next 10 to 15 years, as identified in the Warragul and Drouin Precinct Structure Plans.
The positive outcomes of Council projects recently funded by the State Government was also a focus of the conversation, including the Trafalgar Multi-use Pavilion, the Drouin Civic Park Upgrade and the Longwarry Early Learning Centre.
Council thanked the Minister inclusion in the Growing Suburbs Fund. In June 2019, Baw Baw Shire gained access to the GSF – a major fund that supports new and improved community facilities across Victoria’s growing suburbs.
The GSF is a $250 million investment over five years in critical local infrastructure for communities in Melbourne’s diverse and fast-growing outer suburbs. It is positioned to quickly respond to the pressures being experienced by interface communities by bringing forward local infrastructure projects that will make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of outer suburban families.
Minister Leane has undertaken to return in the future for a closer look at how growth is affecting Baw Baw Shire.
Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss
“This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to introduce the Minister for Local Government to Baw Baw Shire and explain the current situation as the Shire grows at an unprecedented rate. The Minister was very interested in our problems and wants to be kept up to date with progress. The Minister was particularly interested in the way Council encourages Budget submissions and how that benefits the entire community.
“It’s evident that Council’s inclusion in the Growing Suburbs Fund has provided immediate benefits to our community, allowing us to fast track the delivery of the Longwarry Early Learning Centre. We’re currently working to identify other suitable projects for the fund that will meet the needs of our diverse community”
“Council will also continue to strongly advocate for additional funding to deal with traffic congestion in Warragul and Drouin and improve our sporting facilities and community spaces. We look forward to continuing to work with all levels of Government to solve these issues and get growth right in Baw Baw.”