Investment in housing, growing and upskilling the health workforce, ensuring access to quality learning at every stage of life and improving transport and digital connectivity will be key focuses of the NSW Government’s new vision for the regions.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole today unveiled Our Vision for Regional Communities – a new strategy to ensure regional NSW remains the best place to live, work, play and raise a family.
“This is a vision for the regional NSW we are building with our local communities, backed by real actions we know will make a real difference to people’s everyday lives,” Mr Toole said.
“Over the past decade, we’ve invested billions in the infrastructure our regions need and in growing regional economies.
“This vision shows how we’ll build on that foundation and ensure regional communities have access to the education and health services they deserve and attract the workforce we need to deliver those services.
“It will ensure families can find a home by tackling housing pressures and deliver the infrastructure and services they need in their local community.”
Mr Toole used the strategy’s launch to announce:
- A new welcome experience to be piloted across eight regional locations to support key workers to relocate to the regions and put down roots
- A $5 million investment in scholarships to upskill existing health workers and attract new staff to regional communities
- A trial of contactless payments on regional bus services in Dubbo and Bathurst to make services easier to use
Our Vision for Regional Communities is backed by a detailed three-year action plan that outlines key initiatives that will bring the vision to life.
Initiatives already underway under the plan include:
- A $2.4 billion investment in strengthening the regional health workforce including new approaches to training and incentives
- A $174 million investment in key worker housing that will deliver hundreds of new homes for teachers, police and health workers over the next four years
- A $98 million investment in a new $250 travel card for regional apprentices and university students to ease the cost of travel for training and classes
- A $160 million investment in social and sporting infrastructure, and community programs like bike paths, playgrounds and community centres through the Stronger Country Communities Fund
- A $59 million investment in the next generation including $40 million for local initiatives shaped by youth for youth
“We are not just investing for now, we’re investing for the future,” Mr Toole said.
“Our vision recognises that regional communities are diverse and need local solutions that work for them – and that’s what we’ll deliver.”
Our Vision for Regional Communities and Action Plan 2023-2025 is a future-focused strategy with key priorities across healthcare, education, communities and places and regional homes.