Lobbying for the future of the Victorian Central Highlands

Article image - Lobbying for the future of the Victorian Central Highlands

Communications, transportation and employment are being thrown under the spotlight this week as a Central Highlands Councils (CHC) delegation heads to Canberra.

During the two-day visit to the capital, a copy of the CHC’s Regional Investment Plan is being presented to numerous government and opposition members and their advisers.

The Plan details projects designed to improve the economic and social outlook of the Victorian Central Highlands, which include the Parwan Employment Zone at Bacchus March, a quality water supply for Moonambel to enable further growth and development of the town, telecommunication black spots, regional rail connections, Western Highway upgrades and attracting government services to regional Victoria.

The 12-person delegation, which includes mayors and chief executive officers is currently meeting with members of the government and opposition to discuss the projects in-depth and explain their importance to the region.

CHC chair and Ararat Rural City Mayor Paul Hooper said the alliance of eight central Victorian councils and the Central Highlands Regional Planning Committee had developed a clear plan for the region and was working to see it come to fruition.

“We spend a considerable amount of time developing our regional investment plan – a plan on which we can build a strong economic and social future for the region.”

Previous CHC lobbying has helped secure government funding for the Stawell Underground Particles Laboratory, Grampians Peak Trail, redevelopment of the Ballarat Railway precinct, upgrades to the Western Highway and improvements to mobile and broadband internet coverage.

The delegation to Canberra includes representatives from Ararat Rural City, City of Ballarat, and Northern Grampians, Moorabool, Hepburn and Pyrenees shires, all of whom will lobby strenuously for both transformational and regional projects which have been developed under the premise of managing population growth sustainably, building a resilient economy and respecting the outstanding built and natural environment of the Central Highlands.

“All our projects have been identified by CHC as important to the future growth and stability of our region,” Mayor Hooper said.

“They will generate much needed economic stimulation through job creation, improved access and better communication.

“By working together, identifying and pursuing projects of mutual importance, we endeavour to ensure vital services are provided and maintained across all municipalities, creating a bright and sustainable future for our combined communities.”