Boost for East Gippsland jobs

The Federal Government will provide $7 million supporting five East Gippsland community-based projects to boost the regional economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester have announced the first projects under the ‘Regional Recovery Partnership’ (RRP).

“We recognise that East Gippsland has been one of the regions hardest hit by the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and the coronavirus and this program is designed to respond to local economic priorities,” Mr McCormack said.

“The RRP program reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to working in partnership with other levels of government to deliver targeted initiatives supporting jobs, economic recovery and economic diversification.

“The successful projects all have funding commitments from the state or local government and have the capacity to be delivered over the next 12 months.”

Successful projects in the electorate of Gippsland are:

Krautungalung walk, Lakes Entrance, $2.2 million.

East Gippsland Rail Trail, $2 million.

Forest Park, Orbost, $1.3 million.

Slip Rd, Paynesville, $1 million.

Koala Discovery and Rehabilitation, Paynesville and Raymond Island, $500,000.

Mr Chester said the projects were part of an ‘active Gippsland’ initiative that he was promoting to improve the liveability of local towns and grow the visitor economy.

“All of these projects are investments in the future of our region to drive jobs growth during construction but also deliver long term, sustainable opportunities in tourism and retaining skilled workers,” Mr Chester said.

“We need to keep improving community infrastructure to attract and retain workers in health and education and at the same time, promote the visitor economy on a year-round basis.

“Projects like streetscape improvements, the rail trail, Krautungalung walk and the koala discovery centre are all about improving our regional attractions and transforming the local economy.

“I’m looking forward to delivering these projects as soon as possible, in partnership with East Gippsland Shire and local community groups.”

East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor Mendy Urie said the Federal Government funding would accelerate development on projects the Council had already identified as high priorities.

“We welcome the funding announcement because it allows Council to bring forward projects we had already part-funded by us or secured grants from other sources,” Cr Urie said.

“These initiatives, across multiple towns, will support the social, economic and cultural life of East Gippsland and enhance our region as a place to live, invest in, and visit year-round.”