SOUTH-WEST rural councils will be among those meeting in Melbourne this month to discuss ways of attracting more people to live and work in their municipalities.
Economic development staff will attend the Rural Councils of Victoria’s (RCV) population attraction and retention workshop on October 26 to discuss trends in population growth in rural Victoria.
RCV chairman Ken Gale said population growth was vital for regional areas.
Cr Gale, a member of Moyne Shire Council, said the workshop would discuss the strategies that councils were presently undertaking to attract people, the barriers they faced and the opportunities they had identified.
He said a Regional Victoria Living Expo in Melbourne earlier this year had attracted thousands of people interested in moving to country Victoria.
“They wanted to know about employment and housing and they wanted to move within five years,” Cr Gale said.
Employment opportunities were essential to attracting more young people and councils had to support their businesses to grow and provide those employment opportunities, Cr Gale said.
He said many of the municipalities experiencing significant population growth were attracting people in their senior years and more services such as health care were needed to cater for them.
“Growing slowly enables you to do the infrastructure.
“It assures you of being sustainable,” Cr Gale said.
He said the RCV had decided to participate in next year’s Regional Victoria Living Expo and the workshop would help member councils decide what form their involvement would take.
RCV acts as a liaison between Victorian rural councils, state and commonwealth governments and also industry and community groups and committees.
It is funded by the Victorian government under the Networked Rural Councils program.