State government’s big south-west spend

HILLS ARE ALIVE: Upper House member for Western Victoria James Purcell and the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford enjoying the views over Tower Hill. Picture: Christine Ansorge
HILLS ARE ALIVE: Upper House member for Western Victoria James Purcell and the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford enjoying the views over Tower Hill. Picture: Christine Ansorge

THE state government has come to town and is opening its wallet as it goes.

The Andrews government headed to Portland on Thursday night to meet with locals and industry representatives for the Great South Coast Regional Assembly, and they didn’t come empty-handed, announcing over $7 million in funding for the region.

The biggest winner was the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan, which will get $5 million for works highlighted in the blueprint. This comes on top of the state government’s previous announcement of $9.8 million for stage one of the masterplan.

About $140,000 was also announced for Tower Hill, which will go towards improving the visitor experience at the nature reserve. It will be spent on improved signage, developing new tours, creating four new jobs, and a new marketing strategy. The funding was welcomed by Worn Gundidj, and the Warrnambool and Moyne councils.

A further $1.5 million was also given to Glenelg Shire to go towards critical infrastructure for a new industrial estate in Portland.

Dubbed the Henty Employment Precinct, the area will receive improved drainage and roads to enable B-double truck access in the hopes of attracting investment and to create new jobs in the city.

The state government also announced $500,000 for a Great South Coast food and fibre plan, which has been in development for five years.

The plan’s aim is to lift the productivity of the estimated 40 per cent of farms not reaching their true potential in the region by leveraging the growing global demand for protein and Australia’s reputation for safe and sustainable food, further developing the market for provenance branded grass-fed beef and lamb and turning Australia’s strengths in animal welfare and food safety to a marketing advantage.