Growth in regional areas is being hampered by Labor’s city-centric focus, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.
Figures show the economic contribution of regional areas shrunk during the 2015/16 financial year, while Melbourne rocketed ahead.
The figures show GDP growth in the Warrnambool and south-west statistical area shrunk 1.2 per cent for 2015/16. Other regional areas also shrunk.
“These figures are evidence that regional areas are worse off under a Labor Government,” Mrs Britnell said.
“Melbourne cannot sustain this type of growth, it’s already congested and its services are struggling. This is regional Victoria’s opportunity and the Liberal’s have a plan to grow regional Victoria.
“Under Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s population taskforce strategies are being developed to stimulate growth into south-west Victoria.
“Our region has so many opportunities. It is already the leading milk producer in the country with ability for further growth. We don’t have the urban encroachment Gippsland has. We don’t have the challenges with the water that they have in the North of Victoria.
“The Port of Portland is the deepest port in Victoria and a gateway to international markets in our own backyard.
“The region successfully produces so many other agricultural products, beef, lamb, seafood, grain, fibre and timber. The ability for increased productivity with the right policies to facilitate this is the Liberal party’s focus.
“To realise this potential we need major investment to encourage businesses to expand into the regions.
“We need strong leadership and innovative thinking to make it happen. The Liberal Party will deliver this, all Labor has proven it can do is govern for Melbourne and the figures show that.”