POWERHOUSE: Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and Southern Downs councillor Vic Pennisi.
POWERHOUSE: Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and Southern Downs councillor Vic Pennisi. Megan Sheehan

Regions 2030 scheme empowers regions

REGIONAL Australia become a new economic powerhouse, driving employment, infrastructure and population growth under a 13-year Turnbull Government masterplan.

Under the Regions 2030: Unlocking Opportunity, the government will focus on five key pillars: economic development, infrastructure, health, education and communications.

The government has acknowledged that the traditional "one size fits all” approach to regional development has failed.

Instead, it proposes to deploy more than $9 billion worth of funding announced in last week's Federal Budget more strategically.

Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash said it was about having a vision for what regional communities should look like in 20 years.

"It's about making sure we create both careers and jobs in our communities so our children and grandchildren can lead fulfilling lives,” Ms Nash said

"It's about developing ways our young people can receive an excellent education without leaving the community they grew up in.

"It's about building the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to.”

Eighteen new initiatives including decentralisation of public sector departments, the 1700km Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, suicide prevention trials and $242.3billion for schools were outlined as priorities.

Southern Downs councillor Vic Pennisi was appointed chairman of the Regional Development Australia Committee for the Darling Downs and South West two years ago.

Cr Pennisi said the committee had pushed to deliver benefits to the region.

"One of the biggest things we had been advocating for was help to maintain our bridges as all 10 regions represented in the committee have wooden bridges,” he said.

"That's resulted in the government initiating a Bridges Renewal Program.

"We've also advocated to have mobile black spots addressed and there's been some big improvements out west but there's still a way to go.”



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