VFF calls for more action on getting regions on a road to recovery

Regional Victoria well placed to lead economic fightback

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An undeniable city and country divide in infrastructure and services, such as roads, needs to be closed, according to peak lobby group.

An undeniable city and country divide in infrastructure and services, such as roads, needs to be closed, according to peak lobby group.

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Regional Victoria is well placed to lead Victoria's economic fightback, according to VFF.

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It is safe to say that, as an industry, agriculture has faced - and continues to face - its fair share of challenges in this COVID-19 environment.

The Agriculture Workers' Code that the Victorian Farmers Federation - and other key farming organisations - campaigned strongly for was a huge win for farmers in Victoria, and is welcome news. But we still look forward to its implementation.

We are also still in the midst of heavy restrictions placed on our meat processing facilities, which is causing huge concern for our livestock industry as the spring peak of supply approaches.

However, as much as these issues are creating problems for farmers and those in the country, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revive regional Victoria and help to lead the state out from its economic woes.

Of course, health must always remain our top priority and we need to ensure we continue practicing COVID-19-safe measures. But we also need to look forward to the future.

Regional Victoria is currently in a much advanced stage in terms of COVID-19 recovery than Melbourne.

While our thoughts go out to those in Melbourne, now is the time for country Victoria to grow. But we need support to make this happen.

The VFF is calling for a change in government thinking and policy so that the regions can be a vehicle for economic growth and genuine investment in critical infrastructure.

There is an undeniable city and country divide in infrastructure and services, such as roads, rail, telecommunications, health and education - to name a few.

These are all critically needed to ensure regional Victoria has the tools it needs to entice growth and help us recover economically.

If anything, COVID-19 has shown the resilience of regional Victoria.

The upside of getting the regions up-and-running initially is enormous - not just for agriculture, but for Victoria as a whole.

The longer we wait to do this, the longer the road we have to economic recovery.

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