Opportunity for regional Victoria to move ahead

Opportunity for regional Victoria to move ahead

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Comment: New CEO pleads with government for a policy reset to to equip Victorian regions with vital infrastructure

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Comment

AS the recently appointed CEO of the Victorian Farmers Federation I am honored to be joining the organisation at such an exciting time for Victorian agriculture.

Certainly we face challenges, but there are also opportunities we need to seize and maximise.

Growing up in country Victoria, I developed a strong interest in primary industry.

I have maintained links to agriculture, working in registration of agriculture chemicals, horticultural exports, sustainable grazing, quality and environmental assurance, the agriculture portfolio in Federal parliament and most recently as CEO of Seafood Industry Australia.

The resilience of our industry has been on show throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to help leading Victoria's economic revival.

Earlier this week the National Farmers' Federation released its Australia-wide Regionalisation Agenda paper, helping to provide a clear pathway for regional development as we look to take advantage of the heightened interest in working and living outside urban centres influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Victoria, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our country areas and redefine what it means to live outside metropolitan centres.

For too long living in regional Australia has meant doing without many of the services our city cousins take for granted - things like reliable, fast internet connection, transport links and job opportunities.

A shift in government thinking and policy is needed to equip regions with this vital infrastructure and the services needed to sustain and support people and growth.

The blueprint for our regions to thrive and grow has been provided and it's up to regional communities to ensure decision makers at all levels of government understand and support this unique opportunity.

- Jane Lovell CEO Victorian Farmers Federation

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