Aug 5, 2009

Bendigo hosts national regional development meeting

Bendigo hosts national regional development meeting

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 5 2009

Today, Bendigo will host the sixth meeting of the national Regional Development Council (RDC) of federal and state ministers.

Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, will chair the RDC.

Mr Albanese said that he was delighted to be in Bendigo today with his state ministerial colleagues, as well as the Australian Local Government Association.

“Bendigo holds a central place in Australia’s history and its economy has gone through significant change over the years.

“The Council today will build on local community leadership, and help improve cooperation across all levels of government to achieve better outcomes for regional Australians.

“The Rudd Labor Government has already demonstrated our commitment to building stronger rural and regional communities.

“So far, we have invested record funding in regional infrastructure and services, including more than $177 million in and around Bendigo since we took office.

“Bendigo and Australia’s regional communities are dealing with the impact of the current global recession, with rising unemployment and falling demand for goods and exports.

“That’s why we understand the importance of listening to regional communities about their needs for the future.

“One of the main items on today’s agenda is the implementation of the new Regional Development Australia network which will help bring together federal, state and local governments into a one-stop shop for regional communities.”

Regional and Rural Development Minister, and Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan said she was delighted to host the event in Bendigo, welcome Council members and showcase the city and the region’s attractions to interstate colleagues.

“Victoria’s leadership in regional development gives us the ideal opportunity to make a significant contribution to this important initiative,” Ms Allan said.

“Provincial Victoria’s growth and development under the Brumby Labor Government has shown what can be achieved with a clear vision and commitment to support Australia’s vibrant rural and regional areas.

“Bendigo’s progress under our Government’s regional development initiatives is a great example of strategic investment, infrastructure development and services to drive business development and growth.”

“I am also really pleased that the RDC members have had the opportunity of seeing a number of the fantastic tourist icons in the area including the Central Deborah Gold Mine, the Talking Trams, and the Chinese Golden Dragon Museum before the formal meeting on Tuesday.”

The group will meet at Bendigo Bank and be welcomed by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mike Hirst, who will talk about the bank’s head office and building, the only regional headquarters of an Australian bank.

Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority Chair Christine Nixon also will be a guest speaker.