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Chance for growth

by
March 14, 2018

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum.

A push for a deal sketching out collective goals across tiers of government appears to be building steam.

A body representing regional cities believes Shepparton could benefit from the $270 million Federal Government regional growth fund.

Regional Capitals Australia chair Shane Van Styn said Shepparton and other similar cities should be included in the city deal initiative.

He believes guidelines read as if they have been specifically structured to fund regional city deals.

‘‘Various infrastructure projects are packaged up as well as the ability to fund projects that support jobs, road, rail and air connections — things that make a city liveable are all now eligible,’’ Mr Van Styn said.

He said in the case of Shepparton such a deal could meet the needs of city growth.

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum yesterday called for big ideas from the community to help shape the future of the region.

Early applications for the program, which provides grants for major projects valued at more than $20million, close next month.

Mr Drum said major projects could locally capitalise on the region’s natural economic strengths.

‘‘Projects will need to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘I encourage everyone eligible in our community to look at the program guidelines and get started on an application.’’

In 2016, stakeholders met in Canberra to discuss the potential for a city deal, where ‘‘governments, industry and communities develop collective plans for growth and commit to the actions, investments, reforms and governance needed to implement them’’.

Committee for Greater Shepparton at the time described it as ‘‘a way of packaging together infrastructure and programs to enhance the development of cities’’.

At the time, bypass and rail, central business district projects and improving employment prospects were flagged as areas to benefit.

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