Ministerial agreement standout

A LATROBE Valley Ministerial agreement has been held up as an economic growth model other regions should embrace.

In Geelong last week Federal Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Simon Crean told a forum of business leaders a Memorandum of Understanding pact between the state and federal governments aimed at tackling economic growth in the Valley was one authorities in other regions could look to, according to The Geelong Advertiser.

The newspaper said Mr Crean had also called on the food, forestry and energy sectors of Geelong to “look to the burgeoning Asian middle class as a major economic opportunity”.

Geelong’s manufacturing industry, its largest generator of economic output, has faced significant challenges as a result of the high Australian dollar with a number of industries, particularly in the automotive sector, experiencing a downturn in activity.

When addressing the Geelong business community, Mr Crean was referring to the Joint Ministerial Forum led by himself and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan to “provide high-level oversight for the planning approach across the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland region” to help facilitate the Valley’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

The forum, established under an Agreement for Co-operative Arrangements for the Gippsland Region, was announced in December last year.

The Latrobe Valley Transition Committee, which includes local industry and education leaders as as well as state, local and federal government representation, was tasked with advising the forum on priority projects for the region.

The LVTC has now issued its Directions for Latrobe Valley Transition paper and feedback is being sought at a public forum next Tuesday, 24 April at the Latrobe City Council offices between 3pm and 5pm.