Fast-tracking for the future

Latrobe City Council representatives will present projects for fast-tracked funding at a meeting with State Government members today.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced late last month Latrobe Valley projects would be prioritised to boost the local economy in the wake of the Hazelwood mine fire.

Overseeing this process will be a sub-committee of the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund committee, headed by Member for Morwell Russell Northe and including council representatives.

Mr Northe said council, in consultation with community, would present a list of priority community projects, which the committee would seek to find funding for “in the near future”.

He said the committee would first identify existing programs, such as Putting Locals First, through which the projects may be supported, but also look at means of supporting projects which fall outside of existing programs’ criteria.

“We understand there does need to be a relatively urgent response to some of the projects identified and through the committee and support of government agencies we will hopefully be able to do just that,” Mr Northe said.

He said prior to the meeting he was not able to specify the time it would take to actualise these projects.

“The first step is for council to come to our initial meeting (today) and they will have a list of projects that they see as crucial in delivering to our community and we will go away and consider those as quickly as possible,” Mr Northe said.

He stressed the projects considered would be those identified by the community as well as council.

He said the community recovery advisory group and the Latrobe City Business Tourism Association had also identified projects.