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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4429

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (09:56): Today my theme is partnerships—that is, partnerships between the Commonwealth, state and local governments and communities. In the 2018-19 budget, the government committed $206.5 million for round 3 of the Building Better Regions Fund. We know that federal government investment in infrastructure improves connectivity, delivers key services and amenities and is an essential part of thriving regional Australia. We know that success relies and is built on coordinated regional plans and collaboration between local, state and federal governments, with a clear understanding of impacts. We know the best outcomes are where government investment builds local capacity. To do that, we need to strengthen the role of the RDA network, we need to support the sustainability of rural and regional councils and we need to work with communities to develop regional deals.

In my electorate of Indi, local government, community and state government are already working together to develop significant infrastructure projects that will create jobs, encourage new business and build the economic and social viability of my communities. There are projects such as the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail cycle tourism project. It's led by Indigo Shire, in partnership with Alpine Shire, Benalla, Wodonga, Mansfield, Wangaratta and Towong councils. It also is working with Tourism North East and Regional Development Victoria. The project will extend the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail into key regional towns and tourism experiences, including from Beechworth to Yackandandah and Osbornes Flat and from the Winton wetlands to Glenrowan. It is a fantastic project.

The Wangaratta aquatic centre project is being led by the Rural City of Wangaratta in partnership with the Wangaratta Swim Club. This project will build a regionally significant, heated 50-metre pool together with a toddlers' pool and hydrotherapy pool. It will also be part of an aquatic complex in Wangaratta. Connecting Corryong and the Tallangatta caravan park is led by the Towong Shire Council. This will improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity between key tourism destinations, and elevate the caravan park to a BIG4 standard.

To my colleagues Minister McVeigh, Minister McCormack and Senator McKenzie, I look forward to the announcement of the successful projects in the Building Better Regions Fund's round 2. I commit to continue to work with you to ensure strong federal investment for the communities of North East Victoria. But, colleagues, our partnerships are our strength in building better regions. We need to work together with our communities to build capacity at all levels and to absolutely ensure that North East Victoria has much better regions because we have got strong partnerships.