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Howard to savage Better Cities investment in Victoria



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MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMEN1— BRIAN HOWE

BH064/96 16 February 1996

HOWARD TO SAVAGE BETTER CITIES INVESTMENT IN VICTORIA

Victoria would miss out on more than $60 million in Commonwealth Better Cities funding under a Coalition Government, the Federal Minister for Housing and Regional Development, Brian Howe, said today.

"According to the announcements yesterday by the Shadow Treasurer, Peter Costello, the Coalition would not proceed with the Better Cities program other than those projects currently committed or approved. All Better Cities II projects planned for Victoria would be therefore be cancelled," Mr Howe said. —

"This means Victoria would miss out on $1.95 million in strategic planning funds and Commonwealth capital investment of approximately $60 million which is held in reserve for the State to be used on the successful completion of the strategic planning studies," Mr Howe said.

Mr Howe said that while the State would miss out on direct Commonwealth expenditure the multiplier effect for Victoria would equal a loss of investments of between $300 million to $400 million.

"The Better Cities program has always been a partnership program based on cooperation between Federal, State and Local Governments - and where necessary the private and community sectors."

Mr Howe outlined the proposed second phase of Better Cities projects which would be cut under a Coalition Government:

• a contribution of $500,000 to a two year program to support Melbourne's trading gateway - studying how transport services can be improved to both the Port of Melbourne and Tullamarine Airport;

• a $400,000 two year program to develop a growth management strategy for the Melbourne-Werribee-Geelong corridor, 'Improving and strengthening the economic, social and environmental links between the Melbourne Metropolitan area and Geelong;

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• a $400,000 two year program to develop a growth management strategy for the fast growing Frankston-Dandenong-Cranbourne corridor. This strategy to explore how transport access between the Frankston area and the booming Dandenong business district can be improved to promote new employment

opportunities;

• a $300,000 two year program for an inner Melbourne urban renewal strategy;

• a $200,000 two year program to support urban renewal activities and strategic planning for the Latrobe Valley, especially for the Latrobe Valley towns of Churchill, Moe, Morwell and Traralgon;

• a $90,000 two year program for Ballarat to develop an urban renewal strategy focusing on the older public housing estates, transport and accessibility, employment (with special emphasis on job creation and training opportunities), infrastructure investment opportunities and the re-use of surplus public lands.. The work includes a feasibility study on the introduction of a new tramway

system for Ballarat; —

• a $90,000 two year program for Bendigo to develop an urban renewal strategy focusing on the older public housing estates, transport and accessibility, employment (with special emphasis on job creation and training opportunities) infrastructure investment opportunities, cultural facilities and the reuse of

surplus public lands;

• a $50,000 private study on integrated water management to involve the CSIRO, Western Port Development, the Habitat Program and Melbourne water.

Mr Howe said that once the initial careful development of these strategies was completed capital funds earmarked for Victoria would follow. Both the studies funding and the capital funding are now at risk.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Andrew Casey, Brian Howe's office, phone 018 487 581.

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