Community leadership programs in regional Victoria have been cast adrift by the Andrews Labor Government.
Funding for the programs, set up by the Victorian Liberals and Nationals in 2011/12, will finish at the end of this year, with the Government abruptly addressing the issue at today’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing.
“The program has been told ‘on your bike, find your own funding in the future’,” said Peter Walsh, Shadow Minister for Regional Development.
“The very reason that the Liberal and National Government started funding this program was because of the need to develop leaders in our regional communities.
“These programs deserve long-term financial security. They shouldn’t have to go knocking on doors to raise funding in order to continue.”
Mr Walsh said strong community leaders, developed by the successful programs, can help regional communities in challenging times.
“With the premature closure of the native timber industry, changes to power generation and the recent floods in parts of Victoria, developing community leaders is more important than ever.
“But it’s obviously not important to the Andrews Labor Government.”