A rurally-based program focussed on creating the next generation of regional leaders has been given a last-minute lifeline after pressure from the Liberal Nationals.
Victoria’s regional leadership programs were left in limbo again this year, with no certainty from the Andrews Labor Government that they would be funded in the 2020-21 State Budget.
Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said the eleventh-hour backflip this week provided funds for a further 12 months, but called for long term certainty for the vital program.
“Victoria’s nine regional leadership programs offer a critical stepping stone for our next generation of leaders, with unique opportunities for country people to upskill, be mentored and to build their professional networks,” Mr Walsh said.
“While it’s a relief the next 12 months have finally been secured, these programs shouldn’t have to fight for survival every year.”
The Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program (VRCLP) has been asking for an injection of $11 million over four years in funding – which equates to $250,000 annually for each of the nine regional Victorian programs.
“Long-term support for these programs is a vote of confidence in the future prosperity and vibrance of our regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals will keep fighting to secure ongoing support from the Andrews Labor Government.”