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This article was published on 4 July 2013. The information contained within may be out of date or inaccurate. News articles and media releases older than 60 days are archived for future reference.

Council makes the most of Victorian Government Visit

News article released on Thursday 4 July 2013

On Thursday July 4 Greater Shepparton City Council hosted a visit from Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, The Hon Peter Ryan MP.

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While Minister Ryan was in Greater Shepparton to announce two new initiatives that will help guide the future development and growth of the Goulburn Valley economy, Greater Shepparton City Council took the opportunity to discuss current priority projects that will enable Greater Shepparton to achieve its potential of becoming a ‘regional city'.

A discussion was held between Minister Ryan, Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell and Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Jenny Houlihan and CEO Gavin Cator, with the aim of urging the State Government to make a longer-term commitment to invest in our community. "Greater Shepparton is expected to play a significant role in the future growth and development of northern Victoria in terms of providing future employment, health, education, aged care, migrant, training and retail services as the regional population expands and demand for a range of services accelerates through demographic change factors", explains Mayor Houlihan. "To be able to deliver these essential services we need financial support from the State Government for projects such as the construction of the GV Bypass, the redevelopment of GV Health, improved passenger rail services and the upgrade of the Shepparton Court House."

"The funding announcements by Minister Ryan will go a long way in creating more jobs in our region, but we also need investment in our infrastructure to support the growth of our community", contends Mayor Houlihan.

Minister Ryan was joined by Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell in announcing the development of the long-term community driven Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Plan.
This included $5 million to fund a Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure program that will underpin the plan.

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Mr Ryan said the Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would leverage new industry, investment and employment opportunities and support a strategic long-term plan for the region.

The two new initiatives announced today will complement the Coalition Government's recently announced Fruit Industry Employment Program, which is specifically aimed at providing paid work and training for fruit growers affected by SPC Ardmona's fruit intake reduction.

Mr Ryan and Ms Powell also announced the provision of further funding to provide Shepparton firm Rubicon Water with $750,000 to assist the company expand its Goulburn Valley operations.

"The Coalition Government is helping Rubicon undertake an expansion project worth close to $3.5 million, driving exports and generating 112 new jobs - 106 of them in the local area," Mr Ryan said.

"This expansion will include a $2.9 million investment in new technology for the machine shop and a $527,000 upgrade to facilities to house additional staff, equipment and products."

Jenny Houlihan described the $700,000 for Rubicon as a good boost for our local economy and wellbeing with the creation of 106 new jobs. "The funding recognises and supports the importance of innovative Irrigation technology developed here in Shepparton and recognises the increased export growth potential of Rubicon, which is of significant benefit to the broader Greater Shepparton community", suggested Mayor Houlihan.

"This in addition to the $5 million for industry growth in the Goulburn Valley will enable new industries to establish here more quickly and with more certainty", suggests Mayor Houlihan. "This long-term planning and support by the State government gives our community the confidence and belief that this is worth being involved in both in terms of time and monetary investment. This is a good start in working towards attracting business to our area and addressing the higher than average unemployment rates, however further investment is required and this is something we at Council are working on diligently."