Infrastructure, connectivity, jobs and rail are among the key priorities contained in the Committee for Gippsland’s submission to Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Continuing to build on the recommendations and fact-based findings of the Our Region Our Future report on Latrobe Valley transitioning, the budget submission continues to look at job creating and investment attraction opportunities for the Gippsland region.

“This year’s budget submission compliments the Our Region Our Future report released in 2016, which remains the only comprehensive set of analysis with a set of priorities and recommendations that help the region through the closure of Hazelwood power station,” Ms Aldred said.

Securing a federal co-contribution to state government funding for a new hospital for West Gippsland is a key priority in the submission, as well as a focus on digital connectivity.

Ms Aldred said that the Committee for Gippsland will travel to Canberra in March to meet with Government and Opposition members advocating for a number of shovel ready projects that created local jobs, enhanced industry diversification and enabled greater investment attraction was crucial to the longer term prosperity of the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

“Upgrading infrastructure and services along the Gippsland rail corridor is another major priority, with the Committee for Gippsland urging the Commonwealth Government to work alongside the Victorian Government to maximise Gippsland passenger and freight rail services.

“While improving the roads and rail connectivity of Gippsland, our focus is also on digital connectivity by calling for a Connectivity Infrastructure Master Plan for the Gippsland region that maps out the digital footprint of infrastructure across Gippsland and industry’s needs ensuring that State and Federal Government have a clear understanding of investment into digital connectivity.

“Funding towards new technology to help modernise and a low emissions energy future for the Latrobe Valley is essential, which is why encouragement for the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage technology is included,” added Ms Aldred.

“It is also important that our higher education providers in the region have the resources and support they need to lift tertiary attainment and participate rates, engage with industry on innovation and skills demands, and develop as an internationally regarded university destination,” said Ms Aldred.