Rural Councils Victoria has welcomed the state government’s announcement today (20 September 2023) that it will build 152,000 homes in regional and rural Victoria.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to speak with Planning Minister The Hon Sonya Kilkenny to discuss in detail exactly how the government’s announcement today will specifically benefit rural Victorian communities.
“It is not clear from the detail released so far how rural Victoria will be impacted so we will advocate to ensure that small rural communities get their fair share.
“For instance, it is crucial a fair share of the new short-stay levy flows to rural communities and isn’t consumed by large projects in regional cities and metropolitan Melbourne.
“Some of the government’s measures have the potential to benefit rural communities, particularly in planning.
“We would like to work with the government to ensure that Future Homes designs are fit for purpose in rural communities, taking into consideration issues such as rural amenity, bushfire preparedness and the environment.
“Making it easier to build a small home has potential benefits for rural communities.
“We would like to gain an understanding of how this would work in a rural settings where larger blocks can accommodate several small houses or larger garden units.
“Ensuring rural communities have the social, affordable and worker housing they need will help keep the Victorian economy moving and – through the agriculture sector – continue to put food on tables right across the country.
“Rural Councils Victoria’s Rural Victoria Housing Blueprint – authored by SGS Economics & Planning – shows that rural Victoria needs 87,400 new homes by 2036.
“Failure to provide the extra homes could mean annual Gross Regional Product losses across rural Victoria of between $200 million and $1 billion, the report found. “Today’s announcement will go some way towards meeting the 87,400 homes that will be needed in rural Victoria, but it is crucial that rural Victoria has specifically allocated funding and projects to ensure rural communities are not overlooked.”