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Senior Ministers meet with CfB members

30 May 2012

Committee for Ballarat were proud to provide members with the opportunity to meet with a panel of senior Cabinet Ministers over breakfast on Tuesday 29 May. The Hon Kim Wells, Treasurer; The Hon Dr Denis Napthine, Minister for Regional Cities; The Hon Peter Walsh, Minister for Water and Agriculture and; The Hon Richard Dalla-Riva Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade attended the breakfast, not often do we get four senior Coalition Government Ministers in the one room for a Q&A session.  The following is a summary of the discussion: The Q&A session was welcomed with excellent questions raised about the impact the recent State Budget will have on various employment, business & education sectors and how this fits within the State Governments growth agenda. The Hon Kim Wells, Treasurer made no apology for delivering a tough budget but one that delivered an operating surplus ($155m) focusing on investment in the skills sector ($1bmn), improving productivity & profitability in agriculture ($61m in 4 yrs),and regional rail ($172m in rail renewal). His quote was … “living within our means” The Hon Dr Denis Napthine, Minister for Regional Cities talked about $5.8bn in infrastructure spend, having a clear policy goal in regional cities to grow population and jobs, the need to stimulate growth in regional & rural areas via the $1bn Regional Growth Fund, the importance for Ballarat of the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) and the important role our Leadership Ballarat & Western Region (LBWR) program plays in building stronger communities. Committee for Ballarat will challenge all layers of government to deliver funding and programs that promote economic & social justice to improve the quality of life in Ballarat and the greater region. Our priorities include: - Secure & sustainable water and Environmental (clean energy solutions); - Revitalisation of the ACU, Hospital precinct (RAHP) and the attraction / retention of medical practitioners; - Leveraging on the “centre of excellence” and promoting the collaborative linkages between education providers and industry / business - Advocating to earliest construction of stage 1 of the Western Link Road (target April 2014) and subsequent development of BWEZ (by 2015) and attracting key tenants that deliver sustainable employment solutions - Social justice for all by creating 9,200 jobs via delivery of the BWEZ, supporting community based projects such as the Major Events Precinct and driving our LBWR leadership program - Driving road, rail & data connectivity (NBN) in the region Committee for Ballarat is committed to providing progressive and innovative leadership and will challenge all layers of government in delivery of the above strategic agenda set by our members