Published: 21 May 2021
The community will be at the heart of the Victorian Government’s major new drive to create jobs and provide the conditions for businesses to thrive in the Great South Coast.
The $17.4 million Portland Economic Diversification Plan includes upgrades to key local freight roads, funding for crucial foundation infrastructure to help attract new businesses, and a fund for local projects to grow the economy.
The plan includes $2.5 million for stage two of the Portland North Employment Precinct, which is delivering important infrastructure to help attract private-sector investment. Works at the precinct will include the development of three entry points to activate the 7.5 hectare site that fronts New Street, Henty Highway and Browning Street and an upgrade to a critical section of Cashmore Road.
The new investment builds on a previous $1.5 million grant provided through the Regional Infrastructure Fund for stage one of the precinct, which included drainage works to prepare the site. The precinct’s development is being delivered by the Glenelg Shire, and works have so far created around 59 jobs in construction.
These projects combined will improve truck access to industrial sites within the Portland North Employment Precinct, as well as enhancing connectivity between the precinct and Portland’s main road-freight route – the Henty Highway. These upgrades will facilitate business investment, support job creation, and stimulate economic activity in Portland and the region.
Nearly $5 million will upgrade important freight roads across Glenelg Shire to improve access to the Port of Portland and export opportunities, including Mumbannar-Wanwin Road, Wilsons Road and Heathfield Lindsay Road.
Key infrastructure projects will be backed by the $7.5 million Portland Diversification Fund. The government will respond to priorities identified by council, businesses, industry, the Great South Coast Regional Partnership and the local community to support job creation across a range of industries.
Regional Development Victoria (RDV) has established a new office in Portland, that will enable RDV to work closely with local people and organisations to identify suitable projects based on local priorities and opportunities.
RDV will help identify initiatives the fund could support over the next six months, including skills training for growth industries, housing for workers, culturally inclusive industry opportunities and investment grants.
Investment grants will be facilitated by RDV working with the council, businesses and industry to identify opportunities that will act as drivers for economic development.
This new plan comes on top of a funding agreement announced earlier this year to help secure the future of Alcoa’s Portland Smelter, securing more Victorian jobs and protecting the local economy.