Regional Victoria | December 17, 2015

Regional Living Expo under funding cloud

Tuesday 15 December

The Andrews Labor Government has again shown its contempt for regional Victoria by refusing to commit to continuing the successful Regional Living Expo.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said when asked in Parliament, Jaala Pulford refused to say whether the Expo would be held next year – leaving Latrobe City Council in limbo.

The Minister’s own agency, Regional Development Victoria, hailed the Expo as “a success, attracting a record 10,156 patrons” in its latest annual report.

“This is sadly just another example of how city-centric this Andrews Labor Government is,” Mr Northe said.

“The Regional Expo has been a fantastic way to showcase our local region to people living in Melbourne, and to attract more people to live and work here.

“The Andrews Labor Government did not fund the Expo in this year’s budget and instead launched a review – one of around 100 reviews it has initiated in 12 months.

“Since then, despite repeated questioning by the Coalition, we are still in the dark.

“Jaala Pulford must end months of uncertainty and tell us once and for all whether she will axe the Expo.”

Speaking about the loss of the expo in parliament recently Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said the three-day event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre had showcased the benefits of living and investing in regional areas.

“Regional Development Victoria’s annual report notes that the expo was popular with young families and working professionals and that regional councils ‘continue to receive positive enquiries from attendees keen to move to their regions’,” Ms Bath said.

Ms Bath said Labor’s lack of commitment for the continuation of the expo was a slap in the face to regional Victoria.

“Without a set date and confirmation of the expo, the regional and rural councils are unable to plan and block out necessary dates for 2016,” she told the parliament.

“This could highlight the death of this great event.”

Media contact: 5133 9088

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