Gippsland plan examines the top priorities

RELATED: RAAF contract deadline

THE relocation of Advance TAFE, duplication of the Princes Highway between Sale and Traralgon and regional support for the AIR 5328 project are on a list of priority projects for Gippsland.

The Gippsland Regional Plan, established by the Gippsland Local Government Network, Regional Development Australia Gippsland and the Committee for Gippsland, has proposed a priority list of regional projects in the One Gippsland campaign.

To deliver a strong united voice to federal and state governments to secure funding for major projects, One Gippsland was created last year with the private and public sector represented.

The projects are:

The relocation Advance TAFE to the Port of Sale;

Regional support for the Defence AIR 5428 to come to RAAF Base East Sale;

Princes Highway upgrade, including further duplication between Sale and Traralgon and upgrades to the east of Sale;

The $83 million stage 1b of the Macalister Irrigation District 2030 plan;

The next stage of the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment, worth $65 million, and

An education and aspiration and participation project cluster.

It has also been suggested the Port of Hastings, East-West Link and North-East Link be added to the One Gippsland advocacy campaign.

The latter two projects are seen to provide better road transport access for Gippslanders.

The GLGN, made of the region’s six councils, has been working with Regional Development Australia Gippsland and the Committee for Gippsland to deliver the Gippsland Regional Plan.

Adopted in 2010, the current plan sets out key regional strategic priorities. It is currently under review.

Wellington Shire councillor Darren McCubbin said Wellington Shire was well represented on the list of projects.

“They are of major regional significance,” he said.

“I guess council’s already had a win at being able to convince the rest of the local government network.

“We’ve been able to convince them that these priorities are not only good for Wellington, but good for Gippsland.”

Cr McCubbin said council had worked on securing funding for the TAFE relocation to the former Sale Netball Association site for some time.

“We’ve worked successfully to relocate the netball courts down to the new state of the art facility, but we’ve been waiting for some time for Advance TAFE (relocation) to come to fruition,” he said.

“It’s an important aspect for local students.

“Retention rates of students going to advanced education is extremely low in Gippsland and extremely low within this area.

“Therefore, it’s very important that Advance TAFE is relocated to the centre of town into proper facilities, which they do not currently have.”

Wellington Shire Council will continue to co-ordinate advocacy activities to secure the AIR 5428 pilot training project from Tamworth, New South Wales.

The defence project, Cr McCubbin said, was “vital for our area”.

“This is very important to bring countless jobs to our region,” he said.

“The council’s been advocating this for many, many years and it’s pleasing that the rest of Gippsland sees it as just as important as we do.

“We are reaching the final stages of this discussion.

“We remain confident that this is the best region for 5428.”