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Office shift a boost for city, says minister

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May 16, 2018

Regional Development Minister John McVeigh and Member for Murray Damian Drum.

A relocated Federal Government office to Shepparton could bring seven new families to the city along with associated benefits for local schools and businesses.

This was the message delivered by Regional Development Minister John McVeigh during a visit to Shepparton yesterday.

An office of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Indigenous Affairs Group Regional Network will move from Melbourne to Shepparton, announced in last week’s Federal Budget.

Seven jobs will be relocating from Melbourne to Shepparton as part of the move.

Mr McVeigh said this initiative would create new job opportunities and better connect government services to the regions they served.

‘‘Seven new jobs in an area like Shepparton means potentially seven new families — buying product in the local area, at schools perhaps if they have children in those families, just making a contribution to the community,’’ he said.

Mr McVeigh said a number of regions had already directly benefited from this agenda.

‘‘Decentralisation out of Melbourne and Sydney CBDs, out of Canberra and getting jobs into regional areas, we want economic growth in Australia.

‘‘It can’t all happen in those congested cities, so this is a real opportunity and a significant first step.’’

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum welcomed the decentralisation plan.

“Every additional job created in our regional city helps support local families, businesses and community organisations,’’ Mr Drum said.

Under the broader decentralisation plan, almost 100 jobs from six entities are to be relocated to regional and outer metropolitan areas.

Funding of $23million was allocated to the proposed Munarra Centre for Excellence in the Victorian Budget earlier this month.

However, Mr Drum said further analysis needed to be done to help make the centre a reality.

‘‘We have to sit down and look at this project and evaluate what it is going to offer, and who is going to benefit. We need to do a full cost-benefit analysis — as yet that work hasn’t been done,’’ Mr Drum said.

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