Labor’s backflip on leadership program funding

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes was forced into an embarrassing backflip yesterday, after Monday’s Budget axed funding for Victoria’s Regional Community Leadership Programs.

Less than 24 hours later, and after pressure from VRCLPs, the Minister said funding had been extended for a further 12 months.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said these programs were important to helping develop leaders in regional communities and must be given certainty.

“The Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program had requested $11 million over four years, equating to $250,000 annually for each regional leadership program to remain operational,” said Mr McCurdy.

“Our regional community leadership programs are an important platform in developing and connecting emerging leaders with business, community, government, environment and local culture.”

Mr McCurdy said the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership has assisted thousands of people in north-east regional Victoria to develop their leadership potential through their annual leadership program, as well as many short courses and tailored training delivered to community, government and corporate organisations.

“Alpine Valleys Community Leadership has an alumni of over 600 from its flagship leadership program and includes graduates who have gone to be mayors, executive directors, police inspectors, political candidates and successful business entrepreneurs – just to name a few – in the Ovens Valley and surrounding electorates.”

Mr McCurdy said that Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes has proclaimed she’s “very proud” of Labor’s latest State Budget, despite it having no plan and no money for Regional Victoria.

“This Victorian budget has not delivered for regional Victoria and I am angered by Labor’s continual contempt for our Ovens Valley community.”

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