Great South Coast group’s housing plan outlines challenges

Priority_Projects-2014A STRATEGIC plan predicting demand for housing will outpace population growth in the south-west will be taken to state government ministers soon in the hope of getting funding and policy support.

The Great South Coast group’s new regional strategic plan shows the region’s overall population growth will be barely half the projected state level, but Warrnambool will be a stand-out performer with a 34 per cent growth in the 20 years to 2031 and about half the region’s population.

Its 2014-19 strategic plan list the main challenges as the decline of small towns, an ageing population, managing growth, protecting natural and cultural heritage, boosting education attainment, better access to services, tackling regional disadvantages, economic growth and improving health.

Group executive officer Karen Foster told The Standard her team would approach all state ministers seeking meetings to brief them on the plan as soon as possible.

“We want to give them a sense of what’s important in our region,” Ms Foster said.

The Great South Coast Group, an alliance of government, industry and community across six municipalities, advocates on key issues and promotes the potential of the region, which already produces a quarter of the nation’s milk.

Ms Foster said the strategic plan was developed over four years and expanded on goals set by an earlier regional alliance. It also incorporates priorities outlined in a 30-year regional growth plan unveiled by the former state government in July.

The strategic plan shows Warr-nambool is expected to have about 44,000 residents by 2031, including a 25 per cent growth spurt by 2026…

Read more by Peter Collins, The Standard 20 January 2015


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