Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: Tiny Towns Fund

Ministers statements: Tiny Towns Fund

Harriet SHING (Eastern Victoria – Minister for Water, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy, Minister for Equality) (16:37): One of the things that is so lovely about rural and regional Victoria sits within those towns of 5000 people or fewer. These are our tiny towns, and there are about 281 tiny towns across rural and regional Victoria and indeed across our interface councils as well, where we know there is a mix of built-up metropolitan areas along with those interface and indeed peri-urban catchments too.

It was with this in mind, as Minister for Regional Development and in the lead-up to the recent poll that returned a government membership of 56 seats in the lower house, that I met with and joined the extraordinary returning member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale in the other place, on 23 November to announce the $10 million Tiny Towns Fund. This is a fund which is geared towards celebrating our smallest towns, providing grants of between $5000 and $50,000 to help our smallest communities to showcase their identities, their history, their culture, their stories and indeed their celebrations. This is about making sure that we can also support local projects, from murals through to street furniture, playgrounds, splash parks and events, to really shine in the course of highlighting the best of the unique features of our smallest towns.

This will support communities in a range of areas, including those interface councils that I referred to earlier – in Casey, Cardinia, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Wyndham and indeed the Yarra Ranges. There is so much to celebrate in our tiny towns. There is so much to look forward to as we continue to enable them to shine. We want to make sure that along every step of the way in our commitment to regional Victoria our tiniest towns have the opportunities that they deserve.