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Greens Release Policy Initiative for Grassroots Led Regional Development

5 May 2017

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Primary Industries, Northern Tasmania and Tourism spokesperson 

The Tasmanian Greens today launched a policy initiative that will give communities in regional Tasmania the tools, support and funding they need to deliver economic resilience and prosperity.

The Reinvesting in Regions – Grassroots Leadership in Tasmanian Communities initiative acknowledges that Tasmanians living in rural and regional communities are best equipped to shape their own future investment and infrastructure needs.

Under the Greens' policy, Local Economic Area Development (LEAD) groups will put communities in the driving seat of regional development.

This is all about the prioritisation of investment and infrastructure being set at the grassroots, then delivered to government.

For too long, regional development in Tasmania has been ad hoc and highly politicised, with governments more interested in announcables than long term economic diversification and resilience in regional areas.  When governments pick winners, like forestry and fish farms for example, the results are not economically, socially or environmentally sustainable.

History tells us that in economically hard times, regional communities do it the hardest. We need to make sure there are mechanisms in place that enable communities to better prepare themselves and respond to sudden changes in the global economy.

The LEAD groups will be tasked with identifying the services, skills, training and infrastructure to support their community through the good times and the bad.

The RRF will be a rolling capital fund of $50m a year to realise the strategic goals of the LEAD groups.  This funding will be administered by the Local Area Strategic Development Unit in the Department of State Growth.

People living in regional Tasmania will have a far better idea of that their community’s needs than any government or political party.

There is enormous capacity in regional Tasmania and it has not yet been fully tapped. We need to be giving regional communities the tools, support and funding they need to create their own future.