Wimmera central business districts revitalisation hopes

REGIONAL Cities Victoria has prioritised the revitalisation of regional central business districts in a submission to the State Government for the May budget.

Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said the requests were for general funding allocations for regional centres.

Mr Brown said any money allocated as a result of Regional Cities Victoria’s submission would go into the Regional Growth Fund where individual municipalities could make specific requests for projects.

“The general ask is largely around central business district revitalisation,’’ he said.

“It is really just about improving our central business districts because all regional cities would benefit from that,” he said.

“In our case there’s been a long-standing move to improve some of the streetscapes of Darlot Street and Firebrace Street and we’ve already been doing some work in Pynsent Street to remove power lines.”

He said the council was interested in advancing public Wi-Fi in central Horsham through any funding for revitalisation works.

Mr Brown said it was important regional centres continued to support growth.

“Regional Cities Victoria is based on the concept that Melbourne can’t cope with current population growth and regional Victoria offers really good alternative places for people to live and work,” he said.

“To make these cities more attractive one of the things we need is more investment.”

The submission also highlighted improvement of roads as a key issue.

“Horsham Rural City Council is very keen on the duplication of the Western Highway and improvements to the Henty Highway,” Mr Brown said. 

“Passenger rail is also important to us; we’re looking at a shuttle passenger service between Horsham and Ararat.”

Other funding requests in the submission include investment in infrastructure for residential purposes, a $100-million bid-in fund to address the infrastructure backlog in regional centres and $500,000 across 2014-15 and 2015-16 towards completion of stage two of the Regional Cities Victoria Growth Framework.

The state budget will be released on May 6.

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