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August 2018

2018 Central Highlands Regional Assembly report back
Central Highlands Regional Assembly 2018

Dear Community Member,

Thank you for your ongoing interest in the Central Highlands Regional Partnership and in our 2018 Regional Assembly which took place in Ballarat on 14 June 2018.

We had more than 220 community members and senior government leaders attend the Assembly and we’re keen to keep you, our community, up to date with developments, and our work.

With that in mind, I am taking this opportunity to write to you as Chair of the Central Highlands Regional Partnership.

The Assembly in summary

The 2018 Central Highlands Regional Assembly – our third – was another chance for the Partnership and attending Ministers, including the Premier, to hear from our community, including from young people, as well as an opportunity to bring participants up to date with some of the top priorities the Regional Partnership has been working on.

It was also a great opportunity to showcase some of our local premium producers and produce, and I would particularly like to thank Mt Franklin Organics, Brooklands Free Range Farm, The Fermentary, Real Eggs (Honest Eggs), Milking Yard Farm and Angelica Organic Farm, all local companies who took part in our Agriculture Expo.

The event kicked off with a Youth Assembly, attended by more than 60 young delegates representing schools across the region. Many of these young people remained for the main Assembly where all participants heard about the following Partnership priorities – energy, homelessness, health, digital connectivity, and agriculture – and then had the opportunity to add their views.

Read more about the Assembly here.

Central Highlands Regional Assembly - Unedited record

As promised on the night, the Partnership has collated all comments written down by participants at the Assembly in an unedited record.

You can view the unedited notes from participants here.

Partnership Priorities video

As part of the Assembly, we screened a short video outlining some of the Partnership’s priorities and some of the initiatives the Partnership is spearheading or involved in. The video covers the areas of homelessness, health and energy and you can view it here.

Next steps

As a Partnership, our role is to now take all the messages we have heard through the Assembly, and through other consultation, to further shape our priorities moving forward. We will present these to the Victorian Government’s Rural and Regional Ministerial Committee shortly.

We will also continue to work over the coming months on a range of projects already underway including:

  • The Prevention Lab: we are developing a business case to trial different approaches to prove what is effective and what isn’t, and make a case to government for effective health intervention at a regional scale,
  • New and Renewable Energy: The Grampians New Energy Taskforce (GNET) will advocate to secure funding for investment-ready projects that prototype and localise waste to energy solutions and enhance the region's reputation as a leader in the sector,
  • Homelessness: The Central Highlands community has identified this as being a critical issue and in need of a regional response. We will create an accurate picture of homelessness in our region, better connect those at risk and those currently experiencing issues with the services they need, with a goal to reduce homelessness in the Central Highlands,
  • Hub for Premium Produce: In collaboration with Agriculture Victoria, Hepburn Shire Council and local primary producers, we are developing a business case to identify the service delivery needs and models that support the changing agriculture landscape of the Central Highlands,
  • Digital Connectivity: The Partnership secured the preparation of a digital plan for the region that identifies infrastructure, supply and demand of services, unmet digital needs and potential solutions. Additional business cases are under development to examine the need for and design of small, scalable and connected coworking centres and communications hubs across the six Central Highlands Local Government Areas.

We will of course also keep you abreast of announcements and initiatives relevant to our region, via our website, email and on our Partnership Facebook page.

Again, thank you for giving your time and insight, whether by attending the Assembly, a workshop, a meeting, or being active on our Engage page.

Your views are incredibly valuable and this process means our region has a direct voice into Government.

I look forward to keeping the conversation going.


George Fong
Central Highlands Regional Partnership



This email was distributed by the Regional Development Victoria on behalf of the Central Highlands Regional Partnership.

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