REGIONAL Victoria can help grow manufacturing and new jobs as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien said there was a great opportunity to capitalise on the interest in Melbourne people moving back to the regions, and help develop new industries in regional centres to create jobs and decentralise our state.

“The Nationals and Liberals announced last year our ‘Back to Work, Back in Business Program’ which included a $1 billion ‘Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund’ to encourage manufacturers to locate facilities in Victoria,” he said.

“This is a policy we put forward as part of a suite of suggestions for the Andrews’ Labor government to adopt to help get our state back on track after last year’s devastating second wave.

“Given we are now into our sixth lockdown and Melbourne will likely be in that situation for some time yet, we will need innovative policies to help get our state firing again.”

Mr O’Brien said a good example of existing manufacturing and decentralisation policy was the Bambach Cables factory at Rosedale, which had relocated from Sydney with assistance from the federal government.

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