Economic transition and transformation in Gippsland is underway, supported by the Victorian Government through the Latrobe Valley Authority.
The Latrobe Valley Authority provides place-based support to communities across the region experiencing major changes in industries which have been long term employers.
When the Latrobe Valley Authority was first established in 2016, it immediately undertook community engagement activities on the ground to listen and learn about the community’s expectations and needs.
In this initial period, work focussed on supporting workers and their families, affected businesses, and delivering the most needed community support, including:
- Providing immediate crisis support to affected Hazelwood workers and their families through the Worker Transition Service.
- Delivering a coordinated response to support businesses through the Economic Growth Zone and Latrobe Valley Economic Facilitation Fund.
Major investments in community facilities and infrastructure created a pipeline of projects to provide an economic boost and jobs, whilst enhancing liveability and a sense of pride in the local community. These investments included:
- $20 million Community and Facility Fund.
- $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative.
Being in-place with a local team with community knowledge has built trust and partnerships across the community, businesses, government, education and training organisations.
The $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative supported the construction or major upgrades of seven sporting precincts in the Latrobe Valley to help attract major events and increase participation.
- Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre
- Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium (Basketball Centre of Excellence)
- Morwell Recreation Reserve
- Ted Summerton Reserve (Cricket Centre of Excellence)
- Latrobe City Sports and Entertainment Complex
- Traralgon Tennis Centre
- Sale Tennis Centre
Over 30 major events have been brought to the region through partnerships with nine elite sporting organisations – activating the new infrastructure and providing an economic boost to the region through increased visitation.
Major events and partnerships have led to meaningful community activations and school clinics across Gippsland – inspiring the next generation to participate in sport and active recreation including soccer, basketball, cricket, AFL/AFLW, golf, netball and more.
The Initiative has also provided local sports clubs and organisations with funding to undertake participation and strategic planning activities to ensure they continue to attract new members and are sustainable into the future.
The $22 million Community and Facility Fund supported 232 community-led projects focussed on improving accessibility, sustainability, participation and social connection.
Organisations supported under the Fund reported increased membership and participation. Improved facilities have led to more activity and increased use by the community, which in turn has helped improve the financial sustainability of the community.
Funding for new water and energy saving measures has led to significant cost savings – allowing clubs and organisations to invest savings into further facility improvements and other initiatives. The investment has also generated significant work for local contractors.