Mr NORTHE (Morwell) (17:16): (414) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Regional Development in the other place. The action I seek is for the minister to provide $11 million in funding over the next four years to ensure that regional community leadership programs can continue to be delivered across regional Victoria, and that includes the very successful Gippsland Community Leadership Program (GLCP) in my electorate.
In 2015 the government announced that they would provide funding for four years for regional leadership programs. Obviously it is 2019 now, and I understand there is no news on further funding for these programs. In my own electorate in the Gippsland region the Gippsland Community Leadership Program is Australia’s longest running community leadership program.
It was established in 1996. It is currently auspiced by the Committee for Gippsland, and that was in response to some substantial change in our region, particularly in the industry sector back at that time with the privatisation of the SEC et cetera.
Importantly, the GCLP is supported and funded by the Gippsland community, whether that is through corporate assistance, business assistance, external foundations, local government, scholarships or in-kind support. It is important to remember that it is not only funded by the state government through Regional Development Victoria but also supported substantially by the community.
It provides mentorship for future leaders to improve leadership outcomes right across the Gippsland region through education, exchanging ideas and opportunities to participate in various community forums. All the applications are vetted and interviews completed, and an evaluation of the potential participant’s ability to contribute to the course is conducted.
It is recognised as an immensely beneficial program, and those participants speak so highly of the program. In fact I have not had one person say to me that the GCLP has not been of great benefit. In the Gippsland region there have been over 550 graduates of the program, and there have been 3700 overall across the state. From a Gippsland perspective Ken Lay, the former Chief Commissioner of Police, undertook GCLP.
Current senator in the federal government Bridget McKenzie is also an alumna, and people right across the spectrum in our region have participated. So I am calling on the minister and the state government to fund not only GCLP over the next four years but all 10 regional community leadership programs across Victoria. To do that would require $11 million of funding over that four-year period.