26 September 2023

20-year Murray plan to build on its riches

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is calling for feedback on a draft plan to guide the Riverina Murray region toward more housing choice and renewable energy initiatives.

Executive Director of Local and Regional Planning at DPE, Malcolm McDonald said the draft Riverina Murray Regional Plan 2041 was a 20-year strategic blueprint to ensure the region’s ongoing prosperity.

“Riverina Murray is set to become a more resilient region with vibrant, connected communities, a greater mix of housing, healthy waterways, and a diversified economy under the draft plan,” Mr McDonald said.

He said the draft Plan, open for consultation until 12 September, set the framework, vision and direction for strategic land-use planning to meet future needs for housing, jobs, infrastructure, a healthy environment and connected communities.

“It’s important the community provides its thoughts on this latest version of this long-term strategy, which guides planning and land-use decisions for the region’s 20 local government areas over the next 20 years,” Mr McDonald said.

“This updated plan responds to changes in the region over the last five years – from flooding, bushfires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic to the creation of the Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct and identification of a renewable energy zone,” he said.

“The draft Plan will guide the region toward more housing choice, renewable energy initiatives, early identification of infrastructure, and more support for Aboriginal communities to benefit from their land.”

Mr McDonald said housing was high on the priority list, along with infrastructure projects, new employment opportunities and the considerations of an ageing population.

“We’ve seen a surge of people move to the region and existing residents stay put, so the plan sets out strategies to make sure they can be accommodated and supported,” the Executive Director said.

“It also encourages better collaboration with Victorian counterparts to improve outcomes for both States,” he said.

“By working together, we can plan better, meet housing demand and create a stronger region not bound by borders.”

DPE’s 81-page draft Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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