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Committee welcomes Mornington Peninsula’s inclusion in regional Victoria’s $28 million voucher scheme.

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula commends the Victorian Government’s decision to include the region in the $28 million regional Victoria voucher scheme as part of this week’s Budget.

Under the scheme, the state government will issue up to 120,000 vouchers worth $200 each to be spent on accommodation, attractions or tours in regional Victoria, helping to underpin a vital recovery of the sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

C4MP President Shannon Smit commented,

"We have long advocated that the Mornington Peninsula should not be designated part of metropolitan Melbourne, and is more closely representative of regional Victoria. It is pleasing to see the State Government recognise this in the regional Victoria voucher scheme and support our tourism businesses that are the lifeblood of the Peninsula economy."

According to Premier Daniel Andrews, this funding will help tourism businesses bounce back from the challenges of this year, welcoming more visitors and employing more Victorians.

The regional Victoria voucher scheme forms part of a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package in the Victorian Budget 2020/21, and is expected to be up and running in December.

The Committee looks forward  to receiving more information on this initiative in the coming weeks and the important support it will offer the region’s visitor economy.

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula is disappointed that the Mornington Peninsula received just 0.09 per cent of the funding announced for our neighbours in greater Geelong in this year’s State Budget.

$424,000 of new funding was announced for the Mornington Peninsula whilst $463.43 million of new funding was announced for Greater Geelong, which has the same enrolled population as the Mornington Peninsula.

After extended and repeated metropolitan Melbourne lockdowns, the CfMP would have expected more support for our local businesses and public assets and services to help the Mornington Peninsula to recover, however no new funding was announced for our local hospitals, schools, TAFE, parks, roads or public transport services in this Budget.

Disappointingly, new taxes will be imposed on major employers on the Mornington Peninsula and our residential and commercial properties will be taxed at a higher rate as businesses and property owners attempt to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

We remain hopeful that over the coming months, the Victorian Government will announce local funding initiatives for the Mornington Peninsula from the state-wide funding programs announced in this State Budget.

This unpredictability of government decision-making contributes to the general unease in the community about unforeseeable restrictions that could be imposed upon Victorians at any moment.

The lack of a clear and consistent approach to reopening and locking down Victorian communities erodes business and consumer confidence to plan, resulting in damaging effects to local economies, community mental health outcomes and the reputation of Victoria as the place to be.

Victorian members of the Committees for Cities and Regions are calling on the Victorian Government to actively consult with the community to develop a long-term Covid readiness plan for Victorian cities and regions.

As Victoria faces another long weekend under lockdown-style conditions, the Committees are calling for a common set of publicly available and industry-informed standards to be applied to decision-making on Covid restrictions in Victoria.