It was a pleasure to co-host a Ballarat business forum via Zoom today with the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP.
We were joined by local business leaders and representatives from the Ballarat community including meeting co-hosts Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor, Nick Thurlbeck from Commerce Ballarat and Michael Poulton from the Committee for Ballarat.
Minister Sukkar reiterated the Morrison Government‘s top economic priority has been to keep Australians employed and connected to their employer throughout the pandemic response and stressed that the Morrison Government will take every necessary step to see that as many businesses as possible come out the other side of this global crisis.
Business leaders discussed a wide array of ideas and concerns including the JobKeeker program, which is already supporting more than 4,800 Ballarat organisations, and provided local perspectives on how businesses are dealing with the coronavirus challenges.
I emphasised the Morrison Government’s strong commitment to investing in regional cities such as Ballarat. Whether it’s the $10 million upgrade to Ballarat Airport, $4.5 million for removing local traffic black spots or $3.8 million to support local council projects, the Morrison Government is ensuring that Ballarat receives the investment the growing city needs.
Local leaders also expressed their desire for Ballarat Link Road funding to accommodate Ballarat’s growing population and improve freight transport access to the Ballarat region.
As conveyed today, I am very pleased to work with the Ballarat community to advocate for funding for the Link Road which is vital to Ballarat’s growth to support jobs and investment opportunities for the future.
Local Labor representatives should listen to their local community and get behind the project.
I look forward to hosting more forums with local businesses across regional Victoria and hearing solutions and ideas to protect local jobs and businesses during this unprecedented time.
13 August 2020