A RANGE of transformational regional infrastructure projects are a step closer to becoming a reality with applicants asked to submit full business cases for approval under the Australian Government’s highly anticipated $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Michael McCormack said the Regional Growth Fund will provide grants of $10 million or more for major projects that support long-term economic growth and create jobs in regional areas.

“The Regional Growth Fund will unlock economic opportunities across regional Australia and we know that when the regions are strong, so too is our nation,” Mr McCormack said.

“I am pleased to announce the Government has selected 16 projects to progress to the next stage.  These projects are one step away from receiving funding and making the regions where they are located even stronger and more resilient.”

Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the first stage of the assessment process has been highly competitive with more than 300 applications received from state and territory governments, local governments, businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

“The 16 projects proceeding to Stage 2 will increase manufacturing and tourism opportunities in these regions and most importantly, create jobs both immediately and in the longer term,” Senator McKenzie said.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Sussan Ley said there is also a strong focus on diversifying employment opportunities for local communities.

“This is a pat on the back for our regions. The projects selected will drive economic growth and create jobs, both immediately and in the longer term,” Ms Ley said.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Broad said a key focus of the Regional Growth Fund is connectivity, tourism and industry development.

“The projects selected for Stage 2 focus on building on existing strengths, re-invigorating industries and tapping into a region’s tourism potential,” Mr Broad said.

“Funding requests for these projects range from $10 million to $29 million, making the Regional Growth Fund a significant investor in our regions.”

More information is available at

Shane Manning