Statement from CEO regarding Growing Suburbs Fund

Baw Baw Shire Council officers have been informed by Victorian Government representatives that Peri-Urban Councils are no longer eligible for funding support via the Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF).

The councils affected by this decision include Baw Baw Shire Council, Bass Coast Shire Council, Golden Plains Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council and Surf Coast Shire Council.

The stated purpose of the Growing Suburbs Fund has been to support councils experiencing significant population growth. Baw Baw’s population, and the populations of our fellow Peri-Urban Councils, are amongst the fastest growing in Victoria.

Regions like ours are more reliant than ever on State and Federal governments to meet the growing needs stemming from these huge population shifts. That is why, collectively, Peri-Urban Councils Victoria advocated so strongly for our eligibility for the fund in 2020.

Some of the significant projects in Baw Baw Shire which have previously received crucial funding via the GSF include:

  • Longwarry Early Learning Centre ($500,000)
  • Bellbird Park East, Drouin Multi-use Pavilion ($2 million)
  • Baw Baw Culture and Connection Precinct Stage One – Library and Learning Centre ($3.5 million)
  • Rollo Street, Yarragon – Community Open Space Project ($1.53 million)
  • Queens Street, Warragul Streetscape Project ($673,000)

The GSF was already diminished from $50 million to $10 million in the previous state budget, which itself posed significant challenges.

Now, by removing eligibility for this funding for Peri-Urban Councils altogether, Councils like Baw Baw Shire have lost one of the few significant streams of funding left to our region.

I have been in touch with my fellow CEOs from Peri-Urban Councils as we await a statement from the Victorian Government addressing this decision and providing further detail as to what it will mean for our regions.

We will await that statement, or further significant developments, before commenting further.


Mark Dupe

Chief Executive Officer

Baw Baw Shire Council

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