darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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April 6, 2011

The newly formed Committee for Gippsland will give local businesses a stronger voice when deciding future development strategies for the region, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

The committee this week met with Mr Chester and discussed some of its key priorities, including the need to upgrade transport infrastructure across Gippsland.

The Committee for Gippsland is chaired by Harry Rijs, from Patties Foods in Bairnsdale, and has membership from large and small businesses right across Gippsland.

Mr Chester said it was highly beneficial to have a group of well-connected businesspeople to lobby all levels of government and also promote the benefits of operating in Gippsland to potential investors.

“The Committee for Gippsland will offer a point of contact for government departments and politicians seeking feedback about policy changes or issues that affect the broader region of Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“As the people who actually invest their money in the region and create employment opportunities, it’s important that governments seek the views of the business sector.”

The Committee for Gippsland told Mr Chester they would work to bring new investment into the region and create more jobs for young people.

“This group will help to bring the region together and promote a positive message about investing in Gippsland and helping to create new jobs. Just as importantly, the group is very conscious about the need to protect the jobs we already have and striving to help existing businesses to prosper and expand their operations.

“I’m looking forward to working with the new committee in the interests of our entire region.”

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