Handing out showbags to Melbourne residents as a way to lure them to regional Victoria is not a practice that will continue under new Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes.
Ms Symes, also the Northern Victorian MP, faced more than three hours of questions from fellow MPs last night, in her first appearance at budget estimate hearings since taking on her ministerial role.
She confirmed there would no longer be a regional living expo held in Melbourne.
"That doesn't work, we won't be repeating it," she said.
"Having showcases and the like in Melbourne and expecting people to go along and grab a showbag and make a decision to move to country Victoria is not something that has been overly successful."
More parks and facilities for families were listed as better ways to attract new residents to a particular place in regional areas.
Ms Symes listed the recent introduction of childcare services in Chiltern as one of those examples.
MORE POLITICS NEWS:
"To move to country Victoria, people are looking for more than just a job," she said.
"Many people move to country Victoria because they want to be part of a community."
Nationals Gippsland South MP Danny O'Brien accused Ms Symes of using health, agriculture and other projects to bump up her regional development portfolio and cover the fact that funding had been cut.
"Did you just get the budget papers in draft form and do 'control-F' and find the word 'regional' and package these all up?" he said.
But she said her approach as the minister was to reset the government's approach and spread regional development funding out across different portfolios.
"Just because your government was a one-trick pony with one fund doesn't mean we have to be," Ms Symes said.
"Confining your efforts to one fund would be pretty irresponsible."
As debate became heated, she denied Mr O'Brien's accusation that councils would have less money to apply for than they have in the previous eight years, saying "it was a very good budget for regional and rural Victoria".
Under questions relating to her agriculture portfolio, Ms Symes was questioned about funding for the Game Management Authority, biosecurity and drought relief.
She was open to the idea of providing rate cuts for farmers affected by drought.
Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here