Friday 10 July 2015
Bega Valley Shire Council has developed a new Economic Development Strategy in consultation with a variety of groups and individuals in the community.
Group Manager of Strategy and Business Services, Lucas Scarpin, said the new strategy aims to meet the current economic needs of the community.
“The draft strategy marries the current state of affairs with research, local trends, and a range of activities for Council to drive economic growth in the Shire,” he said.
“We engaged Strategic Economics Solutions Pty Ltd and its principal Dr Kim Houghton to prepare an economic context report and consult with the local community in terms of priorities that Council can deliver.
“More than 20 organisations, From Bega Cheese to the Bega Valley Business Forum provided their vision of the Shire’s economic future and their proposals were insightful and well thought-out.
Mr Scarpin said the draft Economic Development Strategy highlights a number of economic focus areas that will positively impact the key ambitions under Council’s Enterprising theme of the Community Strategic Plan.
“These include embracing business and a stronger economy; providing the foundations of growth; embracing opportunity; partnering for success; and enhancing visitor experiences,” he said.
“Council is aware that our region faces many economic challenges, from an ageing workforce to a lack of educational programs for people trying to find sustainable work.
“However, every challenge also presents an opportunity for our community.
“For example, the region's average age demographic is expected to shift from approximately 52 years of age to 67 years of age within the next 20 years.
“This will move a significant number of residents from working in local businesses and industries into retirement, and providing the necessary services required by this demographic will be a challenge.
“The opportunity for local young people will be a subsequent growth in the health services industries as well as a significant requirement for business succession to ensure the operation of existing businesses.
“We need to ensure there are sufficient programs and awareness in our community to take advantage of these opportunities.
“Our goal is to prepare the community and put in place programs that will allow our current and future residents to take advantage of the opportunities which will eventuate.
“The Economic Development Strategy focuses on a manageable number of actions that are achievable and which provide significant benefits that are both tangible and measurable to the community,” Mr Scarpin said.
To have your say on the Draft Economic Development Strategy go to www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au. Comments and submissions are welcome until 3 August 2015.