Broader economic development thinking

Friday 16 February 2018

The councils of AlburyCity, Wodonga, Federation, Indigo and Greater Hume have collaborated to define their economic development actions, policies and investment in a broader regional context.

The development of a draft Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS), facilitated by the NSW Government, aims to set the region on an achievable path to long-term economic prosperity, with a focus on the next four years.

The strategy will also enable faster access to dedicated state funding by informing the NSW Government of investment priorities.

Designed to align with each Council’s existing economic development and community strategies, the draft REDS covers a broad geographic area known as a Functional Economic Region. By considering the region as a whole, a more accurate reflection of the economic interface between the cities and towns, can be articulated.

AlburyCity’s Mayor Councillor Kevin Mack explains: “Local government boundaries are an artefact of history, rather than reflecting the boundaries of economic interaction.”

“Understanding our regional competitive advantages will enable us to capitalise on opportunities for growth.”

In developing the draft REDS, the region’s core competencies have been identified and include access to reliable freight and transport infrastructure, availability of finance and technology orientation.

Similarly, the region’s challenges have been explored, with cross border location, retention of skilled labour and rising energy prices identified.

The draft REDS includes a regional action plan listing short term and longer-term future developments and projects.

Next steps for the strategy include its formal endorsement by the NSW Government and presentation to each council collaborating on the project, with an official launch date expected in April.