expo2You’ve got the best of both worlds in Bass Coast – a great lifestyle and easy access to Melbourne and soon, to fast NBN broadband services.

BASS Coast Shire will be putting its best foot forward at the 2013 Victorian Regional Expo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, April 19, 20 and 21. The shire is one of 48 rural municipalities who’ll be represented at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, along with tourism groups and other regional stakeholders and just standing out from the crowd will be a tough gig. But the staff from Bass Coast are up for it and if last year’s expo is anything to go by, information about Bass Coast was a big ticket item. The shire hopes to turn information into business opportunities for the local area. Here’s part of the shire’s message…

Bass Coast is a rural community with a long history and proud heritage. The shire covers 860 square kilometres, and is one of the few council areas in Australia with breathtaking coastlines, productive farmlands, character-filled townships, and a fertile hinterland. The shire is less than two hours’ drive from central Melbourne and is just 45 minutes down the Bass Highway from Melbourne’s south-eastern growth corridor. This convenient location is a great strategic advantage: close enough to Melbourne to benefit from metropolitan markets and consumers but distant enough to withstand suburbanisation, Bass Coast retains its distinctive rural character and lifestyle. This proximity to Melbourne, along with our diverse economy and economic resilience gives Bass Coast a competitive advantage. In recent years, our economy has undergone a profound transition. We have the highest population growth rate in regional Victoria. Bass Coast is redefining its national and international role and identity, as it locates its true strengths and finds a place in the digital future.

NBN roll-out Fibre optic cables will be rolled out to businesses and residents in Cowes and other parts of Phillip Island as part of NBN Co’s three-year roll out plan. Cable is being laid into new residential estates across Bass Coast. Many of our small towns and remote communities will receive upgraded broadband as part of the roll out of wireless connections by 2015. The benefits of high-speed broadband infrastructure for our businesses and residents are manifold and are a high priority for the Shire. We have a diverse and unique economy, and the three largest sectors are: * Manufacturing ($367 million); * Construction ($314 million); and * Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services ($267 million). These sectors are worth $948 million, and account for approximately 46 per cent of the shire’s total economic output of $2.1 billion. Bass Coast has seen strong levels of business confidence, business investment and employment growth during recent years. Tourism and events (including retail, accommodation, food, hospitality and recreation) are uniquely important to Bass Coast. Visitors contribute $1.05 billion to our economy. To ensure the growth in our towns, businesses and rural communities is sustainable, Council has worked with the community on many strategic plans. Boundaries have been set for all of our towns and we are now looking at rural land use. A renewed planning vision for the shire’s rural areas will help council respond to contemporary agricultural practices and rural land development pressures.