WHAT should the shire do to promote economic development?

What can it do?

The South Gippsland Shire Council has just developed a new ‘Economic Development Strategy 2021-31’ which explores a range of initiatives, and it now wants to hear your views.

Having a good supply of industrial land available.

Continuing to enhance main street commerce.

Finding a solution to Fish Creek’s sewerage problems.

And supporting the development and implementation of a Social Housing Project.

There are a lot of good ideas in the strategy but have they missed something?

The Local Government Act outlines that one of the overarching governance principles for councils is “the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the municipal district”.

With the previous Economic Development and Tourism strategies expiring it was timely to create a new strategy – two new strategies.

The South Gippsland Shire Economic Development Strategy is designed to guide council’s decision making and build our economic capacity.

Among the members of the Economic Development Strategy Advisory Group which advised the shire included Cattle Council of Australia member Jenny O’Sullivan, CEO of Food and Fibre Gippsland Nicola Pero, and CEO of Burra Foods Stewart Carson.

Among the initiatives put forward in the new economic strategy are the following:

1. Attracting and Retaining Investment
– Develop an innovative and accessible Investment Prospectus for potential investors.
– Investigate attending and conducting trade missions annually to encourage future investment in the shire.
– Develop a solutions focused Industrial Land Supply Strategy to support new development.
– Work with operators to enhance retention and expansion of existing businesses.

2. Supporting Enabling Infrastructure
– Work with key partners to develop an integrated Infrastructure Strategy for the shire.
– Advocate for better digital connectivity across the shire.
– Undertake an investigation into potential solutions for sewerage issues in Fish Creek.

3. Developing Key Industry Sectors
– Investigate conducting an industry cluster development.
– Support Industry Trade events that support industry development such as the South Gippsland Dairy Expo

4. Building Partnerships
– Undertake and increase the number of site visits (face to face) to businesses within the shire.
– Encourage and support local businesses to enter regional and state-wide award programs.

5. Building Capacity
– Work with educational and training institutions to increase opportunities for locals to be job ready and assist retention of young people.
– Support the continuation of the Cows Create Careers Program.
– Continue Startup Gippsland Program and initiatives to foster youth entrepreneurship.

6. Enhancing Towns and Main Streets
– Support infrastructure developments to enhance our mainstreets.
– Work with local business associations to market mainstreets and town/shopping hubs eg: Shop Local Projects.
– Continue to support Mainstreet trader initiatives.
– Promote new business opportunities from the expansion of the Great Southern Rail Trail and increased visitation.
– Participate in a targeted and collaborative marketing campaign to attract new residents to the shire.
– Support development and implementation of the Social Housing Project.