LODDON MALLEE

REGIONAL PRIORITIES

Category: Foster our comparative advantages in agriculture, food processing and other regionally significant industries

Initiatives that will assist food-manufacturing businesses to produce value-added products ready for export, beyond the export of raw products. This will include initiatives that capitalise on expanded infrastructure such as the provision of compressed natural gas to Kerang, Swan Hill and Robinvale, and improvements to road networks.

Initiatives that help businesses adapt to suit the needs and preferences of international markets, especially the growing Asian market. This will include initiatives to support and promote opportunities for capable businesses to become export ready, such as facilitation of links, championing of our safe and sustainable production methods, and investment in and encouragement of value adding in our food supply chains. These initiatives will help improve the economic contribution of significant industries, particularly manufacturing and food processing, to our Region.

Initiatives that support and develop the growth of existing businesses as well as providing a climate that attracts and nurtures new industry and increasing export capacity. This will include initiatives to improve leadership and business skills, create freight and business hubs, address factors limiting industry growth, provide support for small and medium enterprises, stimulate and enable entrepreneurship and attract government agencies to relocate to our Region. These initiatives will help create local jobs and support a strong and diverse economy

Initiatives that help develop, maintain and fully utilise the skills needed for our Region’s industries to thrive, particularly in areas of projected shortages: professionals, tradespeople and skilled labourers. This will include initiatives to improve childcare; identify gaps; improve research and workforce collaboration; capitalise on existing education and training partnerships; initiate new partnerships; and attract skilled workers to meet regional needs and improve work readiness. These initiatives will help deliver a skilled workforce to support our economy.

Initiatives that develop local renewable energy production and energy efficiency to improve our Region’s energy resilience and economic diversity. This will include initiatives to support local distributed and large-scale solar power generation projects that take advantage of our competitive advantages in solar; conduct strategic analysis of regional energy needs and renewable energy options; advocacy for policy that supports investment in innovation initiatives to help existing industries and communities to improve efficiency and retrofit their infrastructure; as well as wind and biomass projects. These initiatives will help support business prosperity, create employment and diversify and strengthen our economy.

Initiatives that improve research, development and education (RD&E) that assist agriculture and other regionally significant industries manage risk in the face of changing conditions. This will include initiatives to find ways to improve resource efficiency; workplace safety and worker satisfaction; combat agricultural weeds and pests; and adapt to changing climatic and economic conditions. It will also include initiatives to support regional industries to build cross collaboration networks, adapt to changing climatic and water policy, and take advantage of new opportunities. These initiatives will help improve efficiency and sustainability, increase productivity and industry resilience and support agricultural industries in particular to innovate and advance competitiveness through periods of volatility and change.

Initiatives that lead to planning and development of tourism infrastructure and services that increase visitation and spend across the Region and attract investment. This will include initiatives that increase opportunities for Aboriginal people through cultural tourism in areas such as Gunbower Forest; as well as other initiatives that leverage projects already undertaken to improve tourism in the Region, such as the Ports of the Murray River strategy; our arts, cultural and recreational precincts; and other iconic natural and cultural heritage assets such as our significant Goldfields heritage. These initiatives will help improve the quality of assets and customer satisfaction thereby leading to increased tourism, more jobs and, ultimately, protection of our culture, heritage and natural assets.