Victoria’s Gippsland is a region with a strong focus on food production, clean energy, health services, education and tourism. It produces one third of the state’s dairy production and 85% of its electricity (42% of Australia’s LPG). The town has a population of 270,000 people and the Government is working towards harnessing the region’s diversity to create economic opportunities.
In East Gippsland, manufacturing is the largest sector by output (16.5), with construction close behind (13.1%). Agriculture, forestry and fishing are also fundamental drivers of the economy.
In 2015, agriculture equated to $298,215 million, through crops and livestock. Tourism also attracts an enormous 1.10 million visitors per year, yielding approximately $361 million for the region.
Taking advantage of the region’s strengths
The 2020 Gippsland Regional Plan outlines four future outcomes for the region. They include economic prosperity, education and community wellbeing, natural environment, and connectivity.
From an educational perspective, leaders are improving the capacity of key arts facilities and access to programs, plus undertaking joint health workforce planning.
There are dozens of new initiatives for businesses in Gippsland – like the Food Source Victoria Planning and Growth Grant, won by Gippsland Natural Meats. The grant will help the company ramp up their marketing and sales to develop new target markets.
It’s part of the Victorian Government’s $20 million Food Source Victoria Program, introduced by the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. Funding is available for agricultural businesses looking to invest in research, marketing, innovative products, and developing exporting skills.
La Trobe Valley: an ‘Economic Growth Zone’
Companies wanting to start or expand their businesses in the Latrobe Valley will be eligible for financial incentives, including the reimbursement of fees and charges. There’s also a range of business and investment initiatives, including mentoring services and business toolkits.
The La Trobe Valley Economic Facilitation Fund (LVEFF), for example, is a $10 million initiative for local businesses. The primary goal is to generate jobs by investing in established companies, grow capacity, and attract investment.
Other activities are in the pipeline, like the $5 million clean energy program to fund energy efficiency for 1,000 homes. The Victorian Government will also move 750 public sector jobs to regional areas, including La Trobe Valley, to decentralise the workforce.
Gippsland and La Trobe Valley are great examples of local Governments using the region’s strengths to continue economic growth into the future.
Interested in encouraging economic development, entrepreneurship and future jobs in your region? Contact Wendy Perry, via firstname.lastname@example.org.