Northern Grampians Shire Council endorsed the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2021-31 at the May council meeting held in St Arnaud on Monday. The ten-year plan aims to uplift the economic wellbeing and quality of life for shire residents and has been the joint focus of council and the steering committee for the past nine months.
The strategy and action plan presents a raft of economic objectives to address key challenges in the shire. It sets bold targets to:
grow the population by more than 3,000 residents
lower the median age to match the State average of 37 years
increase the gross regional product (GRP) by $200 million
attract investment from government, industry and business into the shire as an ideal location for commercial enterprise and scientific research
increase tourism through promotion of unique and diverse experiences within the region
improve community engagement in economic decision making through partnerships and direct liaison with the community
Cr Tony Driscoll, chair of the strategy committee, provided an overview to fellow councillors and said the committee is very proud of the clear direction and visionary ideas encapsulated within the strategy.
Cr Driscoll said, “The steering committee for the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2021-31 has done an amazing job capturing the key challenges our shire economy is facing, identifying solutions to these challenges and setting down a very clear action plan to improve the viability of our region within the current and forecasted economic climate.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr Murray Emerson is looking forward to working on the first set of deliverables for the plan. “We as councillors will aim to deliver on the short-term objectives identified within the strategy via the Council Plan 2021-25 in accordance with our four-year term”, he said.
“The strategy will position Northern Grampians to be one of rural Victoria’s most thriving, accessible and resilient regions for everyone to live, work, invest and visit.”