The Andrews Labor Government will back a new plan for a key region in North West Victoria, aiming to set a path to attract more investment into the farming towns of Buloke Shire.
The Buloke Industry, Product and Services Gap Analysis project will be led by Buloke Shire Council in collaboration with consultant Urban Enterprise, which will begin working with the local community next month.
The project will investigate and highlight the competitive advantages of investing in the Buloke Shire and create a clear, three-year investment attraction plan to enable the council to broker opportunities in partnership with local industry and the community.
Urban Enterprise will assist the council in consolidating and prioritising emerging economic development opportunities while identifying the gaps and challenges which currently exist in Buloke, which takes in towns including Donald, Charlton, Wycheproof, Berriwillock and Sea Lake.
A key aspect of the project will be identifying ways to future-proof Buloke’s agriculture sector, particularly dry-land cropping and livestock which represents 27 per cent of Buloke’s economic output.
The project will also lay the foundations for a renewed focus on other major employment industries including health care and social assistance, education and training, retail and construction and the emergence of tourism.
Local businesses, residents and other interested parties will be invited to a series of targeted consultation sessions throughout August, which will be hosted by Buloke Shire Council.
Information about the consultation sessions will be available on the council website.
The Labor Government has contributed $37,500 towards the $57,500 project through the Stronger Regional Communities Program, which aims to support rural and regional towns to attract families and young people to live and work.
The Buloke Industry, Product and Services Gap Analysis project is expected to be complete by February 2020 and has been developed in response to actions identified in the Buloke Shire Council Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2018-2021.
As stated by Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes
“Buloke’s agriculture sector has a strong reputation and we’re proud to support the region to continue its output as global competition grows.”
As stated by Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“This project will ensure the shire can diversify its industries and help attract more people to live, work, visit and invest in this area of North-West Victoria.”