Supporting communities through changes to native timber industry

Matt Thomas - Project Manager - Local Development Strategy.jpg

The Victorian Government recently announced $400,000 in funding under the State Government’s Victorian Forestry Plan to support preparation of a Local Development Strategy for the communities of Marysville, Buxton, Taggerty and Alexandra.

This project will assist our communities who are directly affected by the transition away from native timber harvesting to identify and develop opportunities for economic diversification. The community-led project will support growth and job creation in established and new industries and deliver long-term economic and social benefits.

Murrindindi Shire Council is administering the funding and has employed Project Manager, Matt Thomas, to support delivery of the project over a two-year period.

The project will identify and develop regional strengths, assets and opportunities for innovation and will see engagement and collaboration with community, business, local industries, the education sector and government.

Initial planning has commenced, with drop-sessions planned for mid-December to provide more information about the project and answer any questions. In addition, expressions of interest are being sought from community members to join a Community Reference Group to provide input and advice, and to support the implementation of the project during its early stages.

Council and the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions will be working in partnership to provide support to this locally-led project.

To learn more, click here or contact Matt Thomas on 0436 652 129.

Quotes attributable to Mr Matt Thomas, Project Manager, Murrindindi Shire Local Development Strategy

‘I’m excited to work with local communities to support the future economic growth of the area through this important project. I will be working as an independent and impartial facilitator for all of our community’s voices.

‘I have a strong connection to Murrindindi Shire, having lived here for eight years with my family. During my time here I have had the pleasure of working with many community members, groups and businesses across the Shire with diverse interests and priorities.

‘I’ve worked within Council and for several businesses in the area. Most recently, I have been involved in a wide range of economic development projects, including the Lake Eildon Activation Masterplan and Great Victorian Rail Trail Art Project.

‘I look forward to working alongside some familiar faces and meeting many new people from across a range of sectors to explore future innovation opportunities.

‘The project will be delivered over the next two years, in collaboration with the community and project stakeholders, and will develop investment-ready business cases and identify potential sources of funding.

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