COUNCILS COLLABORATE FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
Griffith City Council has joined forces with Carrathool Shire, Leeton Shire, Narrandera Shire and Murrumbidgee Council as they look beyond their respective geographical boundaries to grow and develop the wider region.
The NSW Government has assisted local councils and their communities to develop Regional Economic Development Strategies with local government areas that form a functional economic region.
The Western Riverina Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 was recently published and will assist those with an interest in the economic development of our region, particularly councils, communities and local businesses, in planning their future economic activities.
It provides a vehicle for engaging the community in a ‘conversation’ about regional needs and priorities, assists in bringing together key stakeholders and mobilising resources, and in so doing, can facilitate faster access to dedicated NSW Government funding, such as the Growing Local Economies Fund, as well helping to capitalise upon other economic opportunities.
The Western Riverina Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 was formed in collaboration with the Carrathool Shire, Griffith City, Leeton Shire, Narrandera Shire and Murrumbidgee councils, key stakeholders and the broader regional community, which benefited from economic-analytical assistance from the NSW Government’s Centre for Economic and Regional Development (CERD). The Strategy provides a snapshot of population, economy and industry in our region and outlines opportunities, strategic actions and projects.
Griffith Mayor, John Dal Broi said, “We now have a high-level strategy that each council can use to influence future growth and development. Importantly, it demonstrates that the government has recognised that regional economies operate beyond local government boundaries and that we are communities of economic interest rather than lines on a map.”
“This is a great example of how the councils in this area are able to work together for the benefit of the region. We can achieve more when we collaborate and go to other levels of government united.”
Agriculture and Manufacturing are shown to be the key drivers of the Western Riverina economy with the Strategy emphasising the development of better connections to external markets and enabling greater supply chain integration within the Region. These industries have seen considerable expansions in employment and represent the key opportunities for the region’s future economic development. Prospects for these industries can be advanced through a number of measures including better connections to their external markets through transport infrastructure investment. Better connections within the region, through both transport and digital connectivity measures, can increase supply chain integration and regional productivity. Streamlining approval processes can also help facilitate timely expansions of activity in these sectors over time.
The Western Riverina Economy Strategy outlines opportunities to enhance key inputs including labour, energy and water. Strategic priorities include developing closer partnerships between industry and training providers, so skills development is more productive; increasing the reliability of energy supply for manufacturers; promoting expertise in water management and working together to advocate for the Western Riverina’s interests in national water reform processes.
Growing the Region’s population and labour pool is a key imperative in the Western Riverina. Limited availability of workers constrains output and makes the task of sourcing new workers during expansions of operations especially difficult. Growing the population emphasises the need to attract and retain people. The immediate focus is on increasing housing supply, complemented by enhancements to the liveability of the Western Riverina’s communities through increased social amenities, improved education, childcare and health services, and pursuing new partnerships with other levels of government to accelerate the Region’s economic and social development.
Visit https://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/programs-and-services/centre-for-economic-and-regional-development/projects/regional-economic-development-strategies/ to view the strategy and supporting analysis.