Colac Otway Shire plan to support economic growth
October 25, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council has released its draft economic development strategy, detailing how Council plans to support the shire’s ongoing growth through promotion of investment and job creation.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Joe McCracken said the shire had seen significant growth in recent years, with the number of businesses increasing by 12.1 percent between 2015 and 2017 and the total output for the shire was $2.802 billion.
“The manufacturing sector in our shire grew 11.7 per cent to $781.72 in that two-year period, defying a national trend, with the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector growing 35.9 per cent to $302.38 million.
“The construction sector output grew a massive 24 per cent, the health and social assistance sector grew from $125.68 million to $230.78 million, and the shire’s tourism sector grew to $163.74.
“Retail trade increased by more than $10 million, accommodation and food services jumped from $100.65 million to $128.44, and public administration and safety went from $88.4 million to $113.91 million.
“The draft economic development strategy proposes how Council can support future growth across the shire and we want residents and business owners to look at our plan and tell us what they think.
“The strategy identifies important sectors which contribute to the local economy and highlight specific activities which Council can pursue to capitalise on opportunities within these sectors,” Cr McCracken said.
“Council has established a plan that responds to key challenges, and provides a framework and Action Plan for the delivery of economic development activities.”
Cr McCracken said the draft strategy details Council’s vision for economic development in the shire, and once adopted, the document would provide guidance for the Colac Otway Shire’s Economic Development and Tourism Department to achieve that vision.
“Development of the draft document has involved extensive business and community consultation, including seven workshops and a broad survey to gather feedback on business-related matters, along with one-on-one meetings.”
The strategy also provides a summary of feedback and the Action Plan details 64 short- medium and longer term actions to implement the strategy.
“Colac Otway Shire’s economy is doing very well and the strength of our economy means that job creation is happening which is why the unemployment rate is low,” Cr McCracken said.
“We want the good news to continue and that’s why a new economic development strategy is so important to the whole community.”
Colac Otway Shire Council draft Economic Development Strategy is on public exhibition for six weeks and more information is available on Council’s website at www.colacotway.vic.gov.au or by contacting Council’s Customer Service Centres in Colac or Apollo Bay.