Regional Development VictoriaRDA Barwon South West

State Government of Victoria

Discussion Paper: ‘Providing Leadership in Uncertain Times'

January 2013

The 2012-15 Barwon South West Regional Strategic Plan sets out how the RDA Committee will attend to its core business activities through support to the various initiatives of G21 and GSC and other relevant regionally based organisations in five key policy areas.

Prior to the September 2012 meeting, the RDA BSW committee identified that it wished to concentrate regional development around the following themes:

  • Food
  • Digital Economy
  • Skills and Education
  • Energy
  • Tourism

Both G21 and GSC organisations have developed strategic plans which identify priority areas and projects they see necessary to create these organisations aspire to for their areas. This paper takes account of these plans but is not as comprehensive as we are not replacing the plans but building on them to emphasis a regional position in some key enabling areas.

Whilst it is relatively easy to make some leading statements about where we, as a Committee, would like to see the regional economy in 10 years time, it is much more difficult to make it happen. For this we must rely on our existing structures and in the BSW we are fortunate to have relatively active organisations like G21 and GSC in place and we have some of the nation’s leading education and health providers and we are an important contributor to national agricultural production. We also host the State’s most visited tourist precinct.

There will be many, both within our region and external, who will simple respond to some aspirational statements from the RDA by claiming that they are unachievable given the dearth of infrastructure funding, the economic future we face, the rising costs of living, etc. To these people we can simply say – by not aiming to improve our current circumstances we are at risk of sentencing our region to a continued decline in living standards, measured both in terms of productivity and prosperity. Our targets might prove unrealistic once we get into the conversation/s but at least we will have generated some thinking and hopefully some collaboration to grow our region. The question of how, including funding, becomes one we will address once we have acceptance of our aim.


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Last Updated: 15 April 2016