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RDA Grampians Projects

Olive harvesting

RDA Grampians delivers and supports regional initiatives that drive economic development by working closely with all levels of government, business and community organisations and other local stakeholders.

Current and previous projects

For Want of a Worker

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Grampians established the For Want of a Worker project in 2019. The For Want of a Worker (FWOW) project was developed based around the Grampians region facing a critical issue being workforce shortages. A wide range of isolated studies and reports had been completed to understand workforce shortages across industries. However, no one had produced systems map to uncover interrelated systemic issues behind the problems and therefore the project was developed.

RDA Grampians completed phase one of this project in 2019 which involved a literature review and analysis on the trends, drivers and barriers that are shaping the Grampians Region workforce.

After a delay due to COVID, in 2021 a report was created that involved research analysis of the systemic factors of the workforce shortages, which identified five areas of opportunity each providing a practical solution for tackling workforce shortage.

Entering the final phase two interactive workshops were held in May 2022 for those interested in implementing an opportunity from phase two of the FWOW project. Several key stakeholders from across the Grampians region including several local council CEO’s and economic development teams, university and TAFE providers and local businesses were in attendance. Both workshops were a success with many ideas generated based around the five areas of opportunity.

These workshops allowed for community collaboration along with collaboration across both state and local government. Smaller working style groups made up of attendees of the workshops will now work on implementing ideas that work specifically for them and their needs.

RDA Grampians also worked with Jobs Victoria to have region-based jobs boards created which can be housed on local councils' websites to promote jobs in the area. RDA Grampians will continue work with Jobs Victoria to run campaigns for jobs in the Grampians area especially after ideas have been implemented in the region.

Agriculture Value Add

A region-based project, Grampians Value-Add in Agriculture, has been led by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Grampians.

Agriculture is one of the largest employers in the Grampians region, employing 7,804 people and producing outputs worth $2.3billion. However, the RDA Grampians Committee identified a significant opportunity to drive investment and jobs growth by value adding to our agricultural outputs within the region.

As the first phase of RDA Grampians work, a State Government analysis has identified the key commodities which are being produced locally and exported. This data showed that only 1% of raw product (sheep, beef, grains and dairy cattle) exported from the Grampians remains in regional Victoria. The remaining 99% is exported internationally, interstate or to metropolitan Melbourne. Essentially, we are sending most of our raw commodities out of regional Victoria so other people can make money from them. We want to change this.

The project has identified key opportunities to drive more processing of raw product within the region, retaining more of the profit for regional communities.

Grampians New Energy Taskforce

Grampians New Energy Taskforce (GNeT) was formed in December 2017 and is made up of state and local government representatives, regional partnership members, industry and community groups.

The taskforce, chaired by RDA Grampians Chair Stuart Benjamin, supports and delivers a range of initiatives to help guide the Grampians regions transition to a low carbon, energy efficient and sustainable economy.

GNeT was established to identify issues surrounding energy security, the electricity supply capacity of the grid, gas supply and cost, as well as the potential impacts that these present for the region, particularly local industries.

In 2018, the Victorian Government funded two projects in the Grampians region, $500,000 funding for the development of a Roadmap to Zero Carbon and $50,000 for the development of a business case for an Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre in Ballarat.

Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER)

The Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER) is a collaboration between RDA Grampians, Federation University, the Wimmera Development Association and local governments in the Grampians region.

Based in Horsham, RISER undertakes social and economic development research in fields that impact on communities in rural and regional Victoria.

Established to support sustainable growth and development in regional communities, the work undertaken is applied in nature and utilised directly by government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector.

RDA Grampians supported the establishment of RISER in 2016 due to the direct benefits of its research.

RISER work with communities to develop funding applications to the Australian Government, State Government and the philanthropic sector.

Partners for this project include Federation University and the Wimmera Development Association.

If you would like to know more about this project, email RDA Grampians.

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