Campaspe Shire Council, Media Release, 24 July 2023
Campaspe Shire Mayor Cr Rob Amos said the Council’s first Economic Development and Tourism Summit held on Friday, 21 July 2023 was an outstanding success.
More than 150 business, industry and community leaders attended the summit which was a key plank of the council’s engagement process to develop a new five-year Economic Development and Tourism Strategy for the shire.
“The feedback we’ve received from those who attended the half-day summit has been fantastic,” Cr Amos said.
“It was a great morning of learning and productive conversations about shaping the shire’s economic direction and driving prosperity for all into the long-term future.
“The presentation by our guest speaker, renowned Australian demographer Simon Kuestenmacher, was both fascinating and entertaining.
“We heard about the latest demographic and economic trends facing Australia and the implications of these for Campaspe Shire.
“He also gave some powerful and practical insights about how we can leverage our competitive advantages and take decisive action to address some of the key challenges, such as the shortage of affordable housing and access to skilled workers.
“For instance, with our ageing population and shortage of workers in the aged care sector, we need to consider looking beyond Australian shores to attract health care workers to the region and fill the employment gap.
“Simon said that Campaspe’s big community spirit, with one in four people volunteering, was a huge selling point for the shire.
“When people look to establish in new locations, a strong sense of community is important to them. Campaspe is renowned for its strong community pride and connectedness, so this is something we should leverage more in our marketing efforts.
“Simon also highlighted the importance of appealing to those who grew up in Campaspe but left as a young adult to study or pursue a career in the city. These people will ultimately settle down and have children, so there’s an opportunity to attract them back to raise their family with all the benefits of regional and rural living.
“From a tourism perspective, there are big opportunities to attract Baby Boomers who spend much of their time travelling in their retirement. People in this cohort are often ‘cashed up’ so we need to work out how to service them well and delight them.”
After Simon’s presentation, summit attendees participated in facilitated discussions with their peers about Campaspe’s key strengths, weaknesses and challenges, and how opportunities could be capitalised upon.
“The 24 tables were abuzz as attendees shared their insights, ideas and priorities,” Cr Amos said.
“Over the next several weeks we’ll carefully consider all of the data and information gathered from the engagement process. A draft 2023-2028 Economic Development & Tourism Strategy will then be prepared for Council consideration and placed on public exhibition.
“We’ll also organise some information sessions to explain the draft strategy and verify the information collected from the wider community.”
For more information on the 2023-2028 Economic Development & Tourism Strategy, visit www.campaspe.vic.gov.au/EDTS or call Council on 1300 666 535.