Plans for prosperity

LISTENING TO COMMUNITY: Ranee Parsons (CHDC), Jemima Hutch (KPMG) and Liana Pennisi (CHDC) have held workshops with industry stakeholders ahead of a new Central Highlands Economic Master Plan.
LISTENING TO COMMUNITY: Ranee Parsons (CHDC), Jemima Hutch (KPMG) and Liana Pennisi (CHDC) have held workshops with industry stakeholders ahead of a new Central Highlands Economic Master Plan. Jessica Dorey

AS THE region continues to develop, the Central Highlands Development Corporation is working with the community to ensure ongoing economic prosperity.

This week the CHDC held workshops with Central Highlands Regional Council and industry stakeholders to develop a new Central Highlands Economic Master Plan.

The plan will outline priority initiatives and projects for the short and medium terms, and will include a vision for priorities that will position the Central Highlands as a strong, dynamic, innovative and economically-viable region.

The master plan follows a previous economic development strategy spanning 2013-16.

CHDC regional development officer Liana Pennisi said the workshops allowed both CHDC and facilitator KPMG to gain a better understanding of priorities throughout industry and the community.

"It will be a structured approach to delivering economic opportunities for both short term, in the next five years, and long term, with a 20-year vision,” she said.

Ms Pennisi said the new master plan would further develop the previous strategy that drove economic development.

"There are some similarities and differences,” she said.

"It will be altered to adapt with what our needs are now.”

The four workshop topics included population services, export drivers, workforce and governance, however stakeholders were encouraged to contribute any ideas they had.

"Stakeholders attended the workshops to bring industry knowledge and experience, which we can incorporate into what we are trying to achieve in the project,” Ms Pennisi said.

The strategy, which is high on the agenda for CHDC, council and industry stakeholders, will be developed into a final report anticipated to be completed by July.

The strategy, including deliverables and outcomes, will be discussed at an industry forum on July 14. Registration will open in the coming weeks.

Visit the CHDC website for more.

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