Future business: Economic Development Strategy to set up the shire for the next decade

August 5, 2021 BY

The cover of the shire's Economic Development Strategy features local business Built for Advanture. Photo: KORNELIA PYTLAK

THE Surf Coast Shire council is inviting feedback on a draft strategy to grow the local economy over the next decade for the benefit of business, lifestyle and the environment.

The draft Economic Development Strategy 2021-2031, which the council released on Monday this week for public comment, aims to build on existing strengths of the local economy, while embracing new opportunities to create prosperity, resilience and longer term recovery from COVID-19.

The strategy’s vision is “By 2031, the Surf Coast is prosperous and has shaped its own identity that successfully combines lifestyle, environment, business and a strong sense of place”.

It has four principles:

  • Prosperity equals quality of life for community
  • Community includes residents, businesses and visitors
  • The natural environment has an intrinsic value that cannot be replaced by economic development, and
  • The Surf Coast has three separate and distinct local economies (Torquay, Coast and Hinterland).

Surf Coast deputy mayor Liz Pattison said the draft economic strategy provided a blueprint for a prosperous Surf Coast Shire.

“We live in a unique part of the world that is naturally stunning and is located within a commutable distance to Melbourne. This creates both opportunities and pressure on our region,” Cr Pattison said.

“The Surf Coast Shire economy has grown to this point on the back of surfing, tourism and agribusiness but what we’ve found from our consultation with businesses and the community, is a really exciting story of new and innovative businesses emerging in our region.”

The Surf Coast Shire is recognised as one of the top five creative regions in Australia and is listed in the top 10 for innovation.

A thriving undercurrent of more than 8,000 home-based creative, trade and professional businesses also provide many new opportunities for people to live and work locally.

“We want to create a place that encourages new local jobs and supports new enterprise while caring for our environment, so we can all live, work and play in a place we are proud and happy to call home,” Cr Pattison said.

“Council wants to work with the community to take deliberate steps towards growing a prosperous economy so we can thrive for generations to come.”

Submissions close on August 27, and will be reviewed before the final strategy is provided to the council for adoption by October.

To read the draft strategy or make a submission, head to the Surf Coast Shire’s website.

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