A NEW Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) was the topic of discussion at a series of information sessions held by MidCoast Council last week.
The strategy aims to secure a strong future for the region by supporting new business investment and maximising the potential for job growth.
Speaking at the Bulahdelah session, Council’s Manager of Growth, Economic Development and Tourism, Deb Tuckerman, said the REDS also provides an opportunity to continue working towards an integrated MidCoast area.
“The NSW Government has provided their support by funding consultants, and given that we are a new Council, we want to create an economic development strategy that reflects the three areas,” she said.
“The big benefit of a REDS is that it gives us a solid evidence-based approach to support funding applications for significant economic projects that will create employment in our region.”
The Centre for Economic and Regional Development is working closely with selected local councils in the preparation of the REDS.
Deb said standardised regional economic development methodology will be used to identify existing economic strengths and new opportunities to enhance development.
“We are very pleased to be working closely with the NSW Government to develop the REDS for the MidCoast region and to be one of the first regions in NSW to do so,” she said.
“The success of the strategy going forward is dependent on council working stronger and closer with our community and with our industries.”
Deb said local industry and business groups are encouraged to get involved with the next stage of the process which will involve workshops led by the consultants.
“We need that local knowledge,” she said.
“It is about ensuring people know about the process and that we identify people in the community to help inform that local development.”
The development of consistent REDS across State regions is an initiative of the NSW Government’s Department of Premier and Cabinet.
By Daniel SAHYOUN