When it comes to strategic economic development, the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA fits into the bigger picture of long-term cooperation with two of its neighbours in the Southern Tablelands.
Specifically, the 2018-2022 Southern Tablelands Regional Economic Development Strategy is a collaboration between Goulburn-Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan Shire, and Yass Valley councils.
This strategy also gets a review and minor amendments every two years, and a major update every four.
As was published by State of New South Wales (Department of Premier and Cabinet) in June 2018, this strategy's vision is "To grow the region's core strengths in agriculture, energy, extractive industries, aged care, transport, and tourism and deliver a highly liveable community which attracts and rewards residents and visitors."
Starting with agriculture, the 2016 Census data showed that the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA's total value of agricultural output in the 2015/16 financial year was $48.7 million.
68.6 percent of that agricultural output was livestock for slaughter, mostly beef (just over $16.8 million), along with lamb and sheep (nearly $9.3 million combined). Wool (almost $11.8 million ) is a very significant commodity too.
Another item on the list was to "realise the economic opportunity presented by public order, safety and aged care," the strategy said.
For public order and safety, the two main institutions for this are the NSW Police Academy and the Goulburn Correctional Centre. "Both institutions are major employers and wages and salaries generated and spent in the community add to the region's economic base."
With respect to aged care, the strategy saw this as a growing need. "With the ageing of the population, aged care is a major employer and offers jobs to young people who might otherwise find it necessary to leave their community to secure employment. This strategy will support growth in the aged care sector including provision of auxiliary infrastructure."
The strategy also recognised the need for all infrastructure. The priorities identified were water and sewerage, education including support for tertiary students who remain residents of this region, digital connectivity through reliable internet and mobile coverage, arts and culture infrastructure such as performing arts and museums, sports and recreation facilities, and tourism infrastructure including opportunities linked to motorsport. Another area of infrastructure noted was roads, particularly livestock routes.
In addition to supporting economic activity and growth, you may have noticed that many of the above priorities also tie in with the goals of making the region more liveable too.
The next major update to the strategy is planned to commence in 2022. It will again look at the region's strengths, determine how best to support those strengths, and identify any current shortcomings that may inhibit future growth.
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