A Regional Economic Plan

Economic Development is many things. All levels of government and the private sector have roles to play. RDA BGLAP undertakes a coordinating role between these players, identifying relevant place based opportunities to connect policies and programs, thought leadership for future readiness and connecting business with markets opportunities domestically and internationally. Developing deep networks and inter-connectivity in the region, RDA promotes the innovation network and a systems approach to industry growth and economic development.

Vision: A resilient and adaptive region with diverse and competitive industries built on creativity, innovation, skills, infrastructure, strong culture and identity.

Community Goal: Regional Wealth and Well-being: high quality of life for all.

Economy Goal: Quality jobs in diversified businesses that are value adding and innovating.

The Strategy: The Strategy to achieve this goal is to activate economic opportunity in the region through levers of scale: scaling deep to achieve resilient, adaptive and creative communities, scaling out to grow our business in value through investment, innovation and export and scaling up to develop better policies, governance and planning that facilitate investment and jobs growth.

The Plan: To address a hierarchy of economic development “needs”.

RDA Implementation Strategy

To grow economic opportunity through Scale, building resilience, strengthening existing business, value adding to current production and services and diversifying markets, business models, industry mix and skills.

Current Challenges

3 of the Top 5 employment sectors offer declining employment (yet robust GRP prospects)

Manufacturing
  • Trend is for downwards employment opportunities
  • Fuelled by automation and closure of old industries
Agriculture
  • Trend is for downwards employment opportunities
  • Fuelled by automation and aggregation of businesses
Retail
  • Trend is for downwards employment opportunities
  • Fuelled by e-commerce and the online economy
Health & Community Services
  • Trend is for growing employment, especially in lower paid employment opportunities
  • Opportunities at all levels of jobs in NDIS, Health and lower level jobs in aged care
Education & Training
  • Growing population and trends in international education will support growth in this sector
  • Identified as an industry wide growth opportunity

Business Analysis

Statistics:
There are 5,593 businesses registered in RDA BGLAP area.
The TOP 5 industries with the largest number of businesses are:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing 23.2%
  • Construction 18.2%
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate 8.4%
  • Manufacturing 6.6%
  • Professional, scientific and technical services 6.2%

Specific feature of RDA BGLAP region is that approximately 95% of businesses are SMEs and even micro-businesses employing 0-5 employees.
According to ABS 2017 (data sourced by ATO) distribution of businesses by employment is following:

  • 64%: Non-employing – 3,597 businesses
  • 25%: 1 – 4 employees – 1,370 businesses
  • 9%: 5-19 employees – 510 businesses
  • 2%: 20 – 199 employees- 113 businesses
  • Over 200 employees – 3 businesses (educational)

The three largest employers registered in the region are educational institutions providing information about ALL employees (not local residents only).

Areas of support:
Business Insights Survey (381 respondents from SME businesses) conducted in RDA BGLAP region in 2015-2017 identified the following key skills shortage requiring support:

  • Digital marketing – 52% of respondents
  • Web development and content marketing – 33% of respondents
  • HR and people management– 29% of respondents
  • Personal development and self-performance 27% of respondents