Plan to boost Valley economy

Latrobe City has received $70,000 to help develop a five-year economic plan to support business and investment from 2015-19.

The State Government contributed $70,000 to the $110,000 Economic Sustainability Strategy 2015-19, with Latrobe City Council contributing the remaining $40,000.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the consultant employed to create the plan would also develop an “implementation toolbox” which would provide a suite of techniques to promote job creation and economic sustainability.

“The new plan will consolidate Latrobe City as a major industrial centre for Victoria and focal point for Gippsland’s economy by generating employment growth and reducing the region’s unemployment rate,” Mr Northe said.

“It will encourage businesses to become more productive through the use of technology and seek to attract further state and commonwealth investment.

“The council’s current economic strategy has been pivotal in achieving a number of identified priorities but needs more detail to implement key economic development priorities.”

He added the plan would ensure a smooth transition to a low carbon economy.

“The strategy will define opportunities for high quality jobs that will contribute to a diversified industry base and the future resilience of the economy,” Mr Northe said.

Latrobe City mayor Sharon Gibson said funding for the economic plan was key to ensuring that job creation remained a focus for the municipality.

“We need to ensure that our region benefits from investment opportunities,” Cr Gibson said.

“This plan will help put a focus on bringing industry, commerce, investors and other business development prospects to Latrobe City.”

“The implementation toolbox will ensure we have the capacity to encourage this sort of investment into our region and to retain it for long term economic growth.”

The Economic Sustainability Strategy 2015-19 and Implementation Toolbox project is expected to be completed in June 2015.