Wimmera Southern Mallee Tourism Collaboration and Destination Management Plan
Supporting a vibrant tourism industry and enhancing the Wimmera Southern Mallee’s economic diversity were identified as community priorities for this region through the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership. A new project has commenced to help strengthen he tourism sector, boost visitors and diversify the local economy, by establishing sustainable tourism governance model and destination management plan for the broader Wimmera Southern Mallee Region. Details of the project and future project updates can be found in the attachments below.
Grampians Region 10 Year Cycling and Trails Business and Masterplan
A 10-year cycling master plan has set up the Grampians region to benefit from future government investment and an influx of tourism opportunities from an estimated 50,000 visitors that could be drawn to the region through cycling.
Funded through a partnership between State Government (Regional Development Victoria) and 11 Local Government councils, the project has been delivered by Wimmera Development Association and covers an area from Bacchus Marsh through to the South Australian border.
The master plan has created a decade-long pipeline of future projects in the region, covering cycling segments such as mountain biking, road cycling, bike touring and recreational riders, and not only stands to benefit local residents with better cycling infrastructure, but will also provide an added tourism opportunity for the region.
The master plan was launched in September and includes a full economic business case for three key projects:
Wimmera River Discovery Trail, stretching from Dimboola to Lake Hindmarsh;
Ararat Hills Mountain Bike Park; and
Further investment in cycling infrastructure on the existing Goldfields Track between Ballarat and Bendigo.
The economic modelling contained in the business cases makes the projects shovel ready for Government investment, and the master plan is expected to trigger an additional $10 million investment in business services to accommodate the growth in tourists.
Wimmera Development Association Executive Director, Ralph Kenyon said the development of the master plan has been a fantastic collaborative effort of the councils in the Grampians RDV region and shows what can be achieved when organisations work together looking at the bigger picture.
“This project gives the Grampians Region a 10-year plan to guide a more strategic approach to the opportunities for cycling tourism across the region.”
“We’ve seen what cycle tourism can do in reviving towns like Forrest in the Otway ranges, and Derby in Tasmania, where riders from all over Australia flock to ride the incredible mountain bike trails.”
“Our project has created a road map to attract the investment that is needed to grow a new tourism product in our region,” Mr Kenyon said.
In addition to the master plan, work has been undertaken to develop a regional brand to support promotion of the projects and the entire region as an emerging cycling destination as product takes shape.
Following on from the launch, each participating council will have a summary document and well as a comprehensive project breakdown to assist with further product development, grant applications and/or training opportunities. It is expected individual Councils will engage with their local cycling groups and committees to plan and implement many facets of the regional report.
View the full reports by clicking on the below links
2018 Wimmera Southern Mallee Environmental and Recreational Water Values Study
Wimmera Development Association (WDA) in conjunction with project partners, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, GWMWater and the Wimmera Southern Mallee councils has completed the second of a four year study focusing on the socio-economic values of recreational and environmental water to the region.
The study collates and analyses data collected from across the region at locations where individuals and groups enjoy our lakes, rivers and weir-pools for recreational activity and events and this year shows a two year comparison.
The methodology in this years’ study has been enhanced to more accurately represent the allocation of the financial contribution from suppliers across the region and also includes additional information from Fisheries Victoria.
Key findings from the report have estimated that in 2018 in excess of 300,000 people visited the 25 waterways that were surveyed, which included over 208,000 visitor nights and a high rate of both active and passive local participation. Visitation to the surveyed sites was made up of 35.6%% Wimmera Southern Mallee residents, 36.7% other Victorian Country, 14.6% Melbourne and 8.6% from South Australia. The total regional economic contribution was estimated at $30.2 million.
This study has been a cooperative effort with local government and local community groups to catalogue and quantify the various social and economic benefits recreational and environmental water at 25 locations including rivers, pools and lakes across the region.
The report has also highlighted the important contribution to the region’s towns by providing enhanced amenity and a critical outlet for physical and mental relaxation, improving the overall health and wellbeing of residents and visitors.
An example of the substantial financial benefits of visitors coming from around Victoria was evident during the Horsham & Jeparit Fishing competition, with significant expenditure surveyed, increased visitation to small businesses and reports of increased sales by many businesses. These two events are two of many that attract visitors to the region on an annual basis.
Various campgrounds adjoining lakes also bring and attract campers and fishers to the region, from both within and outside the state.
One of the aims of the study is to establish a base line data set and consistent measurement methods that will allow for longer term studies to identify seasonal patterns in coming years.
Once collected and analysed the information will provide a better understanding of the economic impact of environmental and recreational water as well as the social benefits that these resources provide to the community.
This longitudinal study gives a better understanding of how to measure these values so that we can plan for future tourism, recreational and infrastructure facilities. Study outputs will also help to demonstrate the local and regional impacts to both State and Commonwealth Governments in order to attract support and funding for further development of infrastructure and services associated with recreational water and many of the stakeholder groups involved in the first round of data collection have already seen the advantage of using this information for grants and project planning.
Street Ryan Pty Ltd was been appointed as project consultant to develop a series of questionnaires that will be shared with local Committees of Management, sporting clubs and others likely to have an involvement in recreational water activity. The majority of the funding for the project has been made available by the Victorian Government via the Wimmera CMA.
Measuring the social and economic value of recreational & environmental water in the Wimmera Southern Mallee
Wimmera and Grampians Indigenous Tourism Feasibility Study
The Wimmera and Grampians Indigenous Tourism Feasibility Study explores the potential to develop Indigenous tourism enterprise activities for ‘Wotjobaluk Country’ in the Wimmera-Mallee region. It covers the land area for which the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) is the Registered Aboriginal Party and takes in, all or part of, the local government areas of West Wimmera, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and Buloke.
Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) is designed to expand opportunities and pathways for senior secondary students. Students can gain nationally accredited qualifications in a broad range of applied learning disciplines as part of their VCE and/or VCAL studies. The report looks at the issues facing the region and recommendations for future actions. A copy of the report can be viewed here
Workforce Development Strategy
The Workforce Development in the Grampians report presents emerging trends for business and industry in the Grampians region, and the workforce skills
and knowledge which will be required to ensure regional competitiveness, prosperity and growth. In particular, the
project focuses on developments in the following four industries: Agriculture, Health Care and Social Assistance,
Manufacturing, and Tourism. The project examined both general and regional trends in these industries and how
education providers can meet emerging workforce development needs in these four sectors.
Wimmera Development Association is pleased to announce that the Wimmera Internship Program will once again be offered to businesses and students across the Wimmera Southern Mallee over the 2017-18 Summer break.
The rural Victorian community can experience difficulty in attracting professionals to live and work in rural areas. A challenge is to find new and innovative ways to retain students and graduates within communities, and to attract graduates as new residents.
WDA seeks to support rural communities by highlighting the work opportunities available to students and graduates, and to assist councils to grow their local economies.
This project works closely with local employers to determine current skills shortages or workplace opportunities that can be matched with students from relevant tertiary institutions. The students will be placed based on an alignment of skills and experience, as determined by the employer, and will be remunerated for their time. Students will also live in the local community to build their experience of working and living rurally.
This project will support successful applicants to link in with Universities to involve students with practical work placements as part of their studies.
The project seeks to broaden the options of many students, provide them with valuable work experience, develop personal connections and open up their views on working and living in a rural community.
Future Education and Training Needs of the Agriculture Sector
Wimmera agricultural producers and agribusiness employees within the Wimmera Southern Mallee have taken the opportunity to participate in a study into the future training needs for agriculture in the region.
As identified in the Grampians Workforce Development Strategy, planning for the training and education needs of the agriculture sector is critical to the future development of agriculture and agribusiness in the region.
Wimmera Development Association has undertaken the study with funds from Regional Development Australia Grampians to build an understanding of industry training and education.
Measuring the Social & Economic Value of Recreational Water in the Wimmera Southern Mallee
Wimmera Development Association (WDA) in conjunction with project partners, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, West Wimmera Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Yarriambiack Shire, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians Shire, Buloke Shire, and GWMWater is about to undertake a Socio-economic Study into the value of recreational and environmental water to the Wimmera Southern Mallee.
The project will undertake surveys and collect data from across the region at locations where individuals and groups enjoy our lakes, rivers and weir-pools for recreational activity.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee Recreational Water Values Project is a collaboration between, Wimmera CMA, GWMWater, WDA and the WSM Councils funded by the Victorian Government as part of Water for Victoria.
Street Ryan Pty Ltd has been appointed as project consultant and work has commenced to develop a series of questionnaires that will be shared with local Committees of Management, sporting clubs and others likely to have an involvement in recreational water activity. The majority of the funding for the project has been made available by the Victorian Government via the Wimmera CMA. More...
Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Strategic Plan
The first Regional Plan for the Wimmera Southern Mallee was developed in 2010 as part of the statewide regional planning approach - Regional Strategic Planning Initiative (RSPI). Download a copy of the 2010 plan here
In 2015 an update on activities was conducted. Download a copy of the update here
Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Investment Plan
Wimmera Southern Mallee Councils – West Wimmera,Hindmarsh, Yarriambiack, Horsham and Northern Grampians have a long history of successful collaboration and the WSM Regional Investment Plan articulates the vision for regional growth through investment attraction, diversified employment and more efficient export opportunities.
Click here for a copy of the WSM Regional Investment Plan
The report has captured consistent data across the region and identifies a number of opportunities for the producers in the Wimmera Southern Mallee for diversification, training and potential investment.
This information will be used by Wimmera Development Association to plan future ‘Information Forums’ with key businesses in the supply chain to assist with Regional Development.
Housing Investment Opportunities in the Wimmera Southern Mallee
The Information Memorandum provides a fresh perspective on investing in residential properties for the rental market in the region. Housing has been identified as a constraint for regional businesses in attracting and retaining employees, and this information should generate discussion about regional investment opportunities.
The plan identifies the opportunities and constraints to maximising the economic benefits of current and potential mining activities in the region.
Wimmera Development Association is interested in receiving feedback on the development of a regional network of businesses (potentially a mining cluster) to identify supply chain opportunities and training needs for our regional workforce. Contact the Wimmera Development Association on 5381 6500 if you would like to participate in this discussion.
The Regional ICT Database is a listing of businesses or organisations working in the information communications technology field within the Wimmera.
To view businesses listed in the database, choose the provider field from the links below.
Remote Data Use in Agriculture
“Remote Data Use in Agriculture” is an important regional initiative investigating the use of mobile data in agriculture – the economic driver for the Wimmera Southern Mallee.
The Remote Data Use in Agriculture final report was launched on April 10th 2013 at Longerenong College. The Wimmera Development Association will work on implementing the recommendations from this report relating to awareness, training, adoption and engagement.
"The Wimmera. Everything you need." branding is providing businesses and community organisations with a fresh new banner to promote themselves and the region. It has been successfully used as the regional umbrella at the Victorian Regional Living Expo, and provided a great banner for the Powercor Wimmera Business Awards.
The Wimmera website www.thewimmera.com.au represents all aspects of the region, promoting lifestyle, employment, investment and business opportunities.
The accuracy of weather data for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region was identified in the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Plan. The impact of weather information on agricultural decisions, emergency planning, aviation and water managment in the region has a direct economic bearing on our community. A working group was established to investigate the opportunity to upgrade our weather data to enable real time information, to inform management and planning decisions for our region. Following discussions with the Bureau of Meteorology the working group sought case study information to build a submission for consideration by the Bureau and the Federal Government.
This submission was launched on 9 November by Member for Mallee John Forrest.
To view the submission click here and for further information contact Jo Bourke at WDA.
Investment in Regional Agriculture
The Wimmera Development Association, in conjunction with the Regional Development Australia Committee has commissioned two reports into aspects of agricultural investment in the Wimmera Southern Mallee.
Regional development Grampians Committee have published a research and strategic plan to guide business, industry, education and training providers to indentify, plan for and provide workforce skills for the future.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Apprenticeships and traineeships allow people, particularly those starting out in the workforce, to combine training and employment. That means earning money while gaining a nationally-recognised qualification!
Benefits for apprentices and trainees:
Build skills and experiences into a career
Complete training early to become fully qualified sooner!
Being paid while completing a training program that is structured – on-the-job training, at trade school, or a combination of the two.