Message from the Executive Director – Julia Andrews

Julia AndrewsWelcome back and Happy New Year for 2018!

We have some very exciting projects in the pipeline this year.We will be working even more closely with our region’s businesses to help drive new industry developments across a few key sectors of the NSW Central West economy, in line with our new Organisational Charter and Strategic Priorities.

First up is our innovative new project on e-commerce in China, which will deliver a Masterclass specifically designed for the region’s businesses who are interested in engaging in the new world of e-commerce. E-commerce has the potential to open up new sectors of our economy to international trade.

We will also be conducting an exciting new Farm to Institution project,strengthening the regional food economy by opening up new local markets to agri-food producers.

This is in addition to our continued work in the Telecommunications sector, now investigating demand in priority mobile black spots and areas where internet broadband doesn’t meet local needs, for Councils and businesses to scope new infrastructure solutions accordingly. There is no one-size-fits –all approach to improving connectivity – every community is different. Our Telecommunications Infrastructure Support Guide is handy for Councils, businesses and community groups that would like to know more about what they can do.

Please feel free to connect with us to find out more (or find our projects listed under ‘Our Initiatives’ on the website).

Reflecting on 2017, we saw lots of great outcomes for communities across our region.

We saw record investment and participation from our region in the Australian Government’s multi-million dollar Building Better Regions Fund. For the first time, this included a number of initiatives that invested in people and not just infrastructure.  We assisted organisations to develop project proposals and wrote dozens of letters of support for projects in health, domestic violence, childcare, recreation, sporting infrastructure, manufacturing, research and agricultural development.

We have also supported businesses to access the resources they need to grow, connected businesses and community groups with grants and funding opportunities, and provided advice to a number of Government inquiries spanning communications markets and telecommunications, mobile roaming, support for Start-Ups, decentralisation, transitioning regional economies and regional economic development.

We launched a number of projects including; a report on the Current and Future Skills gaps in Agriculture in the region; the economic impact of the Inland Rail on the NSW Central West; logistics solutions for small agribusinesses to metropolitan markets resulting in a $130,000 investment in collaborative new business model-Central West Fresh and the Agribusiness Today Forum – Sheep in Focus attended by 120+ people discussing cutting edge industry developments.

The result of these efforts – which are always collaborative efforts with communities, businesses and Government partners – are not always evident right away but sometimes months or years down the track. Regional development is a slow burn. However when we look back we can see just how far we have come and just how much more we know as a region compared to 12 months ago.

Please enjoy our January edition and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.