In 2016 we were contracted by the Cooma Country University Centre to provide information that helped them successfully lobby Federal and State Government to provide funding for the establishment of multiple Country University Centres across NSW. We used 2016 Census information and research to establish and rate possible locations based on factors including: population; travel times; nearness to other facilities and demographics.
In early 2016 we were contracted by Eurobodalla Council to undertake an audit of the central business district and provide a snapshot of available commercial space and potential future needs for their Planning Department.
In April this year we developed a Jobs and Growth Insight publication in conjunction with the Southern Inland RDA and the seven Councils in the region. The report and individual documents were designed to provide information on opportunities for people wanting to move to the area for work or business. This project was funded by the NSW State Government.
We have prepared economic and/or tourism strategies for many towns, Councils and regions across the country including Eurobodalla Council 2013, Cooma Monaro Shire 2013, Young Shire Council 2011, Bega Valley Shire 2010, RDA Southern Inland 2010 and many others. We have also worked together on retail and commercial vibrancy issues with Mudgee and Forster-Tuncurry.
We offer different approaches to economic strategic planning, tailored to suit the needs of each community. For some areas, like Young Shire, we combined economic profiling and analysis with extensive community consultation across the Shire as the basis for preparing a comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. In Cooma-Monaro we prepared a quantitative economic profile and situation analysis and then facilitated six strategic planning sessions of the Shire’s Economic Development Taskforce to prepare an Economic Development Strategy to put to Council. A similar process worked very well in Benalla, activating the newly established Economic and Tourism Advisory Committee and resulting in a detailed and achievable work plan for Council’s small economic development team. In Eurobodalla we prepared shire-wide and local socio-economic updates which were presented at open forums by Kim. Facilitated discussion in the forums led to local issues and responses – which were collated by Council into an update Economic Development Plan.
Our team’s leader, Kim Houghton, is currently working on economic strategy development with two shires in NSW, as well as working on community adaptability and resilience in the Murray Darling Basin. This latter project is a collaboration between three Universities and two specialist consultants, and combines social capital, demographics, economics, well-being and choice modelling. As a result of this work Kim has been appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor in Regional Development at the University of Canberra, and has a Visiting Fellowship in the Murray Darling Basin Futures Collaborative Research Network.
In 2012 Kim and Amanda worked for the Tasmanian Department of Economic Development to review their business advisory services – Enterprise Centres Tasmania and Business Mentor Services Tasmania. We interviewed a wide range of stakeholders including providers, users and local government, to recommend some changes to the way the program was delivered.
In 2013 Kim and Amanda led an international team to prepare a feasibility study and business plan for a shared use food processing facility in northern Tasmania. We researched food production and processing activities in the region and interviewed and surveyed a wide range of operators (farmers, manufacturers and researchers) to understand market demand for pilot scale food production facilities in the region. We worked with Gael Deighton from the Foodbowl in New Zealand to determine a location and services design to deliver the right mix of services at 4 locations. The project was instigated by a joint group from the Uni of Tasmnia, CSIRO and the Department of Defence.