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Values, Principles & Approach

The Economic Development Strategy will form an important part of the achievement of the Shire’s Vision 2025. The directions and actions which will emerge are integral to Council’s commitment to building and strengthening our local communities, within the context of sustainability and a holistic approach to township development. Key elements of Council’s vision which applies to this strategy are as follows:
1. Economic sustainability is valued by the community;
2. Value-adding to local produce is an important part of the local economy;
3. Investments are made with consideration to the values of the region;
4. Local produce is sold locally, nationally and globally;
5. Sustainable farming techniques are practised;
6. More residents are employed locally;
7. Home based work is recognised and encouraged;
8. Necessary technological infrastructure is in place; and
9. Council plays a major role as a facilitator and advocate.

Values, Principles & Approach

– Forging business, community and other partnerships;
– Promoting education and training
– Encouraging community leadership and entrepreneurship;
– Providing responsive and effective planning processes;
– Ensuring appropriate and sustainable land use;
– Advocating for infrastructure to support local businesses.

Strategy Aim

To bring together all of the activities of organisation, driven by a range of strategic actions. This recognises that sustainable, healthy communities are those where the economy of the community is strong, and that this occurs within a context of building on the values and cultural heritage of the communities, developing the strengths and capacities of businesses and individuals and protecting and respecting the natural environment for future generations.

Strategy Objectives

Develop a fresh approach to branding and promotion of the Macedon Ranges for use in all corporate and consumer related outputs
Develop and implement a marketing program based on the key strengths to promote the concept of Live, Work and Invest in the Macedon Ranges
Identify possible partnerships with key stakeholders to cross promote the region
Support existing business growth by providing linkages with relevant opportunities for assistance
Actively seek investment from businesses, both local and external, which are compatible with the Shire’s values
Extend and maintain town welcome signage and visitor servicing infrastructure
Develop and implement activities to promote a “buy local” message

Develop a Macedon Ranges Shire Council Buy Local Policy
Provide comprehensive business advice and information services
Facilitate connections between business, school leavers and training providers.
Facilitate access to funding for all relevant eligible businesses and business networks
Facilitate access to mentoring services / leadership groups
Assist with the development of a Shire wide Business Leadership Group / Economic Forum to build capacity within existing business networks
Develop easy to interpret, accessible information required to support businesses in making decisions regarding investment in the Shire
Where possible facilitate all relevant permits within statutory time frames
Continue to implement a strategic approach to the development of zoning and land use policies and decision guidelines that support sustainable business growth
Develop a shared electronic communication tool for information provision
Continue to support local, sustainable transport planning
Support research and development of renewable energy opportunities in the region

Develop and implement an Industrial Land Analysis

Develop and implement a Tourism Strategy

Assist in establishing a Macedon Ranges agribusiness network
Update the type and nature of information available to the agribusiness sector
Assist agricultural industries to invest in sustainable new developments with consideration to limiting impacts on residents, landscape quality and the general environment
To support value adding to local agricultural produce where possible
To assist agricultural industries meet their employment and training needs

Develop a partnership plan which identifies relevant targets and potential outcomes from those arrangements
Build strong partnerships with government agencies, industry associations/ organisations and tertiary institutions to assist in growing business

Ascertain the level and support required by home based businesses
Develop activities to support home based business needs

Undertake an analysis to determine the economic value of the equine industry
Develop and implement an Equine Business Strategy

Identify the skills and training required by local businesses and work with appropriate partners to deliver an annual program which addresses these needs
Work in conjunction with education providers to address appropriate, integrated pathway programs and skills shortages where relevant
Promote and support specialist education providers as a brand strength
Develop a comprehensive information tool for business which details all support available relating to education subsidies and training

Facilitate the development of a Macedon Ranges Economic Forum or Leadership Group including all relevant stakeholders
In consultation with business and the community, identify potential opportunities for business incubation and support the development of such enterprises
Continue to support industry Associations and develop strategic alliances where opportunity presents itself i.e.. Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association, Agribusiness Networks etc.
Identify and celebrate leaders and business entrepreneurs
Identify and facilitate opportunities for local business expansion and access to new markets
Investigate the opportunities associated with the New Gisborne business incubator

To support the Macedon Ranges Shire Council Transport Connections Program and to advocate for and address public transport and road infrastructure needs

To support businesses in developing a strategic approach to addressing telecommunication infrastructure for businesses
Facilitate access to up-to-date information and options about the availability and price of telecommunications for business
Advocate to State and Commonwealth Governments to support access to competitively priced telecommunication services to the community

To support implementation of the MRSC Housing Strategy, particularly its aim to promote development of diverse and affordable housing (to enable trainees and apprentices to live and work locally)

Continue to advocate for the extension of natural gas supply to key strategic locations in the Shire
Investigate the upgrading of services to existing to key strategic locations

To ensure all water saving opportunities are investigated
Facilitate access to information about water conservation measures

To support business in advocating for improved supply of reliable and affordable electricity throughout the Shire and reduction of pressure on the electricity grid and environment
In consultation with businesses, community members and electricity suppliers, explore and implement alternative power sources, such as individual wind generators, green power and solar power, using Shire buildings as an example where appropriate
Facilitate access to relevant information about alternative electricity generation for businesses

Develop a 5 year plan for town beautification works (streetscapes) and one year planning and implementation plans
Appropriate Strategic Planning documents will also be prepared e.g. Urban design frameworks or design and development guidelines for commercial and industrial areas

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