Kate recently presented at the Regional Development Conference in Canberra on the Upper Murray 2030 Vision Plan project. She was joined by Michael Leonhard of the Corryong Neighborhood Centre who discussed some of the exciting initiatives, including a community bakery and community mechanics and training centre, that have been initiated as a result of the project.
The Upper Murray 2030 Vision Plan is the outcome of a community led planning project which identifies and explores the implementation of the “game changing” projects for the Upper Murray. The project is unique as it spans the VIC/NSW border.
Extensive community engagement was undertaken to ensure the active local community is focussed on a coordinated approach for the region’s future.
The key challenges facing the region are the decreasing population, ageing community profile, loss of younger residents to regional centres, a reduction in the number of families with children and lack of economic diversity.
These long-term trends underpin many of the economic and social issues raised during the consultation process and reflect an economy that currently lacks diversity and which is dominated by the agricultural sector. Although the health and education sectors are growing, there are primarily serving the local population rather than drawing new business activity to the region.
A wide variety of initiatives and projects were identified and tested with the community resulting in five priority projects which have been explored in more detail, these projects include:
- “Brand” sets the scene for the creation of an Upper Murray Brand, which will promote awareness and value for the Upper Murray region, its products and experiences.
- “Tourism” highlights specific opportunities to further grow the Upper Murray as a tourism destination. Key steps which should be undertaken to further explore these opportunities are set out.
- “Great River Road” describes the upgrades required in order to promote the Murray River Road as the ‘Great River Road’, stretching from Wodonga to Khancoban.
- “Town Trails” provides concepts for walking tracks and streetscape improvements in each of the Upper Murray’s towns.
- “Agriculture” gives an overview of agricultural and related enterprise within the Upper Murray and showcases opportunities for diversification, value-adding and partnerships.