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Wimmera Development Association (WDA) is the peak economic development organisation for the Wimmera Southern-Mallee region supporting existing local businesses, and promoting economic development opportunities to investors.
WDA is a vital link between industry and government; lobbying for improved regional infrastructure, and advocating for regional priority issues. Wimmera Development Association is fortunate to have ACE Radio Broadcasters as a valued patron, and the generous support of GWMWater.

Investment forum in the pipeline

PROMOTING growth opportunities in the Wimmera to reach a $5 billion economy is a focus for the region’s peak advocacy body.

Wimmera Development Association executive director Chris Sounness said the region had a $3.3 billion economy – but the community should no longer accept business as usual.

He said a $5 billion economy within a decade was achievable – but community leaders needed to ensure they considered the potential for population growth within a changing climate that was posing significant challenge.

Preliminary planning stages are underway for an investment forum aimed at showcasing the Wimmera to its residents and to people and businesses who might invest in the region.

Mr Sounness said the forum, to occur within the next 12 months, would showcase investment opportunities in the region such as renewable energy and mining, and in key employment areas and support networks.

“Businesses – including those that exist locally and those that might invest in the Wimmera – need to be ready to deal with the changing environments in many definitions of the word,” Mr Sounness said.

"Opportunities around energy, for example, are huge, and there are ways to create it and use it. That leads to more job opportunities and more careers for people here.

“This investment forum will help tell those stories and share the opportunities to set us on the path to becoming a $5 billion economy.”

Mr Sounness said people should aspire to live in a region they wanted and deserved.

“Everyone in the Wimmera and southern Mallee are looking for a great place to live, with a healthy and productive landscape. They want a natural environment that is healthy and attractive and want the opportunity to get ahead,” he said.

“But what does that look like in 10 years’ time? We all have the power to shape what that looks like and we need to show leadership and aspiration in developing that strategy.”

Chance to celebrate business


WIMMERA businesses are encouraged to take the time to reflect on the year that was. 

The biennial ACE Radio Wimmera Business Awards return this year with opportunities to celebrate and recognise high achieving individuals, businesses and groups across a range of categories.

Award nominations open in June and the awards night is scheduled for Friday, October 16.

Wimmera Development Association is organising the awards.

Project manager Vernetta Taylor said a gala evening would also highlight the contributions of agriculture and the positive impacts of the region’s rapidly growing migrant population.

“Typical Wimmera modesty means people don’t always put themselves and their businesses forward and celebrate success as much as we should,” she said.

“Even simply completing an application form can allow people to reflect on the achievements of their business throughout the past two years. For many people, this process is a chance to celebrate those achievements with their teams.”

Smallaire, pictured above, was crowned the 2018 Wimmera Business of the Year.

Need to know information about investment and career options in the Wimmera? Investigating lifestyle, tourism or community information? The Wimmera – everything you need provides regional information and useful links to help businesses and people find out about our region.

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