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Special Projects

Wimmera and Grampians Indigenous Tourism Feasibility Study

The Wimmera and Grampians  Indigenous Tourism Feasibility Study explores the potential to develop Indigenous tourism enterprise activities for ‘Wotjobaluk Country’ in the Wimmera-Mallee region. It covers the land area for which the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) is the Registered Aboriginal Party and takes in, all or part of, the local government areas of West Wimmera, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and Buloke.

Read the full report here

Measuring the social and economic value of recreational & environmental water in the Wimmera Southern Mallee

22nd September 2017

horsham fishing competitiondb2a026fdfec67aca7a3ff00001883abWimmera Development Association (WDA) in conjunction with project partners, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, GWMWater and the Wimmera Southern Mallee councils has completed a socio-economic study into the value of recreational and environmental water to the region.

This study has been a cooperative effort with local government and local community groups to catalogue and quantify the various social and economic benefits recreational and environmental water in rivers, pools and lakes provide to towns in the region.

The study reports on a series of surveys and data collected from across the region at locations where individuals and groups enjoy our lakes, rivers and weir-pools for recreational activity.

Key findings from the report have estimated in 2017 in excess of 437,000 people visited the 24 waterways that were surveyed, which included over 196,000 visitor nights and a high rate of both active and passive local participation. Visitation to the surveyed sites was made up by 43% of Wimmera Southern Mallee residents, 31% other Victorian Country and 11% Melbourne. The total regional economic contribution was estimated at $27.5 million.

The report has also highlighted the important contribution to the region’s towns by providing enhanced amenity and a critical outlet for physical and mental relaxation, improving the overall health and wellbeing of residents and visitors.  

An example of the substantial financial benefits of visitors coming from around Victoria was evident during the Horsham Fishing competition, with significant expenditure surveyed, increased visitation to small businesses and reports of increased sales by many businesses. This event is one of many that attract visitors to the region on an annual basis.

Various campgrounds adjoining lakes also bring and attract campers and fishers to the region, from both within and outside the state.

“Our Water Plan champions the concept of shared benefits for water management by ensuring that authorities are planning and managing water in a way that achieves multiple positives for the community’, Water Minister Lisa Neville said. “This study is an example of how to incorporate these values into decision making and ensuring the importance of recreational values are recognised as part of local economies and in improving the health and wellbeing of communities".

One of the aims of the study was to establish a base line data set and consistent measurement methods that will allow for a longitudinal study to identify seasonal patterns in coming years. Once collected and analysed the information will provide a better understanding of the economic impact of environmental and recreational water as well as the social benefits that these resources provide to the community.

We now have a better understanding of how to measure these values so that we can plan for future tourism, recreational and infrastructure facilities. Study outputs will also help to demonstrate the local and regional impacts to both State and Commonwealth Governments in order to attract support and funding for further development of infrastructure and services associated with recreational water.

Street Ryan Pty Ltd was been appointed as project consultant to develop a series of questionnaires that will be shared with local Committees of Management, sporting clubs and others likely to have an involvement in recreational water activity. The majority of the funding for the project has been made available by the Victorian Government via the Wimmera CMA.

VIEW THE FULL REPORT HERE:  Wimmera Southern Mallee: Socio-economic value of Recreational and Environmental Water 2017

As part of WimmeraCMA's program to continually improve our communities understanding of the benefits of water for the environment a film has been released coinciding with the release of this report.  




Wimmera Workforce through VETiS

Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) is designed to expand opportunities and pathways for senior secondary students. Students can gain nationally accredited qualifications in a broad range of applied learning disciplines as part of their VCE and/or VCAL studies. The report looks at the issues facing the region and recommendations for future actions. A copy of the report can be viewed here

Wimmera Internship Program

Wimmera Internship Program


IMG 6787Wimmera Development Association is pleased to announce that the Wimmera Internship Program will once again be offered to businesses and students across the Wimmera Southern Mallee over the 2017-18 Summer break.

The rural Victorian community can experience difficulty in attracting professionals to live and work in rural areas. A challenge is to find new and innovative ways to retain students and graduates within communities, and to attract graduates as new residents.

WDA seeks to support rural communities by highlighting the work opportunities available to students and graduates, and to assist councils to grow their local economies.

This project works closely with local employers to determine current skills shortages or workplace opportunities that can be matched with students from relevant tertiary institutions. The students will be placed based on an alignment of skills and experience, as determined by the employer, and will be remunerated for their time. Students will also live in the local community to build their experience of working and living rurally.

This project will support successful applicants to link in with Universities to involve students with practical work placements as part of their studies.

The project seeks to broaden the options of many students, provide them with valuable work experience, develop personal connections and open up their views on working and living in a rural community.

Wimmera Internship Promotional Video (5 minutes)

Wimmera Internship Promtional Video Oscar Furniture (1 minute)

Wimmera Internship Promtional Video West Wimmera (1 minute)

Wimmera Internship Promtional Video Northern Grampians ( 1 minute)


Workforce Development Strategy

The Workforce Development in the Grampians report presents emerging trends for business and industry in the Grampians region, and the workforce skills

and knowledge which will be required to ensure regional competitiveness, prosperity and growth. In particular, the

project focuses on developments in the following four industries: Agriculture, Health Care and Social Assistance,

Manufacturing, and Tourism. The project examined both general and regional trends in these industries and how

education providers can meet emerging workforce development needs in these four sectors.

A copy of the report can be viewed here

Future Education and Training Needs of the Agriculture Sector

Wimmera agricultural producers and agribusiness employees within the Wimmera Southern Mallee have taken the opportunity to participate in a study into the future training needs
for agriculture in the region.

As identified in the Grampians Workforce Development Strategy, planning for the training and education needs of the agriculture sector is critical to the future development
of agriculture and agribusiness in the region.

Wimmera Development Association has undertaken the study with funds from Regional Development Australia Grampians to build an understanding of industry training and education.

Click here for a copy of the report

Measuring the Social & Economic Value of Recreational Water in the Wimmera Southern Mallee

IMG 4634Wimmera Development Association (WDA) in conjunction with project partners, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, West Wimmera Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Yarriambiack Shire, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians Shire, Buloke Shire, and GWMWater is about to undertake a Socio-economic Study into the value of recreational and environmental water to the Wimmera Southern Mallee.

The project will undertake surveys and collect data from across the region at locations where individuals and groups enjoy our lakes, rivers and weir-pools for recreational activity.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee Recreational Water Values Project is a collaboration between, Wimmera CMA, GWMWater, WDA and the WSM Councils funded by the Victorian Government as part of Water for Victoria.

Street Ryan Pty Ltd has been appointed as project consultant and work has commenced to develop a series of questionnaires that will be shared with local Committees of Management, sporting clubs and others likely to have an involvement in recreational water activity. The majority of the funding for the project has been made available by the Victorian Government via the Wimmera CMA.  More...

Wimmera Southern Mallee Tourism Collaboration and Destination Management Plan

Wimmera Southern Mallee Tourism Collaboration and Destination Management Plan

w1 2Supporting a vibrant tourism industry and enhancing the Wimmera Southern Mallee’s economic diversity were identified as community priorities for this region through the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.  A new project has commenced to help strengthen the tourism sector, boost visitors and diversify the local economy, by establishing sustainable tourism governance model and destination management plan for the broader Wimmera Southern Mallee Region.  Details of the project and future project updates can be found in the attachments below.

April Project Update - one pager

April Project Update - detailed

Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Strategic Plan

The first Regional Plan for the Wimmera Southern Mallee was developed in 2010 as part of the statewide regional planning approach - Regional Strategic Planning Initiative (RSPI). Download a copy of the 2010 plan here

In 2015 an update on activities was conducted. Download a copy of the update here

Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Investment Plan

Wimmera Southern Mallee Councils – West Wimmera,Hindmarsh, Yarriambiack, Horsham and Northern Grampians have a long history of successful collaboration and the WSM Regional Investment Plan articulates the vision for regional growth through investment attraction, diversified employment and more efficient export opportunities.

Click here for a copy of the WSM Regional Investment Plan

Wimmera Southern Mallee Intensive Livestock Mapping Project

The report has captured consistent data across the region and identifies a number of opportunities for the producers in the Wimmera Southern Mallee for diversification, training and potential investment.

This information will be used by Wimmera Development Association to plan future ‘Information Forums’ with key businesses in the supply chain to assist with Regional Development.

Wimmera Southern Mallee Intensive Livestock Mapping Report


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Find trades and services

Source regional products / produce

One stop shop for all things Wimmera

Direct links to locally based websites



Does your business have a website or social media site?

List your business for free and direct customers to your site.

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Housing Investment Opportunities in the Wimmera Southern Mallee

The Information Memorandum provides a fresh perspective on investing in residential properties for the rental market in the region. Housing has been identified as a constraint for regional businesses in attracting and retaining employees, and this information should generate discussion about regional investment opportunities.

Housing Opportunities in the Wimmera Southern Mallee Information Memorandum

Wimmera Southern Mallee Mining Sector Plan

The plan identifies the opportunities and constraints to maximising the economic benefits of current and potential mining activities in the region.

Wimmera Development Association is interested in receiving feedback on the development of a regional network of businesses (potentially a mining cluster) to identify supply chain opportunities and training needs for our regional workforce. Contact the Wimmera Development Association on 5381 6500 if you would like to participate in this discussion.

ICT Database

The Regional ICT Database is a listing of businesses or organisations working in the information communications technology field within the Wimmera.

To view businesses listed in the database, choose the provider field from the links below.

Computer Retail
Computer Service
Website Development

If you would like your business to be included in the regional database, complete a registration form and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remote Data Use in Agriculture

“Remote Data Use in Agriculture” is an important regional initiative investigating the use of mobile data in agriculture – the economic driver for the Wimmera Southern Mallee.

The Remote Data Use in Agriculture final report was launched on April 10th 2013 at Longerenong College. The Wimmera Development Association will work on implementing the recommendations from this report relating to awareness, training, adoption and engagement.

Full report available here

The Wimmera. Everything You Need

"The Wimmera. Everything you need." branding is providing businesses and community organisations with a fresh new banner to promote themselves and the region. It has been successfully used as the regional umbrella at the Victorian Regional Living Expo, and provided a great banner for the Powercor Wimmera Business Awards.

The Wimmera website www.thewimmera.com.au represents all aspects of the region, promoting lifestyle, employment, investment and business opportunities.

Many businesses have downloaded the logo for their advertising.

Bureau of Meteorology Submission

The accuracy of weather data for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region was identified in the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Plan. The impact of weather information on agricultural decisions, emergency planning, aviation and water managment in the region has a direct economic bearing on our community. A working group was established to investigate the opportunity to upgrade our weather data to enable real time information, to inform management and planning decisions for our region.
Following discussions with the Bureau of Meteorology the working group sought case study information to build a submission for consideration by the Bureau and the Federal Government.

This submission was launched on 9 November by Member for Mallee John Forrest.

To view the submission click here and for further information contact Jo Bourke at WDA.

Workforce Development in the Grampians

Regional development Grampians Committee have published a research and strategic plan to guide business, industry, education and training providers to indentify, plan for and provide workforce skills for the future.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships allow people, particularly those starting out in the workforce, to combine training and employment. That means earning money while gaining a nationally-recognised qualification!

Benefits for apprentices and trainees:

  • Build skills and experiences into a career
  • Complete training early to become fully qualified sooner!
  • Being paid while completing a training program that is structured – on-the-job training, at trade school, or a combination of the two.

Benefits for businesses:

  • Address workforce needs of your business
  • Succession planning for the future
  • Build new skills into your business
  • Support young people in your community

Check out the benefits here.

These local businesses and their staff demonstrate the opportunities and benefits of traineeships and apprenticeships