• Broaden the economic base
Rationale: Retention of existing industry and jobs is vital – but new investment will stimulate better use of under-used resources; a more stable workforce; broadening of the skills base; improved local goods and services; more sustainable community facilities; and the achievement of other economic, environmental and social objectives.
• Strengthen the infrastructure capacity
Rationale: Although the region has key infrastructure in place, strengthening regional capacity to manage resources such as water and tapping into relatively new industries such as renewable energy and communication technology will enable the region to move forward – economically, socially and environmentally.
• Develop creative industries
Rationale: A two-tiered approach to creative industries is required: (1) support to encourage the growth and sustainability of participants in existing creative industries such as art, tourism and film, and (2) attraction and development of ‘new’ creative industries with an emphasis on technological advancements.
• Improve the quality of life
Rationale: A greater balance of service delivery is required across the region to address issues identified in unemployment data, demographics and social profile data – acknowledging that addressing these issues will have a positive impact on other regional issues and challenges.
• Engage the community
Rationale: A socially inclusive region will seek to reduce disadvantage and increase participation in jobs, education, training and community activities. To achieve this, knowledge and information needs to be shared – and partnerships developed – so all sections of the community are engaged in the process.