CORANGAMITE Shire will look to increase the supply of industrial land in a bid to attract businesses to the region.
The council this week backed a strategy which identifies nine sites across Camperdown, Cobden, Terang, Simpson and Timboon for possible rezoning as industrial land.
Shire sustainability and environment director Ian Gibb said the purpose of the strategy was to increase the supply of industrial land, particularly in Timboon, Cobden and Camperdown.
An audit found that nearly all the land that had been developed for industrial use had been utilised.
Cr Neil Trotter said identifying these type of zones helped improve the livability of the shire’s towns.
He said it simplifies the planning process and would make the sites identified much easier to obtain.
“Each and every business we can add to our town strengthens those communities,” Cr Trotter said.
“In the past I know that Port Campbell has missed out on businesses because suitable sites couldn’t be found. In the future this will mitigate those things.”
Cr Peter Harkin also welcomed the strategy and said having industrial land was important in that it gave people confidence to come to the area.
He said the shire lacked industrial land and the council needed to attract industry to the shire.
“Sometimes we forget that industry is the backbone of the whole show,” Cr Harkin said.
Cr Jo Beard echoed councillors Harkin and Trotter but said she was disappointed to see how much “land banking” was occurring in the shire, particularly in Cobden.
“Corangamite Shire has certainly got so much to offer — it’s economical, there’s lots of space and we’ve also got the people prepared to work,” she said.
A report presented to council noted the shire was well placed to attract large industrial developments, primarily to support dairy production.
It notes an assessment of demand for industrial land indicated there was a demand for large allotments with highway frontage in Camperdown and that settlements in the southern part of the shire should experience demand linked to population growth.