MOYNE Shire's economy is faring above average compared to other rural councils but a new council plan aims to close a gap with statewide averages.
The draft economic development plan flags 76 actions the council could have underway in the next five years to boost agriculture and tourism sectors and secure benefits from renewable energy projects beyond short-term construction.
The council cites below-average population growth, variable land prices, dependence on the dairy sector and skills shortages among the shire's challenges.
The council's major projects executive manager Michelle Grainger said the shire had a traditional regional-rural economy with strengths in primary and secondary production.
"In terms of value per employee, Moyne compares reasonably favourably with Victoria averages with an average $121,000 compared to state average of $139,000," she said.
"Regional and particularly rural regions often have quite substantial differences on this metric so Moyne is fairing better than most."
She said education and health services were underrepresented due to the shire's proximity to Warrnambool and dispersed population.
Mayor Mick Wolfe said the plan encouraged growth of local business and industry, and could create opportunities for new business and employment in trade-based and tourism sectors.
"We have got zoning for industrial land, there's an opportunity there for a big industry to develop in Moyne," Cr Wolfe said, adding agriculture and manufacturing would remain the shire's biggest industries.
The plan prioritises advocacy and promotion including to support the dairy industry, divert heavy vehicles from Koroit's main street, tighten plans for wind farms and build on existing events. It also flags plans to open up more residential land.
Cr Daniel Meade, the plan's project control group chair, said the shire's agriculture sector could grow with the help of "add ons" in the tourism industry, such as food trails.
"I can't see agricultural changing from our number one industry, however tourism can make up some ground," he said. "People come to Port Fairy, but we would like to get them to stay longer and go inland of Moyne and discover the other attractions, like Tower Hill and Budj Bim."
Moyne previously shared an economic development plan with Warrnambool City Council and the new standalone plan consulted with about 450 people, including businesses and industry.
Cr Meade said the project control group would oversee the timely implementation of the plan and that its goals were met.
"The aim was not to just have another strategy sitting on the shelf but an action document," he said.
The council has hosted drop-in sessions, with a final session to be at Koroit's Blackwood Centre on August 21 from midday to 6pm, and followed by a public meeting until 7.30pm.
People can also give feedback on the council's website or at council offices in Koroit, Mortlake and Port Fairy.
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