MURRAY REGION: Key infrastructure ‘vital’

Murray Now chairwoman Barbara Hull said promoting industry was vital to selling the region. Picture: DAVID THORPE

Murray Now chairwoman Barbara Hull said promoting industry was vital to selling the region. Picture: DAVID THORPE

IT’S a report described yesterday as unique.

Regional economic development group Murray Now said its regional profile was essential for attracting private and government investment.

Group chairwoman Barbara Hull said this suited Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss.

“Warren Truss is pushing very hard for regional infrastructure,” Ms Hull said.

“The Murray region needs to make sure that they’ve got documents like this and data to go to government and say ‘look, this is why you should be investing in our region’ to enhance what we already have.

“You can’t go cap in hand to government with no material.”

Ms Hull said this latest profile was Murray Now’s most significant “because it really has the right data”.

“It is unique ... for a regional area to do this — that’s the important thing,” she said.

“It’s about showcasing what we have, what the product is and giving (potential investors) the opportunity to do research based on our document of where they should be.”

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Innovative agribusiness is an especially significant export industry for the region, while healthcare — especially aged care — is a growing source of new jobs.

“There’s a lot of really smart people out there who are doing better ways of exporting,” Ms Hull said.

Air, rail and road infrastructure were highlighted in the report as being imperative to doing business in the region.

Ms Hull said it was a big plus for the region that the Port of Melbourne was so easy to access.

A FEW FACTS

  • Murray region’s gross regional product estimated at $19.9 billion for 2012-13
  • Average annual growth over previous six years of 0.5 per cent
  • Region has added 486 businesses since 2009
  • The majority of industrial zoned land is in Wodonga and Mildura
  • $1.4 billion in major projects planned, including the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre and the Albury art gallery development, as well as upgrades to irrigation and rail in Victoria’s north-west.
  • Dairy, wheat, beef, meat and meat processing among the top export products
  • Albury and then Mildura have the region’s busiest airports, with 300,000 and 180,000 passengers a year respectively
  • The median Murray region house price is $232,500
  • A population of 323,973, which is expected to increase by another 44,000 residents by 2031.

Source: Murray Now Regional Profile

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