Albury's a winnner

Albury has long had plenty to crow about.

It is widely acknowledged the city is one of the leading regional centres of anywhere across Australia.

That comes down to a host of reasons.

Certainly it is large enough and growing at enough of a strong and steady rate to show that their must be an intrinsic vibrancy to the place.

And that is in a climate where so many places in rural Australia, most notably its small towns, are in decline.

What makes Albury such a go-ahead place certainly is due to its economic health and diversity.

While some of the bigger companies that emerged during the time of the then Albury Wodonga Development Corporation years have in more recent times disappeared, what illustrates how well the city is doing is just how these old employers and generators of wealth have been replaced by a new generation of business.

Many of these are smaller, niche-focused enterprises that do what they do without any fanfare – and often what they do involves servicing customers both in Australia and overseas.

They don’t have to publicise what they do because they are so good at just that.

But the city’s diversity, as had been addressed in these columns before, goes well beyond innovation in manufacturing.

Albury, along with Wodonga across the border, have major employers in the government sectors of health, education and defence.

There is a blossoming culinary scene with award-winning restaurants, bars and wineries, extending further afield into surrounding regions.

As well as that, the arts and sport and recreation are also burgeoning; we have seen that with MAMA in Albury and The Cube in Wodonga and with Albury Council’s decision to make a major investment in redevelopment the home of the O&M grand final at Lavington.

All this represents just a small taste of the incredible range in what’s on offer, especially in Albury.

It comes as no surprise that the Local Government NSW conference then is making a return to Albury next year.

It will be a welcome economic boost for the area, but importantly it is an acknowledgment of the crucial role the city will play in showing the rest of NSW how to get things right.