Regions hotspots for key industries

Regions hotspots for key industries

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KEY AREA: The Barossa's connection to wine and beverages make it one of a number of regional councils that "specialise" in food manufacturing.

KEY AREA: The Barossa's connection to wine and beverages make it one of a number of regional councils that "specialise" in food manufacturing.

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THE Barossa Valley and Anangu Pitjantjatjara have been identified as "hotspot" regions among four key industries to help drive the economy of regional Australia.

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THE Barossa Valley and Anangu Pitjantjatjara have been identified as "hotspot" regions among four key industries to help drive the economy of regional Australia.

The Regional Australia Institute released a national Regional Growth Prospects Report, which pinpoints key regions for investment across the nation.

RAI co-chief executive officer Liz Ritchie said these areas were those where jobs in tourism, food processing, advanced manufacturing and creative industries were pivotal to local employment and where policy makers and regional leaders should focus investment.

"By analysing jobs numbers, we can see where these 'specialised' regions are located - we can also see which ones are performing above national and industry trends, and which are not," she said.

"Specialised regions in this report are the places where there is a high proportion of local jobs in the industry, compared to the national average for a place of that size."

The Barossa was identified alongside Plantagenet, WA, Indigo, Vic, and Woodanilling, WA, as the most specialised areas for food processing employment in regional Australia.

Of the available jobs in the Barossa, about 21.2 per cent are connected to food processing, particularly wine and beverage processing.

There are another 154 regional Local Government Areas where food manufacturing is also a key economic driver.

In the creative industries field, Anangu Pitjantjatjara was highlighted along Byron, NSW, Hobart, Tas, and Surf Coast, Vic.

Only these four LGAs were identified as specialising in creative industries.

Anangu Pitjantjatjara's remote location and small workforce of 569 jobs means the number of people working as creative producers in the region are a significant part of the local economy and are of particular importance because there are limited other industries for job creation.

This report highlights that even though a region may be 'specialised', local factors play a significant role in either driving or constraining growth potential," Liz Ritchie said.

RAI co-CEO Kim Houghton says the new research will enable policy makers and regional stakeholders to prioritise investment opportunities and help energise local economies in a more strategic way.

"We are recommending that policy makers tailor their approach in local regions - by supporting those that are performing above trends, and removing barriers for those that aren't," Dr Houghton said.

"We're also encouraging regional leaders to take a look at how their region is tracking, then kick start conversations about what plans are needed for the future."

Already, the latest government job vacancy figures show there are more than 43,000 positions needing to be filled across regional Australia.

"If growth prospects are realised, workforce demand will increase" Dr Houghton said.

"We are encouraging regions identified in this report to assess their local workforce and skills needed to ensure potential new jobs can be filled."

In advanced manufacturing, Harvey, WA, Cloncurry, Qld, Federation, NSW, Ararat, Vic, and Perenjori, WA, were identified, among 36 regional LGAs.

For tourism, 162 regional LGAs specialised in this field with the most specialised identified as the unincorprated areas in Vic, with ski fields and islands, Douglas, Qld, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Tas, and Tasman, Tas.

  • Read the report here.
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