Economic Development Community recognises excellence in best practice

Economic Development Australia celebrated the National Awards for Excellence in Economic Development at a reception at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Adelaide. A high number of quality applications were received ensuring that the judging panel had a difficult job in determining the ultimate winners.

EDA congratulates all award entrants for their innovative approaches to economic development and recognises the considerable work involved in preparing applications. The Award recipients demonstrate innovative projects and practice in economic development in urban, rural and regional communities. More than 190 practitioners from across Australia attended the event.

Economic Development Strategic Planning Award – National

Winner: South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct, Energising the South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct

Melbourne's South East has an ambitious goal based on the region's key strengths and acknowledged potential: to become internationally recognised as 'the innovation business and knowledge capital of the Asia Pacific'.

Achieving this vision requires research and development organisations, businesses and Victorian and local governments to jointly establish a dynamic hub of manufacturing, science services, advanced materials, engineering and medical/health knowledge intensive industries.

The SEMIP Partners; CSIRO, Monash University, Australian Synchrotron, the Victorian State Government, Small Technologies Cluster and Councils of Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Knox and Monash are engaging with businesses and other agencies in the region to create opportunities for innovation.

Economic Development Strategic Planning Award – Regional

Highly commended: Gold Coast City Council Technology Gold Coast Strategic Planning

Winner: Mackay Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Corporation Regional Skills Attraction & Retention Project

The Regional Skills Attraction & Retention Project is a collaborative approach to addressing workforce issues across the region via a range of complimentary initiatives with great results.

Highlights of the project included Coal to Coast Jobs.com.au which is a practical and vibrant website with a job search feature, an automatic resume builder, job search tips, lifestyle information, an events calendar, a profile and business/services directory for each major suburb and helpful information for those considering relocation from interstate or overseas.

The Coal to Coast Liveability Prospectus and the Hidden Workforce Strategy were other components of the project.

Economic Development Marketing Strategy Award

Highly commended: Destination Melbourne, Discover Your Own Backyard

Winner: Frankston City Council, Frankston Student Discount Card Scheme

Frankston City Council's Student Discount Card Scheme (branded as Splash Card) is an industry leading economic development program that delivers local employment, encourages local shopping and engages youth.

The program operates through online mediums: web site, email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter – connecting youth through avenues that they prefer. The program has not been marketed through traditional media.

Splash Card provides students with discounts at over 50 street side businesses in the Frankston city centre. Students are required to register their card online, providing Council with the information required for ongoing interactions.

Knox and Monash are engaging with businesses and other agencies in the region to create opportunities for innovation.

Economic Development Australia celebrated the National Awards for Excellence in Economic Development at a reception at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Adelaide. A high number of quality applications were received ensuring that the judging panel had a difficult job in determining the ultimate winners.

EDA congratulates all award entrants for their innovative approaches to economic development and recognises the considerable work involved in preparing applications. The Award recipients demonstrate innovative projects and practice in economic development in urban, rural and regional communities. More than 190 practitioners from across Australia attended the event.

Economic Development Partnerships Award

Highly commended: Murrindindi Shire Council, Rebuilding economies by building partnerships

Highly commended: LandCorp, Australian Marine Complex (AMC) an economic powerhouse built on partnerships

Winner: Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal

The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is the largest project undertaken to date by the Horsham Rural City Council with a total project budget of $16.7million. Horsham Rural City Council has played the lead role in the planning and development of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal which will transform the efficiency and capacity of grain handling and storage in the Wimmera-Mallee.

The new freight terminal is located 11 kilometres north of Horsham on a 34 hectare green field site on the Melbourne to Adelaide National Rail line. The 2.6 kilometres site will accept trains of up to 1.8 kilometres in length.

Environmental Economic Innovation Award

Highly commended: Whitehorse City Council, Leading the business community to a greener future

Winner: Townsville City Council, Innovating Emergent and sustainable Business Practice in the Tropics

Townsville is Australia's largest tropical city and is currently undergoing a significant period of growth that will be a major influence on how the city transforms into the future.

We have been working across the community and business to bring into action the behaviour that drives both environmental sustainability and takes advantage of innovative local knowledge and growth opportunities, developing the local environmental products and services industry while incorporating real environmental sustainability outcomes.

The central purpose of Centre for Excellence Tropical Design would be to build on existing organisations, networks and associations to provide linkages amongst and across organisations and individuals with a view to encouraging collaborations, partnerships and strategic alliances.

Some of the winners with their awards.

Community Economic Development Award

Highly Commended: Isaac Regional Council, Clermont Preferred Futures

Highly Commended: Wodonga City Council, Gateway Village Revitalisation

Winner: Business Enterprise Centre Ipswich Region Flood Disaster Recovery and Economic Development

The Business Enterprise Centre Ipswich Region "Flood Disaster Recovery and Economic Development" Strategy" was and is an ongoing strategic response to the devastating floods that impacted on South East Queensland in January of 2011.

It is recognised that response to natural disaster needs to be immediate, effective, co-ordinated, simple to understand, implement and result in medium and long term economic development outcomes.

The BECIR together with its strategic partners was able to implement recovery actions immediately that flood waters began to recede with over 215 Grant Applications being processed within the first three weeks of the disaster equating to over $1.3 million being injected back into the local economy to kick start the recovery process.

Business/Industry Development Project Award

Highly commended: Townsville City Council, Townsville Local Tourism Expo

Winner: Gold Coast City Council BusinessGC Big Music Project

According to research by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the global broader music industry is valued annually at $140 billion. A study by industry body Live Performance Australia shows that in Australia the live music industry is worth $1.1 billion.

The challenge for Gold Coast's emerging musicians seeking a slice of this industry is to be heard beyond the city, compete with bands in capital cities and establish a full time music career.

To combat the challenges of the Gold Coast's regional music scene, Council's Economic Development Branch, in consultation with local music stakeholders (Gold Coast Music Industry Association, Hot Tomato Radio Station and Jupiters Hotel and Casino), developed BusinessGC's Big Music Project. The program consisted of three projects: Music2Market, Big Sound Gold Coast Stage and Gold Coast Uncovered.

Digital Productivity Award

Winner: Sunshine Coast Regional Council The Broadband Today Alliance - taking broadband and NBN issues to a grass roots level

The Broadband Today Alliance is a collaboration of 104 Local Governments from Queensland, N.S.W., Victoria, South Australia and Western Australian councils representing a significant population base of over 6 million or one in four Australians. In addition 40 affiliate organisations have become involved as a means to connect to these local governments and proactively identify ways to ensure that their communities benefit from both the roll out of the NBN infrastructure but equally the opportunity for their businesses and residents to access new markets and compete internationally in a way not previously possible. The organisation formed when it was identified that it would be beneficial for councils throughout Australia to join forces and form a common policy/position on broadband issues, facilitate the development of digital economy strategies and initiatives in their respective regions and generally maximise the development and usage of the NBN in their local communities.

Indigenous Economic Development Award

Highly Commended: Intract Indigenous Contractors

Winner: Department of Agriculture and Food, WA Indigenous Landholder Service, Western Australia

The capacity, well-being and future for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people throughout Western Australia are being transformed through the work of the Department of Agriculture and Food's Indigenous Landholder Service (ILS), in partnership with the Indigenous Land Corporation.

The ILS is the only indigenous land support service of its type in Australia. The service is provided at the invitation of indigenous landholders, who sign an agreement to demonstrate their commitment to improve the profitability and sustainability of their properties.

Each ILS project is unique and driven by its participants. The department uses innovative solutions to facilitate each group to achieve its goals and aspirations.

As a result, indigenous enterprises are more productive and profitable, natural resource management has improved, there is a greater participation in the local and State economy and stronger relationships with the broader community.

Economic Development Leadership Award – Elected/Committee/Community

Highly Commended: Mayor Pam Parker, Logan City Council

Winner: Wayne Perry - Chairman, RDA Barossa

Economic Development Leadership Award – ED Practitioner

Highly commended: Jonathan Reicwald, Frankston City Council

Winner: Skana Gallery, Norwood, Payenham & St Peters Council