The Victorian Coalition Government today unveiled a strategy to brief key regional business leaders about the economic challenges and opportunities for regional Victoria in a series of regional business forums.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan made the announcement in Bendigo at the first in a series of six business leaders forums to be held around the state.
“Today I start a program of direct engagement with regional Victoria’s business leaders and I look forward to exchanging information and ideas on key regional issues in relation to business productivity, competitiveness and growth,” Mr Ryan said.
“Over the coming months I will speak directly with up to 500 business leaders at similar events to this in Mildura, Ballarat, Traralgon, Geelong and Benalla.”
Mr Ryan said the business forums would be an important source of feedback for the government on key issues such as investment attraction, skills and workforce development, market access, government regulation and sector specific issues.
“The forum process expands on the Coalition Government’s new Business Engagement Model, developed by the Department of Business and Innovation, which aims to build enduring relationships with individual businesses to promote productivity and growth,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Business Engagement Model is being delivered through the network of Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBOs) in metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria and internationally.”
Mr Ryan said the regional VGBO network included 11 locations across Victoria – Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Horsham, Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Traralgon and Sale – with Business Development Managers engaging directly with local enterprises.
“Through business engagement the Coalition Government is seeking to increase productivity, boost access to export markets, facilitate investment and to maintain a focus on competitiveness by building enduring relationships with business,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the forums build on previous engagement activity with regional business and industry, including export forums, industry consultations on regional strategic plans and the Regional Cities Business and Industry Forum which took place at the Regional Living Expo in April 2012.
Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541