Gippsland in 2022 – A Narrative
Gippsland is widely recognised as a region that has achieved outstanding economic and social outcomes in the face of significant and exceptional challenges posed by its transformation to a low carbon economy.
The Gippsland region enjoys an outstanding leadership culture that understands regional needs and is committed to achieving agreed regional priorities. This leadership has fostered valuable partnerships across government, community, industry and the unions, which are central to Gippsland’s outstanding reputation for compelling advocacy, the attraction and facilitation of remarkable levels of investment and the successful implementation of regional strategies and projects.
The Gippsland region adopted a long-term strategic approach to its unique brown coal resource and leveraged significant support from the State and Commonwealth Governments to facilitate investment in the development of low emission technology. This support enabled the realisation of a commercial-scale commitment to low emissions power generation and coal-based product development that has attracted a number of major investors and seen the construction of numerous major processing facilities. The subsequent industry development required the activation of previously unallocated coal fields to meet demand, which generated extensive employment in a range of highly skilled and value adding areas including construction, technology development and process operations which has initiated a multi-billion dollar export market.
Gippsland has not only reinvented its traditional brown coal related industry but has also deepened its community and economic resilience through leveraging its existing strengths in health, agribusiness, tourism and aerospace.
The Gippsland region has an international reputation as a producer and processor of high quality agricultural products that meet the needs not only of a growing domestic market but an ever increasing export market. The region has seen significant industry expansion and greater levels of value adding in a range of agribusiness areas including horticulture and meat processing, and is the national leader in dairy. This expansion has delivered greater levels of sustainability with respect to the use of natural resources, the development and use of new technologies and systems, a diversity of employment opportunities and a level of food security that is a key plank in the improved level of community wellbeing for the region.
The Gippsland region’s health sector has become a major employer through its response to the needs of significant growth in the region’s population. It operates expanded health services and promotion as part of its strategic approach to achieving significant improvement in community wellbeing outcomes across all community cohorts. The community has ready access to an extensive range of recreational facilities and spaces including the region’s significant parks.
Gippsland is acknowledged internationally for the excellence of its aeronautics industry with a private sector based aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry that generates significant exports and employs a highly skilled and expanded workforce. This industry provides effective support to the East Sale RAAF Base and the operation of the established Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School.
Tourism in Gippsland has grown significantly through the expansion of its range of highly accessible destinations that have leveraged the region’s extensive wilderness areas. The region focused on the sustainable development of its iconic tourism locations, including the Gippsland Lakes, on growing the linkages with the region’s outstanding food experiences, and on the delivery of exceptional hospitality services, to provide outstanding visitor experiences.
The region’s industry, service providers and communities have widely embraced the early roll-out of the National Broadband Network to leverage the digital economy, establish new business models and opportunities for teleworking to grow employment and improve the access to services, particularly for those living in smaller communities. The use of high speed broadband to foster networking, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and information has become a hallmark of the region’s economic success.
Significant population and economic growth has seen a boom in commercial, industrial and residential construction activity. The region’s range of major population centres have experienced and accommodated an expansion in retail business and commercial activity, The presence of more service providers and facilities; and have significantly improved public transport connections. In addition, each Local Government Area has implemented an integrated land use plan that balances the need for sustained economic growth with the needs of the environment against the pressures of an expanding and more diverse housing market.
The strong growth in regional exports has been enabled by the enhancement of routes to market with new port developments, the effective establishment and operation of the Gippsland Logistics Precinct; and major government investment in road and rail infrastructure both in the region and in its corridor to market in greater Melbourne.
The continued economic success of Gippsland is underpinned by excellent post secondary educational facilities. Federation University Gippsland is highly regarded for its leadership and close relationship with the Gippsland community, and for working in close collaboration with other post secondary institutions and industry to meet the ever expanding and changing skills needs of our diverse workforce.
Gippsland has also continued to welcome, as it has for many decades, a diverse immigrant cohort that has added to the cultural fabric of the region. Gippsland is also proud of the achievements made by its Indigenous community in embracing greater opportunities for participation and leadership.