Leadership, Collaboration, Adovcacy

April 2016

Welcome Members

Updates: C4EM projects progressing well including Bridge Arts Project, the Homelessness Strategy and the Special Rate Charge- Destination Marketing and Business Development Fund, .


Echuca Special Charge- UPDATE- Please fill out the Support Form

C4EM is fully committed to partnering with Echuca Moama Tourism in supporting and delivering on combined and individual projects that will see faster growth, greater resilience and more stability across the Echuca Moama area.

We are excited by the Echcua Moama Marketing and Business Development Program opportunity as it will deliver our existing members, and what will become a much larger combined member base, an increase in shared-knowledge and communal intelligence, and greater access to information that will drive a sense of liveability within Echuca Moama.

But what is liveability? Under the current Loddon Mallee Regional Strategic Plan, and as reciprocated in part from the current Regional Development Australia-Murray- Regional Plan, they define that the liveability and the appeal of a region, is anchored in its high- value natural assets and landscapes and include the people who live within them, also includes the vibrancy-of-heritage in towns and the dynamism of a place. They also state that by protecting and enhancing our quality of life; liveability, we can continue to attract new residents and new businesses to the area, increase visitor numbers, and also attract more investment into the area. C4EM certainly subscribes to this overarching strategy.

However we also recognise our role as integral in accelerating, unifying and creating synergies amongst all industries and business types and at a local level. We also understand that in the past, there have been many and varied committees and action groups all with the similar purpose, which was to improve liveability and included business development; this consisted of increasing customer numbers and profits for businesses, increasing market share in a competitive environment, improving access to markets, striving for employment growth, improving work skills and employee retention, and many other areas of course; but now it is time to bring all businesses together, large and small, across the commercial and industrial properties within Echuca, through a unified approach, so we can maximise our efforts and extract significant benefits for all.

What C4EM plan to do.

In our proposed budget we have allocated funds to three main areas.

  1. Business Development- Research and Development Program
    1. We know there are critical factors that are imperative in supporting business growth, in a transforming a diverse regional economy; and research and development is one of these. Our R & D program will explore new insights and new experiences, for example;
      1. We will research and identify where non-competitive business opportunities exist that complement the Echuca Moama business environment, including leveraging existing assets and ideas in line with market needs, through both the expansion of existing business and new business attraction alike. The “experience” might include developing delegations to explore identified learning opportunities that strategically align with local opportunities; for example a visit to the South Bank Precinct of Brisbane, to learn about the Kurilpa Plan Project that now offers diverse business elements, increased levels of public ownership and utilisation, whilst also being a tourism driver. This is just one prime example.
  2. An Events Program
    1. This will include Quarterly business events and major business development focused events; that for example
      1. Aim to attract new insights into business development- including again, developing markets or leveraging existing opportunities; one explicit example would be that together with the Bridge Arts Project we aim to run a symposium that will highlight the impacts and effects of the proposed $300m road and bridge construction project that could deliver $1.2b of economic benefit to the region, and how our local businesses might align with these opportunities, and offer considerations for long term market positioning and exploring business investment opportunities.
  3. Project Development and Delivery
    1. Traditionally C4EM has been strong in its focus on developing outlooks that identify long-term and visionary strategies for Echuca Moama. These plans have been integral in underpinning the direction of C4EM and will continue to exist as a reference point ongoing. However we are now seeking to align these with shorter term projects that respond to the current needs of our business community. We must also make them relevant to the existing opportunities and frameworks that exist within the state and national strategies so as to garner greater support from industry and to gain support from government. For example, we may develop projects that are strategic in introducing greater business investment into the area through exposure and visitation, the exploration of new business concepts to align with developing markets, supporting export development and trade through our trade connections and relationships, exposure and alignment of different industry types to support vertical integration opportunities such as agribusiness outputs to become consumer ready and supporting market pathway development and access, connecting existing local businesses to interact and create new enterprises together- that meet identified market gaps outside the region, including greater domestic or international opportunities and helping to facilitate key introductions to markets.

These are just some insights and examples of what we are going to do, however we are and will be seeking your input to refine and define these opportunities further in identifying the things that will make a difference to you and your businesses.

If you have any queries please contact CEO Martin Szakal [email protected] or Chair Geoff Kelly directly. 

Your organisation can support the Special Charge by filling out the online form HERE. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S) about the Special Charge HERE.

C4EM & Bridge Arts Project- EVENT- SYMPOSIUM- "A Bridge to the Future- Economic Benefits and Opportunities for the 2nd River Crossing"

Our CEO and Bridge Arts Acting Chair Chris Bilkey have been gathering and planning a major event that will soon be announced formally. We have found some very supportive partners who have helped facilitate this opportunity. 

The symposium will feature key note speakers who will highlight planning, economic, design, business, employment, investment and many other insights. This will be a Symposium of National Significance! We will have the full scope,venue, speaker list and online ticketing available to you soon. If you wish to become a session sponsor or have another enquiry about this event, please contact CEO Martin Szakal [email protected] or Chris Bilkey directly. 

Homelessness Strategy- PROJECT UPDATE

This month the Homelessness Reference Group set a clear path and developed a tight draft brief that will enable the next stage of the Echuca Moama Homelessness Data Set to soon evolve. Working with representatives from the Campaspe and Murray Shires, we will soon be requesting expressions of interest from specialist consultants to perform qualitative and quantitative research that will ultimately enable Homelessness Service Providers to have greater access to funding and resources. To date they are having little success in accessing and developing the data sets that offer a depth and level of need that funding bodies are seeking. This has been a strong directive of C4EM to assist in supporting a greater strategic direction over the past five years. We will soon have another successful outcome. If you a query regarding this project or wish to be considered for the qualitative research elements, please contact Martin Szakal [email protected] or Judy Cook directly. 

C4EM Commits $5K to RESEARCH- GMID Leadership Forum Socio-Economic Study

Noel Maughan, C4EM’s Water Industry Representative says this is a critical study in understanding the greater impacts to our agribusiness sector and all businesses and the greater community generally.

It is considered that the impact of the loss of the water removed from the consumptive pool, on the communities in the GMID is not clearly understood. On this basis, the impact of the loss of additional water cannot be accurately projected.

The intent of the study will be to;

* In a complex and dynamic operating environment, to understand what the loss of consumptive water through the implementation of the Basin Plan has meant to the towns, cities and people of the GMID so far. This should include a focus on economic outcomes (on farm, in the supply chain, and across the main agricultural sectors), land use outcomes, and community health & well being outcomes;

* To establish current and accurate base line data across a range of measures – to be agreed with the preferred consultant – upon which projections (under multiple future water loss scenarios) can be credibly based

* Based upon the above work, to clearly understand ‘what the GMID will look like’ in a socio – economic sense, upon final implementation of the Plan as it is currently expressed, and project that situation forward, in 5 & 10 years time, under a range of water loss scenarios .

The study will begin once the funding target is met. Through this research we will be better equipped to influence key decision makers and also recognise what the potential impacts will be on our local industries, businesses and communities. C4EM is committed to researching the issues and opportunities across all sectors. 

If you have any questions, please contact CEO Martin Szakal [email protected] or Noel Maughan directly.