Leadership, Collaboration, Adovcacy

February 2016

Welcome Members

Updates: Over the early part of the year we had an agenda to update systems and technologies that will enable us to deliver contemporary insights and communications regarding the 'business' of C4EM.

Insights: Also through your feedback, we understood that our website was not particularly tablet and phone friendly, so we have been busy developing this platform too. We would appreciate you previewing, testing and offering feedback from this development. Please note we have redirected our .com.au to www.c4em.com...either is okay, however if you access via google search, choose the top one as google listings are a little bit harder to manage.


Bridge Arts Project

C4EM has been working closely with the Bridge Arts Project, helping to identify a Phase Two which includes an iconic superstructure of national significance on the bridge span itself. 

Through collegiate meetings, the dynamic duo has managed to present the concept to various stakeholders and has seemed to garner much interest, motivation and enthusiasm. We have been engaging at a very high level. 

Essentially, we see the long term value-add of the super-structure and the bridge construction closely tied to aesthetic attributes and could be more significant from a branding and identity perspective that would support most local industries long term. 

The original Bridge Arts Project was and is to facilitate both static and seasonal art offerings within and along the structure of the bridge. The original phase (now called Phase Three) has been recognised within the VicRoads Environmental Effects Statement.

However this new project could reap significant positive impacts for the region. C4EM and BAP are exploring the economic impact that a bridge of significance could have on the region. The attraction of tourists including dispersal from major tourist routes, the branding opportunity that is intrinsically tied to the project and ongoing, including the identification of a structure of national significance, will all help promote the region and will be reflected in the economic sustainability and prosperity of the region. We are continuing to engage with many parties now to ensure the opportunities to leverage the design and construction phase, and any future budgeting time frames, are not left off the table. Watch this space...closely. 

Echuca Special Charge

C4EM in partnership with Echuca Moama Tourism and specialist consultant Peter McNabb we have been working to develop modelling that may propose a new future for progressing the Echcua Moama area. 

The aim is to explore various models which may assist in raising capital, through a Special Charge applied to commercial and industrial rates, with the aim to drive marketing and business developments including tourism and economic growth. The modelling opportunity, which has yet to be finalised, is focused on creating a more equitable approach, in raising the funds required to ensure that Echuca Moama remains competitive as a destination, in attracting new investment, in supporting local business expansion, increasing livability/staff retention/attraction and meeting the needs of the future. Echuca Moama has many assets, however we also know that there are many economic competitors. By exploring a Special Charge as a business community, like many others across Victoria, sustainability and growth across all sectors could be acheived. 

[***Extract & Example- Central Geelong- Declaration of Special Rate 27 Jan 2016- When analysed with REMPLAN (the agreed economic modeling tool of G21 and City of Greater Bendigo) flagship activities between 2011-2015 delivered $53.45M of Total Economic Output (TEO) within the Geelong Region, an average of $13.36M per annum. The projected TEO for 2011-2016 is $65M and demonstrates a $1:$19 return on investment. (full article- https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/common/Public/Documents/8d328d4c31f7baa-Council%20Minutes%20-%2027%20January%202016.pdf) Page 30 of PDF however page 28-29 of report)]

This year Geelong aims to raise  a Special Charge of approximately $1.05M. Our joint (EMT & C4EM) proposal is to raise less than $1M with C4EM being focused on performing the critical elements of economic research, projects and events that empower positive change. The proposal may include a base figure for those who would pay under a certain dollar amount as a percentage of rates, those who would be charged a percentage against their Capital Improved Value, and an upper cap for those over a certain amount of percentage charged. This is one option amongst many being considered. 

We will be offering C4EM Members Insights as the project progresses and will offer you an opportunity to attend an update session with our Chair and CEO.

This is an opportunity of an era of significant potential for the region. We will not enter into it unless there is the ability to raise substantial funds that will facilitate and deliver significant outcomes for the region. Ultimately those affected by the Special Charge will vote on whether this opportunity is adopted...remembering it is probably the only way to get those who have not contributed in the past, including nationals and multi-nationals, to assist with some of the heavy lifting. They do it in other shires and regions already. This is not unique. This project already seems to have strong support as it has been discussed for at least five years and in that time, other regions have significantly improved their opportunities. 

Please direct any queries to Martin at [email protected]

Shire of Campaspe Western Ward Candidates Forum

As a follow up to previous year's activities, C4EM helped facilitate the Western Ward Canditates Forum. With prompt assistance from C4EM Sponsor 'The Riverine Herald' we were able to quickly promote this opportunity to the ward voters.

Over forty voters attended the Echuca Western Ward by-election forum on Tuesday 9 February with all seven candidates presenting to a maximum of ten minutes each. 

C4EM Chair Geoff Kelly said "It was a strong turn-out from the ward with voters intent on hearing from each of the candidates and offering an array of questions that drew the best from the presenters. The responses were equally passionate across the board offering good insights as to what should be expected of each of the potential representatives." 

Since the event we have received letters of support from voters and candidates alike for making the opportunity available. 

VTIC & Tourism Australia Update

C4EM's CEO Martin Szakal attended the recent 2016 Victorian Tourism Industry Council's Visitor Economy Forum and Tourism Australia's Industry Briefing update in Melbourne recently.

Of most interest to the region was the new Aquatic & Coastal campaign featuring Paddle Steamers on the Murray River as one of the iconic elements.

"Naturally tourism is a major economic driver of the region and the economic impacts and benefits span most industries beyond tourism for various reasons. 

In this update it was important to note the current and future possibilities for economic development, identify trends, and how C4EM can assist and support tourism, our members and the broader community further in benefiting from any tourism promotion and activities.

However, tourism is not only an economic driver. It is critical in developing a sense of place for community, increased livability for residence through diversity and attractions, increased wellbeing factors through participation, and the ability for a regional centre to retain and attract investment, business opportunity and a skilled workforce.

An economically diverse community is a resilient one, however we also need to recognise and support and nurture our strengths and not rest on what we have done. With ever increasing competition from new tourism product across the state/s (and internationally), a definite push is required to ensure we remain competitive and at the forefront of visitor minds." 

More information can be found here; 



Council Boundary Review- C4EM Input

C4EM Chair & CEO attended last week's Council Boundary Review between the Murray and Wakool Shires hosted at the Moama Bowling Club (C4EM Sponsor) by the NSW Government Delegate Cheryl Thomas. 

Our Chair Geoff Kelly delivered the C4EM submission in person; 


"Provided that it can be demonstrated that the ultimate amalgamation result will result in a financially sound and attractive proposition for both parties, and further that there is an agreed understanding that Moama’s close link with Echuca is an imperative to the future wellbeing of the region and will remain, and lastly that the Murray Shire is not disadvantaged because of inherent costs associated with the maintenance of Wakool Shire’s aging infrastructure, then within this context, C4EM would not, in principle, be opposed to the proposed amalgamation between the two shires." The full submission has been posted through to the Boundary Review Panel via their online tool. For full doc contact [email protected]

C4EM Monthly Research Insight

Economic Impacts of Roadworks and Bridge Construction- C4EM Study

INTRO: C4EM researched the economic implications and impacts to our region from the construction of a new bridge. Through this study it was possible to determine that there would be significant outcomes which span industries and could deliver considerable growth and stability for economic development factors in the region.

The data from the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) Report titled 'Impact of Transport Infrastructure on Regional Development' (2002) offers us key  insights. Although the study was conducted in many countries across many different construction projects, mostly relating to roadworks/highways/bridge-builds (and similar road based infrastructure projects), if we think broadly enough, we can begin to conceive the impacts that this might have on us, as a region, as businesses and as a community. So let's cultivate our minds a little and imagine what could be...

Round One

According to the report, of the first round direct employment figures, 63% of jobs were in construction, and 27% were in the materials supplying industries. 

"In addition to substantial numbers of jobs in the construction sector, first-round employment effects are particularly large in Transportation and warehousing, Business and professional services, Stone and clay products, Petroleum refining, Wholesale trade, Fabricated structural metal products, and Non-metallic minerals mining."

Round Two

In the second round of employment and income effects, we found an additional 34% increase in jobs growth yielding an additional 37% in employment income which is distributed across a wider range of industry sectors. 

"In addition to employment gains in Business services, Transportation and warehousing, and Wholesale trade, relatively large numbers of jobs are also observed in Restaurants and amusements, Primary iron and steel manufacturing, Finance, insurance and real estate, Automotive repair services, Machinery and equipment, Crude petroleum and natural Gas, Chemicals, and Rubber products."

The report states that this implies a direct and indirect spending multiplier of 2.34. 

There are also tertiary benefits to be yielded from the report and are referred to as 'induced' benefits (as a result of first and second round spending) and is depicted as a response to an increase in demand for all good and services. 

Round Three

Interestingly, third round employment (as measured in person years of employment) is 107% and the income that this generates is 92% of that which is generated in the first round of employment. 

"The largest employment gains occur in the service sector, including Wholesale and retail trade, Business services, Health services, Restaurants and amusements Educational and social services, Finance, insurance and real estate, and Communications. However, large induced employment effects are also observed in Textiles and apparel, Construction, Agriculture forestry and fisheries, Food and kindred products, Printing and publishing, Electric equipment and electronic components, Motor vehicles and parts, Paper and allied products, and Rubber products."

Ultimately, before stating (and naturally) that "the magnitude and incidence of income and employment estimates will vary with the level of programme spending etc. etc...", we see there is an implied multiplier of 4.77 associated with highway/road construction capital investment. 

The Conclusion

So let's pick a figure...say the budget for our bridge is M$3oo for example (estimated 2nd crossing spend), the implied effect (@4.77) is B$1.431. That is significant.

Although we must remember that we cannot apply these insights directly to our local project, generally speaking, it could be reasonable to presume that we are likely to see some beneficial impacts to our region if (when) the bridge and associated roadworks commence. 

Now, here's the tricky part...how do we, and you, best leverage this opportunity when it does finally come? I know through various conversations across our member and community base, each of us will take different insights from this research. Each is as valuable and important as the next...however DO discuss this research across your C4EM member networks because ultimately, as the research suggests, we all benefit. Not them, but...us.

C4EM is committed to supporting this project and others. Through our research, networks, deliberations and discussions, we are as focused on progressing the economic development of Echuca Moama, as you are focused on your businesses and/or community roles, and that helps us all achieve our goals.

Economic development; we are all in this, together. 

Feel free to drop me a line. Or drop into our office at Heygarth House (by appointment best so I don't miss you). And if you come across some research or industry reports, please do flick them through.

Thank you to all our members who make financial and other contributions to develop C4EM further. This support ensures we operate with a contemporary and dynamic agenda to help grow prosperity for us all. 

You will find a developing list and resources on our LINKS page to assist you in developing your enterprise further. This is for members only and will become another feature of offering some more value to our members. 

Your logon and password is c4em88 for both. 

We will also be offering unique industry insights and reflections through other means...please stay tuned. 

All the best,

Martin Szakal- CEO C4EM

Email: [email protected]