Updates: This has been another very busy month with some core C4EM projects progressing well including Bridge Arts Project, the Homelessness Strategy and the Special Rate Charge- Marketing and Business Development Initiative.
READ FEB 2016 NEWSLETTER FOR FULL BACKGROUND to this issue.
Echuca Special Charge- UPDATE- Please fill out the Support Form
Over the past month C4EM, Echuca Moama Tourism (EMT), and Peter McNabb (Special Charge Specialist Consultant) have been working closely with both member's groups via individual and group member introductions and focus groups, to progress the Special Charge opportunity.
An invitation to a public meeting to invite all commercial and industrial rate payers within the Special Charge zone will soon be going out and you will be invited. The evening meeting will comprise of EMT, C4EM and Peter McNabb delivering insights and responding to questions. SAVE THE DATE: 6:30pm Tue 5 April 2016- The Mercure- 465 High St, Echuca VIC 3564
To date we have received much positiveness with comments being "that we should have implemented this years ago" and "if the large organisations have to contribute now as well, after all these years of just skimming the profits off our hard work and investment, then I am in too!"
Your organisation can support the Special Charge by filling out the online form HERE. The process is that we need to garner as much support as we can from the rate paying community, present this to the Campaspe Shire Council for consideration and adoption, and implement then begin to implement our programs (EMT & C4EM). See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S) about the Special Charge HERE.
Bridge Arts Project- UPDATE
This week some of the Bridge Arts Project team and C4EM met with a Yorta Yorta Nation representative to revisit and expedite the signing of the Bridge Arts Project- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was drafted some time ago.The concept of a 'bridge of national significance' was also introduced at the meeting with some interest taken.
Chris Bilkey, Acting Chair of BAP, has also been busy working with a Melbourne University lecturer to drive an opportunity for post graduate students to study and develop an assessment project which will focus on the Echuca Moama Second River Crossing- Bridge Arts Project in its original form, that is the offering and constructs around supporting artworks on the side of, in and around the general support structure of the bridge.
Also, through our contacts and conversations, BAP & C4EM are confident that we should learn more about the Second River Crossing from key stakeholders regarding the progress of the bridge and road construction project by the end of the financial year or sooner.
Homelessness Strategy- UPDATE
This week was a turning point for the future of the Homelessness Reference Group and furthering the Echuca Moama Homelessness Strategy.
After many meetings, much deliberation and complex consideration over the past month, it was decided this morning that the strategy enter its final stages in delivering on a single point of effort that should facilitate long term possibilities and opportunities for Homelessness Service Providers (and related fields) in the region.
In line with the recommendations from the Strategy, it was determined that not having a 'localised data set' is the single biggest issue and hurdle in getting access to funding and generating progressive opportunities.
This next and final stage of the Homelessness Reference Group Strategy aims to provide an enabling data set through a specialist consultant. This set will also become a base for future projects and initiatives to be measured against.
Although we are still developing a tight brief for us to begin canvassing consultants for consideration, we have in the meantime made an approach for funding which is being considered and we will soon know the results of.
Lastly, the very final activity of the Homelessness Reference Group will be to write to the appropriate levels of government and departments to inform them as to the difficulty in facilitating this strategy in full due to the points raised earlier. The aim of this letter writing activity will be to affect future policy making and decisions that will assist groups similar to ours, find an ease of passage in accessing and collecting localised data and information surrounding Homelessness.
Thank you for your ongoing support of this project which we know should create opportunities for Service Providers to assist the Homeless in having their needs met.
Riverboat Dock User/Member Group
We invited our Members who are also some of the Riverboat Dock User group and asked what C4EM can do to support them.
One outcome was that we followed up with the consultants appointed to the community consultation and planning of the project and requested an update and information regarding the time frame and progress of the project.
C4EM and the User Group were subsequently informed that no planning decisions have been finalised and that further community consultation and opportunity for feedback on drafts will be welcomed in the future...most probably in April.
We will continue to participate in discussions with our members that have in interest in the Riverboat Dock Development and support their interests.
We look forwards to the update in April.
After hearing some disturbing news on the radio about the Echuca-Bendigo rail line and major issues with the line in preventing faster train travel speeds due to sleepers and ballast problems, our C4EM Chair (after repeated and numerous modes of enquiry and not gaining any response from the Minister who made the commentary), pursued another line of enquiry via the online ombudsman link on the V-line website, to gain further insights into the matter.
Alarmingly, the response came within a day which revealed that in fact the comments were not correct and that the speed of train travel was related to finalising the crossings along the line, rather than line issues, as first thought.
C4EM has been informed that we will be kept up to date on future developments.
Regional Branding- Why and how?
Sometimes as a researcher you get lucky. After collecting and collating a suite of regional branding articles and planning the script for this newsletter, I found another academic article that pretty much stated most of what I was going to deliver. So instead of getting in the way of a good piece of writing...here is an extract, of the abstract, which is far from abstract in fact...
Abstract: Within the globalizing world, regions and their identities are subjected to great pressure. At present, places are engaged in a process of “territorial competition” in an integrated world economy. The identity of the region can be used as a starting point to brand a region and differentiate it from others. In the regional branding process, the region as a whole becomes a product or brand and offers a “basket” of regional products and services. Regional branding is aimed at creating a more distinctive image or reputation, which helps to increase regional competitiveness. [THIS WE KNOW...]This paper discusses the possibility of regional identity as a mobilizing force for rural development, by studying best practice examples of regional branding. Using the grounded theory approach...[too long so edited for purpose...], The study of these cases led to the formulation of critical success factors on the organization of regional branding. Comparative analysis of the cases demonstrates the importance of passionate initiators as ambassadors of the region and the advantage of a well-coordinated internal network in the region. Next to that, the internal marketing of the region is considered an important critical success factor. [End]
So if we are to embark on an evolution whereby we 'factor-up' our efforts through a Special Charge that supports destination marketing and business development, we need a strong contingency to drive this innovation. For this circumstance our ambassadors come in the form of members [both C4EM and EMT who currently contribute voluntarily to organisations, this is powerful stuff], who can also facilitate further engagement from others in creating the synergies and effects that will enable the region to prosper long term. The proposed period for the Special Charge is five years. Evidence tells us that most Special Charges, once in place, are still going after 20 years. This is not a short term opportunity. And if Geelong can get an outcome of their Special Charge of 1:19 ($1 out $19 back), then an established and renowned destination and business community such as Echuca Moama, should also have the capacity to yield similar results. With a quickly growing competition base (other Special Charge Destinations and the experience of refining their tactics), we could be at a pivoting point that shifts the dynamic. However, if the Special Charge does not get up this time, primarily due to the lack of overt support, there will probably be another 5 year wait before the community considers it, again, and by then who knows how far ahead others could be in strengthening or even establishing a strong regional brand.
To get Council Approval we will need 60%+, that is approximately 500 letters of support from commercial and rate paying businesses to make this happen.
You actually need to ACTION THIS! FILL OUT THE ONLINE SUPPORT FORM...NOW! Without it we have no real chance. Help drive growth and prosperity for this region by registering your support online...CLICK HERE
All the best,
Martin Szakal- CEO C4EM