Bega council wears the tee-shirt on Digital Economy

In June 2015 , Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) signalled its increasing embrace of the Digital Economy, with the release of it’s draft economic strategy document. It places a heavy emphasis on Digital, Tech and Entrepreneurship, and in comparison with previous strategies, the shift in thinking is enormous.
A copy of this document is provided for download here :

I think it is an encouraging document – clear, concise and a strong vision for our region.

It may be a watershed moment for the shire that the strategy provisions for the creation of a detailed Digital Economy Strategy, and places high importance on Technology as a cornerstone of the proposed transformation.

The proposed ‘Connections’ component is a true signal of intent that strong local and inter-regional professional and business networks will be a key driver of this future direction. It is hoped that formation of close links to Canberra and the ACT becomes a key part of this.

The proposed Economic Development summit will also be an occasion to savour and will significantly raise consciousness of the need to ‘reinvent’ many aspects of how this region will secure its economic future.

The over-arching strategy covers the broadest possible range of wishes and concerns that IntoIT members, being entrepreneurial and technology-minded, would seek from local government. It appears that there are very few councils in Australia which would have as bold a vision in relation to these key areas. It is very exciting that our local council has embraced many of the core concepts that have propelled Silicon Valley and other global StartUp hubs forward so comprehensively to their significant economic advantage. In this respect, BVSC may have even stolen a march, on many fashionable urban regions in Australia’s larger cities, as well as the vast majority of rural and regional councils.

The document is a welcome counterpoint to a recent article by Tony Featherston in the SMH lamenting local governments general performance in regard to StartUps –

The BVSC team has consulted widely with groups like IntoIT, and skilled economic consultants such as Kim Houghton and Amanda Kenyon. All involved have read the mood of many in the local embryonic ICT hub community.

The strategic goals in the paper are all eminently achievable and will inspire many in the community for years to come.

While implementation of strategic goals is always a challenge and will make for a significant body of work for the BVSC Economic Development Officer, IntoIT members look forward to seeing how matters progress, and perhaps some of the suggestions in the presentation to BVSC made in September 2014 (more details here) will get consideration. 

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