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Goulburn Valley plan completed

Pieces of the blueprint for the Goulburn Valley’s economic future will click into place in January when Deputy Premier and Rural and Regional Development Minister Peter Ryan release the Goulburn Valley Development Plan.

CATHY WALKER December 31, 2013 5:05am

Pieces of the blueprint for the Goulburn Valley’s economic future will click into place in January when Deputy Premier and Rural and Regional Development Minister Peter Ryan release the Goulburn Valley Development Plan.

Mr Ryan will to come to Shepparton to reveal details of the document in conjunction with his namesake, former Dookie College principal Peter Ryan, who is used to the name confusion.

The local Mr Ryan chaired the Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Taskforce and said last week it had achieved a lot. He believed people would be pleased with its ideas and recommendations.

‘‘It was a good process; we had six or eight meetings,’’ Mr Ryan said.

‘‘We had CGS Consulting to do the economic work and the outcome was quite positive.’’

Mr Ryan was unable to reveal specific details until the government puts the document into the public arena.

But it will include recommendations about how the $5million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund is to be implemented ‘‘and hopefully more funds — out of that will come a whole lot of good opportunities — it’s not limited to $5million’’.

‘‘The strength of the region is its agricultural base,’’ Mr Ryan said.

‘‘The question is, how do you build that into a competitive economy?’’

While that and many other things will be canvassed in the taskforce report, Mr Ryan said it was unlikely there would be many surprises.

The group was charged with using its local expertise to assist key sectors to capitalise on new export opportunities, address barriers and constraints to growth, and leverage private investment.

‘‘We are not into specific winners and losers, it’s more of a general framework. It’s pretty much as you would expect — to build on and take advantage of our current strengths,’’ Mr Ryan said.

That included the fruit growing and fruit processing industries.

‘‘SPC Ardmona is a major player in the region and we are pretty much on the record as supporting it anyway.’’

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