Echuca’s unemployment rate dropped from 6 per cent to 5.3 per cent in the year to September 2013.ZACH HUBBER February 18, 2014 10:09am
Victoria’s unemployment rate climbed to a 12-year high of 6.4 per cent last week.
But Echuca seems to have bucked the trend.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated the number of Victorians experiencing unemployment had increased by more than 30 per cent during the past two years.
From September 2012 until September 2013, however, Echuca’s unemployment rate fell from 6 per cent to 5.3 per cent.
Rochester and Kyabram unemployment figures also fell for the same period to 3.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.
Campaspe Shire councillor and economic development and tourism manager Paul Jarman said a strong farming sector was one of the reasons for the strong results.
‘‘The dairy industry and other farming industries are coming into their own again,’’ he said.
‘‘Dairy prices are primarily providing the economic boost, which is creating more employment opportunities.’’
Cr Jarman said strong tourism numbers and private investment were also creating employment.
‘‘Tourism visitation numbers have increased the last 12 months. I’d like to think that provides employment opportunities,’’ he said.
‘‘It appears to me vacancies in the shops in the main CBD areas have gone away, which wasn’t necessarily the case early last year.’’
Despite the district boasting healthier employment figures than the national average of 6 per cent, Cr Jarman said the shire was looking to move forward.
‘‘At the end of the day we’re always looking for more opportunities for our community,’’ he said.
‘‘Even if our figures were better than what they are, Campaspe Shire would never stop making sure the next thing is being looked for.
‘‘While we’re under 5.5 per cent, we aim to make it as low as possible and not change that attitude.’’
Echuca’s recent figures stacked up well against other Victorian rural areas.
Cr Jarman highlighted the district’s multi-faceted economy as the reason.
‘‘Our food processing industry, farming, tourism, health and aged care are all providing,’’ he said.
‘‘Having the hospital upgrade and private nursing homes developed will provide very, very significant employment opportunities for a town like Echuca-Moama.
‘‘Many communities wish they had that opportunity.’’
He said the baby-boomer retiree market was appealing for private investors, while retirees favoured the district’s lifestyle, access to health services and proximity to Melbourne and Bendigo.
Improvements such as gas and electricity connections and the National Broadband Network rollout made Echuca-Moama and Campaspe Shire an attractive long-term investment, Cr Jarman said.
Cr Jarman said the word he had received from businesses had been positive across the summer period.
‘‘The last three months over Christmas has been trading better than in the recent past,’’ he said.
‘‘You would expect over summer, with the tourism high season, that even more employment opportunities are available.’’
A Goulburn Valley winery has tasted a trifecta of success after being inducted into the state’s tourism hall of fame.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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