Greater Shepparton City Council's former sustainability director Dean Rochfort believes the city is well placed for a prosperous future.By Darren Linton
Dean Rochfort leaves Greater Shepparton confident the city has a bright future.
After eight years as Greater Shepparton City Council’s director of sustainability, Mr Rochfort said the economic base, future planning and generous community spirit all boded well for the future.
Mr Rochfort leaves at the end of the month to guide sustainable growth at City of Wyndham, between Melbourne and Geelong.
The city adds the equivalent of Benalla to its population every year.
‘‘It is a fantastic opportunity for me career-wise,’’ he said.
‘‘It is the fastest-growing municipality in the state.’’
He leaves behind a major piece of unfinished business, the Goulburn Valley Freight and Logistics Centre.
Under his direction, the project has passed through the land acquisition, planning and design stages, but is yet to attract the major tenant that will kickstart the development.
‘‘Council has had three firm offers, but they haven’t been the right people at the right time,’’ he said.
Mr Rochfort said the project had been shaped to take advantage of the Goulburn Valley Hwy bypass and a possible rail link.
It also fitted with Victorian and Federal Government approaches to dealing with a doubling of freight during the coming decades and increased global demand for food.
‘‘Strategically, the project is right,’’ he said.
Mr Rochfort also supported Shepparton Show Me as an appropriate vehicle for business promotion.
But he said the time was right for a review, along with the review of the rating strategy, a forthcoming review of the central business district strategy and a new retail strategy to address, among other things, the drift to online shopping.
‘‘At the end of the day the customer is king and the challenge is to adjust,’’ he said.
While the council had received the brunt of criticism for the number of empty shops in the city, Mr Rochfort said much of the work the organisation did went unseen.
He cited examples such as business support and training, and long-term planning to allow businesses such as Unilever and Tatura Milk Industries to expand.
Mr Rochfort said while a lot of the public focus could be on ‘‘chasing smokestacks’’, much of the real economic development work was about supporting and enhancing what already existed.
He pointed to commercial building approvals, the best in the north-east, as proof Greater Shepparton was growing its economic base.
Mr Rochfort is the last executive domino to fall, leaving chief executive Gavin Cator with a completely new team of directors.
‘‘The emotional intelligence and knowledge is something we are going to miss,’’ Mr Cator said.
‘‘I am disappointed that Dean is leaving us at a time of significant change in the organisation.’’
Goulburn Valley Health’s renal patients have seven new hand-sewn quilts to call their own.
The winning form continued for the Mulwala seniors against Deniliquin at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Tatura Hospital and Parkvilla Aged Care Facility, part of Goulburn Valley Health, held its annual June Hospital Collection and Open Day on Sunday with a small crowd in attendance.
Murray and Campaspe shire have decided to withdraw membership from Committee for Echuca-Moama.
Rochester Motorsport Complex will host the third round of the Golden Power Series karting championships on the weekend.
Kyabram’s first tourism booklet is to be launched in late September.
Seymour College P-4 students delight in their new surroundings.
Berrigan and Jerilderie Shires will be in separate state electorates if boundary redistributions announced on Monday come in to effect.
Heathcote Health is finalising its service plan.
Barooga Sports Club chief executive officer Greg Ryan recently celebrated 30 years of service surrounded by friends, family and past and present staff.
Former AFL player Heath Black sent an inspiring message to Deniliquin youths last week.
Goulburn Valley fruit growers may face a battle against pests and diseases this season as growers hit by SPC Ardmona’s fruit cutbacks abandon their orchards or can’t find money to properly maintain them.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.