About the Regional Economic Development Strategy
The Regional Economic Development Strategy (commonly referred to as the REDS Program) aims to provide a shared understanding of where future economic and jobs growth will come from. This knowledge will be instrumental for sustainable growth, driving private and government investment into the region and improve planning strategies for each of Northern Tasmania’s municipalities to not only be competitive within our state and nationally, but on the world stage.
It will identify Northern Tasmania’s strengths and build on those competitive advantages especially across the following key sectors (and seek to recognise further sectors through-out the REDS Program’s journey);
food and agribusiness | tourism | competitive manufacturing | health | education | entrepreneurship & innovation
The REDS program, which has spanned over all of 2018/19, will place a strong emphasis on engagement and cultural change at all levels.
Background & Resources
The Northern Tasmania Development Corporation Ltd (NTDC) has been appointed as the lead agency to develop and be the custodian of a Regional Economic Development Strategy (the RED Strategy (REDS)) as outlined in the City Deal of April 2017, with completion due in 2019.
NTDC is funded by seven Council Members, who have provided a ‘Statement of Purpose’ to this newly re-formed regional economic development agency to achieve the targets set out in the Northern Regional Futures framework.
The framework outlines targets by 2026 of: a 50% increase in GRP, 8000 new jobs and $100 per week increase in average weekly wage.
The Plan will update and therefore become a natural revision of the 2015 Northern Regional Futures Plan. It will also consider regional value chains to increase the tradable sectors, investigate the potential of developing industry clusters, encourage the development of human capital development, productivity measures, and entrepreneurial and innovation capability.
The Strategy will recognise and build on the competitive advantages of the region’s economic base and specifically our growth sectors; food and agribusiness, tourism, competitive manufacturing, health, education and entrepreneurship/innovation.
The development of the Strategy will align with the City Deal vision and objectives of jobs and skills growth, business, industry and population growth, a vibrant livable city, Innovations and industry engagement.
“By 2022, Launceston will be one of Australia’s most livable and innovative regional cities, with growing incomes and falling levels of disadvantage”.
Comprising of two components: ‘State of the Region’ & ‘Future Economic Growth Scenarios’
The Key Directions Report will be a desk-top report that will provide context to the consultation and search activity process, and provide a regional ‘vision’ for testing with regional communities, businesses, and government agencies.
To understand the size and scale of the challenge to make significant improvements to our economy, NTDC (with funding support from the State Government) commissioned the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to provide our economic history and model some future scenarios on how to grow the economy, including the following key initiatives;
- UTas transformation
- Industry/Export Development
This report is still in draft and we are awaiting advice from the City Deal Board that they have accepted the report, so it can be officially released. The State Government have reviewed the report in detail and have advised they accept the report but advise caution that the future growth scenarios are not taken too literally – but as a guide for planning. This has been noted for the upcoming drafting of the strategy.
The Key Directions Report has informed us about the fine detail of our economy. Although, our economy has improved markedly over the past 18 months, evident through the level of business confidence and positive employment data, there is work to be done to ensure we leverage these opportunities in the face of upcoming challenges highlighted to us through the future modelling process.
Three key immediate challenges have been identified and work has now commenced on addressing these challenges. They are as follows:
- Our Working Age Population
- Investment Attraction, and
- Industry Development and Exports
Other challenges and themes identified to be addressed in the REDP include:
- Innovation and Culture
- Health and Education (improving our productivity)
The Key Directions Report has now been released and can found on the resources page on our website. Click here to take a look.
NTDC has consulted with enterprises and project proponents to identify business expansion opportunities, new industry sectors, opportunities to leverage cultural assets, capacity building projects and enabling regional infrastructure that will promote and enable economic prosperity within individual LGA’s and the region.
The consultation phase was completed to identify any roadblocks for business and proponents that NTDC can escalate immediately to the appropriate authority – or make recommendations in the final report for improvements.
If you wish to speak with NTDC, please contact us via the contact us space at the bottom of our home page, click here.
NTDC has commissioned a report from the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to provide scenarios on how to grow the economy. This report is still in draft, but the preliminary results indicate that the region will need to secure an additional $500 million dollars per annum in investment from both public and private sources into the region to achieve the growth targeted. This is one important element that will help deliver the region’s ongoing economic sustainability.
NTDC has met with more than 100 progressive businesses and most of the key government agencies and other stakeholders throughout the region to learn more about the export and business opportunities and barriers to growth that have been identified.
To help fast-track the investment challenge, NTDC has established an Investment Attraction Taskforce to match potential investors and finance options for specific projects and business opportunities.
The taskforce’s role is to assist business expansion or new projects that can’t access finance from traditional sources to find alternative financing options.
Greg Bott, Deputy Chair of the NTDC and an ex banker, is chairing the Committee, with other current members of the Innovation Taskforce including bankers, people with networks into the investor community, a venture capital firm, a representative of RDA Tasmania, and the Office of the Coordinator General.
To find out more or to see how NTDC and the Taskforce can help click here and fill out the form.
In addition, under the Business Start-up section of the website – a section on financing options is included for reference click here.
A Population Taskforce has been established to address the issues around our declining working age population over the next few years.
There are specialist skills within our region that our employers are already having difficulty recruiting to including: health professionals, construction trades, accountants, ICT professionals etc.
The Population Taskforce will consider how to bets promote our fabulous family-friendly lifestyle to a targeted audience considering a move away from over-congested city centres.
View the Population Taskforce Strategy by clicking here.
Including a regional vision (10 years) and the Regional Economic Development Strategy over a three (3) year period with specific implementation recommendations, and include an investment attraction recommendation as part of The Strategy.
A Communications Plan will be developed as part of the plan development process, maximising the networks of key stakeholders, and ensuring that currently unknown or new contributors within the community are encouraged to participate.
About Northern Tasmania Development Corporation
NTDC is funded by seven Council Members, City of Launceston, Northern Midlands, Meander Valley, Flinders, Break O’Day, George Town and West Tamar to facilitate significant improvement in prosperity in the North and North-East Tasmania. The seven Council Members established the newly reformed regional economic development agency (NTDC) in February 2017 to achieve the targets set out in the Northern Regional Futures Framework and are committed to move to a new era of collaborative, innovative and sustainable economic growth in the region.
NTDC is tasked with validating and actioning the valuable strategic planning work that has been undertaken in recent years to underpin effective and sustainable economic transition in Northern and North-East Tasmania whilst continuing to place the importance of education and health in our communities. This means finding ways to continually boost economic output, increase investment, create more jobs, and to raise average wage levels.
By 2026 NTDC’s goals are;
50% increase in GRP | 8000 new jobs | $100 per week increase in average weekly wage
To do this, the NTDC team will be pursuing a strategic and proactive role in identifying regional priorities and undertaking strong advocacy and collaboration with business, the community and the three tiers of government with the objective of significantly improving the prosperity of our region. Our shared vision and projects will have an emphasis on distinct regional ‘community attributes’ being; Start Ups & Entrepreneurship, Health Products & Services, Educations Services, Health: Wellness for Longer, Education: Learning Region & innovation. An essential element of our vision is;
“encouraging cultural change to attract key people to the cause and build a strong common purpose, confidence and social license.”
The NTDC team is supported by the appointed NTDC Board who hold a diversity of experience and industry focus and is representative of competitive manufacturing, tourism, food and agribusiness, entrepreneurship, education and health.