The City of Wanneroo says it is ‘leading the way’ with the release of their ‘Strategic Economic Growth 2016-2021’ plan.
The document outlines five economic development program areas: industry diversification; employment locations; investment attraction and advocacy; business support and workforce development, and; regional economic development.
Mayor Tracey Roberts said: “The City has a very important role to play in economic development through our ability to influence and coordinate key elements that drive economic growth.”
The Sun City News asked the chief executive officer, Daniel Simms three questions about the document.
- With the City’s Economic Development Strategy how is the City going to measure the effectiveness of any actions the City takes?
“The City of Wanneroo has mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate all projects within the Corporate Business Plan (CBP) and Strategic Community Plan. Actions contained within the City of Wanneroo Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan are also found in the CBP. Progress towards them is reported against every quarter. Milestones are carefully monitored for each item and each action has its own considerations with respect to effectiveness. Depending on the action, this may be reported by such things as the number of people in attendance or the metrics used to support third party work to stimulate investment. Much of the structural work as actions for the ED Strategy include document review and work to investigate new opportunities in new or emerging markets as they relate to clean technology, advanced manufacturing and agriculture/horticulture businesses. The effectiveness of each and every action has to take into account whether the goal is short, medium or long term. The aim over the next five years is to thoroughly understand what Wanneroo has at present, and how its current businesses can either maintain their current markets or grow if they choose. ”
- No doubt as the population within the City increases over the next five years, how is the City going to measure natural economic growth against the strategies in the City’s initiated strategies?
“This is one of the most difficult areas to measure as there are numerous factors that can be used for or against the role and effectiveness of government policy (at all levels), the level and nature of intervention, and the macroeconomic factors beyond the control of even government and industry. The City will use all relevant indicators of population growth, current and future floor space in its existing and proposed activity centres and monitor the take up of average floor space at activity centres to estimate how the local economy is tracking against other metropolitan centres if those figures are available. This will give part of the picture, but as we know with home-based businesses and microenterprises, if they are not required to apply for licences or permits to operate, they are largely invisible unless they make contact. The usefulness and effectiveness of local representative bodies such as the Wanneroo Business Association and the types of events, seminars and workshops they provide is one method of engaging otherwise potentially unknown businesses. As all government agencies have finite human and capital resources, an effective way of providing the highest level of intervention and service is to partner with as many relevant agencies as possible to provide coverage for the 684sqm of Wanneroo jurisdiction. It would be almost impossible to service every industrial sector, employment cohort and job seeking training and development segment without the support of the agencies and groups that we liaise with on a daily and weekly basis.”
- What are the City’s specific strategies within this action plan?
“The endorsed Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2021 for the City of Wanneroo seeks to create ‘a diverse range of job opportunities for residents by expanding the economic base and accessing new investment opportunities.’ (p6 EDS). The Strategy was written with the aim to provide the economic snapshot, challenges and direction to aim efforts at the five key areas of:
- Economic Diversification
- Employment Locations
- Investment Attraction and Advocacy
- Business Support and Workforce Development
- Regional Economic Development
The focus areas of advanced manufacturing and engineering, clean technology and agribusiness hinge on the fact of Wanneroo’s historical industries as well as established or proposed areas of natural competitive advantage. Specific actions will form current and future investigations within the context of internal capability, the strength of current and proposed networks and relationships, how we advocate and communicate and current and future partnerships and relationships. As with every business and every government agency, all of this is within the backdrop of the unknown local market, national and international variables.”
After extensive review of the document, it would appear to be a bureaucratic document that won’t directly create a single job.
Jobs are created by small, medium and large business wanting to establish their business in regions that have integrated transport systems, access to training facilities for employees and co-operation from all levels of government to encourage and support these entrepreneurs to establish their business within the region.