The digital economy is a focus of the draft strategy.
Five broad economic goals frame the Draft Coffs Harbour Economic Development Strategy 2017-2022 which is going out for community comment for 28 days from August 16 until September 15.
Based on the foundations of both the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan, and the previous Coffs Harbour Economic Strategy 2014-2017, this new draft strategy identifies and prioritises strategic actions and measurements.
It contains five key aims:
- Champion business, innovation and technology to stimulate economic growth and local jobs;
- Attract people to work, live and visit;
- Prepare to exploit opportunities now and in the future;
- Create and manage vibrant public places; and
- Effectively manage the planning and provision of regional public services and infrastructure.
The draft strategy has also reaffirmed the three sectors championed by the previous strategy – digital and innovation, food manufacturing and agri-business and tourism.
“As Coffs Harbour continues its development into a major regional city, the challenge we face is to help develop a workforce with the skills to support that growth,” said Nikki Greenwood, Council’s Group Leader City Prosperity.
“We also recognise the need to foster a more diverse economy. We’re currently overly reliant on a relatively narrow base of agri-food, tourism and construction and we need to broaden that base.
“Plus we need younger people to provide vitality, fill jobs, provide services and increase economies of scale. As the population ages, workforce participation declines and the rate of economic growth naturally slows. But, more positively, the ageing population also creates demand for additional services and infrastructure.
“In addition, Council and the community need to work together to identify and make the most of any currently untapped opportunities.”
Consultation for the new draft strategy began during the My Coffs Community Strategic Plan engagement. Since then, there has been further consultation with the business and broader community via workshops, one-on-one meetings with local businesses, committee workshops, briefings with local Chambers of Commerce, public consultation sessions, an online survey and a peer review.
Anyone wishing to comment and/or view the documents from August 16 will be able to do so online at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/publicnotices or there will be printed copies available at Council’s Customer Service Centre, corner of Coff and Castle Streets, or at any of Council’s libraries.