Have your say on regional development strategy

The Women in Business Regional Network was invited to present to a state government panel looking at regional development strategy.

The Minister for Regional Development Tim Whetstone has appointed a panel which is touring South Australia’s regions to gather feedback on the state Regional Development Strategy discussion paper.

The panel includes chair Mark Sutton from Regional Development Australia Far North, Jeremy Conway from Infrastructure SA, Bill Spurr who has a tourism background, Mayor Sam Telfer from Tumby Bay, Tony Vaughan from the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Maree Wauchope from the Training and Skills Commission.

Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey said she was particularly grateful that the panel were prepared to accept a video link presentation when they visited Victor Harbor earlier this month.

“It was a great opportunity to provide feedback to the panel about some of the issues that have been identified so far in our Snapshot survey that is currently underway,” Carolyn said.

“We discussed the need to improve internet access and training for business people to take advantage of new online markets.

“They also seemed very interested in one of the key focuses of the network which is to create a lot of little improvements across a wide variety of businesses and communities to ultimately provide a much wider impact.

“I emphasised that the majority of businesses our network services are microbusinesses, women working solo, and often from home, who still have a significant contribution to make to the regional economy.  They shouldn’t be overlooked just because they’re not multi-million dollar operations.”

Discussion also took place about the need for better or more innovative childcare options in regional communities.

Carolyn said the panel also seemed to be in agreement on the need to create better collaboration opportunities and for communities to be encouraged to work together and share resources to create efficiencies and economic growth.

She urged everyone from across the regions in South Australia to have their say on the discussion paper.

“It’s really a very simple document to follow and to contribute your thoughts on,” Carolyn said.

“It asks a series of very easy questions covering services, infrastructure, economic drivers, entrepreneurs and innovation and leadership.”

Feedback closes on July 26.  The discussion paper can be viewed and downloaded from  https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/decisions/regional-plan/about