Project update

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during the recent exhibition of the draft Economic Development Strategy.

The Economic Development Strategy was adopted by Council on Monday 29 May 2023.

Amendments made to the Strategy as a result of your feedback include:

  • An increase in the biennial Banyule Business Grants pool to $40,000, in line with the endorsed draft operating budget for 23/24 (Theme 1)
  • Strengthen the action relating to the procurement policy review, to include sustainable/social procurement (Theme 2)
  • Include a reference to food warehousing as part of action 3.3, Facilitate the Growth of the Health and Food Industries (Theme 3)
  • Reference the streetscape renewal program alongside the place-making program (Theme 4)
  • Reference the liveability assessment as a monitoring tool (Theme 4).

Council supporting the workforce participation of older adults including volunteering will be considered as part of future planning associated with Council’s Community wellbeing functions.

Watch the Council meeting or view the Council report and minutes and refer to Item 8.1 in the minutes.

View what you told us as part of the most recent engagement activities.

Economic Development Strategy

The Economic Development Strategy is a five-year plan to support Banyule's economic activity and sustain growth. It provides long-term economic development strategies and objectives that link to the Council Plan 2021-2025 and Community Vision 2041.

Within the Strategy there are six themes and strategic actions that consider the economic and demographic trends impacting our local economy, as well as an outline of the issues and opportunities that affect Banyule’s economy and business community. The draft Strategy was developed following a background report which was presented to Council in May 2022.

The Strategy is particularly important at this point in time given past challenges and our ongoing recovery from COVID-19.

Themes and strategic directions

The Economic Development Strategy outlines six key themes and strategic directions for the Banyule economy. They will be used to identify the project opportunities and future actions for Council to achieve desired economic outcomes.

Theme 1, p. 25 - 29

Support and grow the business community to generate industry growth and successful economic outcomes.

Strategic directions

  1. Promote business recovery and resilience
  2. Encourage business investment and attraction
  3. Improve business networking, engagement and collaboration
  4. Reduce legislative and regulatory burdens on business

Theme 2, p. 30 - 33

Providing a diverse and ready local labour force that has an opportunity to work locally.

Strategic directions

  1. Attract and develop a ‘job ready’ local labour force to meet industry needs
  2. Ensure workforce supply and diversity
  3. Support procurement activity that generates local, social, economic and environmental outcomes
  4. Activate and support social enterprise in Banyule

Theme 3, p. 34 - 37

Promote the development of the La Trobe NEIC and ensure the Banyule economy is a key beneficiary of the cluster’s future economic success.

Strategic directions

  1. Support completion of planning for the cluster
  2. Understand the future role of HWBP and ensure its sustainability
  3. Facilitate growth of the health and food industries

Theme 4, p. 38 - 41

Activate and improve activity centres throughout Banyule to support a range of uses, increase visitation and usage and deliver benefits to residents, workers, businesses and visitors.

Strategic directions

  1. A coordinated and strategic approach to activity centre networks
  2. Support a diversity of uses including retail, hospitality and commercial
  3. Support and enable Traders’ Associations to activate and enhance activity centres using an outcomes-based approach

Theme 5, p. 42 - 45

Facilitate the growth of the visitor economy by leveraging Banyule’s unique natural and economic assets and enhancing the visitor experience.

Strategic directions

  1. Enhance visitor amenity, infrastructure and services
  2. Improve opportunities to expand and enhance the night time economy
  3. Promote and protect Banyule’s existing tourism assets and activities

Theme 6, p. 46 - 49

Create an innovative and environmentally sustainable economy that generates growth opportunities and influences future strategic investments.

Strategic directions

  1. Support the development of a sustainable and circular ‘green economy’
  2. Build business resilience to current and future climate impacts

What we did

Engagement and research

The Strategy is informed by policy, research and community engagement. To support development of the draft Strategy we:

  • formed a Project Reference Group (PRG)
  • undertook an online survey on Shaping Banyule, from which we received over 70 contributions
  • delivered four in-person workshops
  • completed five targeted interviews with subject matter experts including government, business, community and Council staff
  • reviewed relevant international, national, state and local policy and plans
  • researched and benchmarked information relating to economic opportunities and participation.

Information from engagement and research was used to create a Background Report which was presented to Council in May 2022. A summary of the consultation that took place at this time can be found on pages 78-80 of this Report.

In March 2023, the draft Economic Development Strategy was placed on Public Exhibition for 4 weeks and received 27 contributions through an online survey. This feedback helped us finalise the Strategy before it was adopted on 29 May 2023.


Project Reference Group

An Expression of Interest (EOI) process was carried out to recruit community members for the Economic Development Strategy and Recovery Plan 2022-25 Project Refence Group (PRG). The PRG has helped to guide and define the direction of the Strategy.

As a result of the EOI process, twelve places were filled representing a broad cross section of the community. Membership was drawn from:

  • Banyule Trader Associations, Business Associations or Body Corporates (Centre Managers or Committee Members/Presidents)
  • Representative Bodies in Melbourne’s North (organisation or government)
  • La Trobe University
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Banyule Business operators and/or owners

The PRG was chaired by Councillors Rick Garotti and Peter Dimarelos. The PRG Terms of Reference can be reviewed here.

We would like to thank the Project Reference Group for their valuable contributions in shaping the Economic Development Strategy over the past 18 months.