The 4th Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort from Monday 11 – Tuesday 12 September 2017.
Ms Elizabeth Veitch, Executive Director of Regional Development Australia ACT joins us this year to discuss “Presenting the learnings from the SERREE (South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence) initiative – an RDA ACT-led project”.
The SERREE 1000-member Industry Cluster has been working collaboratively to grow the renewable energy industry in ACT – south-east NSW region, optimising regional development benefits such as local jobs, training and business growth. A replicable regional-scale model has been developed over the three years of the project that we would like to share with other regions interested in project learnings.
Regional Development Australia ACT presents learnings from their SERREE (South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence) initiative, demonstrating how we facilitated the development of the renewable energy industry on a regional scale, whilst optimising economic development benefits, including regional jobs and business growth.
Funded over three years to develop an Industry Cluster in south-east NSW-ACT, SERREE engages a diverse network of some 1,000 of this region’s renewable energy stakeholders, including representation from business and industry – from large multi-nationals to smaller regional and allied businesses, across the three tiers of government, research, education and training institutions, and community.
Collaboratively supported by Federal, NSW and ACT Governments, RDA ACT and Southern Inland, and key renewable energy industry stakeholders, funding has been increasingly contributed by business and industry, as government steps back having provided seed funding.
Over the three years, RDA ACT has developed a replicable model for renewable energy sector development on a regional-scale – encapsulating what has been done to develop SERREE, what worked and why.
Presented in the form of a workbook, regional leaders can draw on this practical resource to develop their renewable energy industry. It recognises that all regions are different, with each having a unique mix of strengths and challenges, and that using these builds an insightful pathway that leverages industry development.
SERREE has a strong and cohesive network; it has facilitated business and industry growth, new jobs, industry-relevant skills training, linked research to commercialisation opportunities, and linked small regional businesses with large multi-national corporations to ensure jobs stayed in the region.
We have developed a range of SERREE ‘product’ including communication tools – a website and popular weekly e-newsletter; events – a well-attended series of Renewable Energy Business Forums covering a range of topics and providing networking opportunities; and community-engagement projects such as the Renewable Energy Trail.
The 2017 Conference will focus on issues surrounding the Economy, Planning, Environment and Community Development while considering the “State of the Regions Report” which called for support of regional economic development through diverse infrastructure investments determined by regional priorities in partnership with Local Government.