Experts to discuss Wimmera in 2030

WIMMERA FUTURE: Leadership Wimmera co-ordinator Sue Boddi, middle, with Wimmera Development Association's Mark Fletcher and Tammy McDonald, has helped organise a panel of experts who will discuss what the Wimmera will look like in 2030. Picture: THEA PETRASS

WIMMERA FUTURE: Leadership Wimmera co-ordinator Sue Boddi, middle, with Wimmera Development Association's Mark Fletcher and Tammy McDonald, has helped organise a panel of experts who will discuss what the Wimmera will look like in 2030. Picture: THEA PETRASS

A PANEL of experts will discuss what a Wimmera utopia in 2030 will look like.

Wimmera Development Association executive director Jo Bourke will speak about economic development, Horsham College acting principal Rob Pyers will cover education and Wimmera Catchment Management Authority chief executive Dave Brennan will look at the environment.

Experts discussing technology, health and politics are yet to be confirmed.

Leadership Wimmera co-ordinator Sue Boddi said the panelists had been told to stretch the boundaries on what was possible for the region's future.

"It's not going to be boring," she said.

"It's kind of that step further of how wonderful the Wimmera will be in 2030."

Deakin University politics lecturer and ABC Western Victoria commentator Geoffrey Robinson will lead the discussion.

"Geoffrey is going to set the scene with what we wish 2030 will look like in the Wimmera," Mrs Boddi said.

"Then the experts will paint that picture and Geoffrey will guide them in the second session where they will present evidence about how it might be achieved."

Mrs Bourke said members of the panel had been asked to be imaginative.

"I think it's one of those things where we've approached some good thinkers to go on the panel so we will be trying to stretch the boundaries around how people perceive the future," she said.

"The year 2030 is not actually that far away.

"If you think about everything that's happened since the turn of the millennium, I think the rate of change is getting faster."

She said she would look at how the State Government policy to double food productivity would be achieved by 2030.

She would also discuss the future of global trade relationships for Wimmera farmers.

There will be a raffle on the night and proceeds will go towards one young man's participation in the Regional Leadership Skills program.

Wimmera 2030 'A Hypothetical' will be at Wesley Performing Arts Centre on July 27 from 7pm.

Mrs Boddi said tickets were $10 or $5 for students and pensioners and could be booked by calling 5381 6507.

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