Hindmarsh Shire economic boost

Hindmarsh Shire will receive an economic boost when it hosts the 2014 Rural Council Victoria Rural Summit.

The council was notified last week it would host the summit forum for Victoria's 38 rural councils.

Hindmarsh was selected over entries from Swan Hill Rural City Council and Macedon Ranges and Moira shire councils.

Mayor Cliff Unger said the summit typically attracted between 200 and 250 delegates, including councillors, chief executives, leaders of business, industry, economic and community development.

"So it will provide a major economic boost to the Hindmarsh region as all events, accommodation and catering will be provided by businesses and organisations from within the shire,'' he said.

"This is fantastic news for Hindmarsh and will provide us the opportunity to showcase the region to council representatives from across Victoria.''

The first rural summit was in Birchip several years ago and has since been hosted by Lockington, Maffra, Rutherglen and Port Fairy.

The 2013 event will be at Lakes Entrance.

Cr Unger said a firm date had not been set but the summit would probably be in April or May, 2014.

It will be over two days and two evenings, with key note addresses from speakers on issues that relate to rural communities and councils.

Cr Unger said the summit would also provide an opportunity for tours to Wimmera places of interest.

"Now that Hindmarsh has been selected as the host of the 2014 summit, council staff will be working closely with Rural Councils Victoria personnel to select venues and ensure that delegates will be treated to an informative, entertaining and rewarding summit,'' he said. Rural Councils Victoria chairman Ken Gale said the host town usually received a $150,000 injection.

Cr Gale made the announcement at the Rural Councils Victoria Forum in Melbourne, attended by mayors, councillors and chief executives from across the state.

Rural Councils Victoria will provide Hindmarsh Council with $60,000 and additional support and resources to host the event.

It is a network of the state's 38 rural councils which acts as the liaison between the rural councils and state and federal governments, industry and community groups and regional advisory bodies and planning committees.

"RCV represents the interests of Victoria's 38 rural councils and the Rural Summit is the annual event where we showcase how various councils and communities are dealing with key issues for small communities, such as population attraction and retention, skills development and planning laws," Cr Gale said.

"The summit is designed to stimulate economic awareness and enable councils and communities to act collaboratively and create an environment where local business and civic enterprises flourish.''

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