Colac Otway Shire Council - Economic Development Unit
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   Page Last Updated:
 Tuesday, 21 January 2014
 Home>Economic Development and Business>Economic Development Unit  
Economic Development Unit  Printer Friendly

The Economic Development Unit (EDU) works with business, community and Government partners to help develop a sustainable local economy by focusing on four main areas:

Murray St Colac
Business Development
Community Development
Tourism Services
Grants - Funding
The Colac Otway Shire is a vibrant rural municipality of approximately 3,500 square kilometres and with a population of approximately 20,000 people located mainly in and around the city of Colac.

Economic activity in the Shire includes agriculture and food processing, forestry and timber processing, tourism, business services, retailing, health and public sector. Farming activities are influenced by the temperate climate, high rainfall and rich volcanic soils of the region. Commercial fishing activities are focused on the Apollo Bay Harbour. Tourism is a key export sector, and is labour-intensive and likely to be the biggest job generator in the Shire in the foreseeable future.

Colac Otway Shire has many comparative advantages:

• Natural assets
- Relatively high rainfall and availability of water
- Fertile land for farming
- Appealing forest and coast for tourism and residential living

• Established strong local manufacturing sector

• Strategic location one hour each from Geelong, Ballarat and Warrnambool

• Major highway and rail links to market

• Established strong transport sector

• Established strong professional services sector

• Diverse employment opportunities

• Housing options and plentiful supply of residential land

• Cultural opportunities
- Colac Otway Performing Arts and Culture Centre (COPACC)
- Events such as Apollo Bay Music Festival and Birregurra Festival

• Recreational opportunities
- Sporting facilities, grounds and clubs
- Blue Water Fitness Centre – swimming, gym, basketball
- Ocean Beaches
- Bikes trails

• Health services
- Colac Area Health
- Otway Area Health Apollo Bay

• Education - strong primary and secondary schools
Action Agenda for Economic Development
Colac Otway Shire’s Action Agenda For Economic Development builds upon local comparative advantages through the development of initiatives and programs in the areas of:
• Workforce development
• Climate Change
• Business Development
• Regional Development Planning
• Marketing and Promotion
• Infrastructure
• Economic Development Leadership

  Action Agenda for Economic Development
  Background for Action Agenda for Economic Development

Priorities for the Next 12 Months
 Workforce development ~ Enhance local opportunities for workforce education and training
 Business Development ~ Creating opportunities and environment for business growth
 Regional Development Planning ~ Integrated social, environment and economic planning
 Marketing and Promotion ~ Marketing initiatives to promote Colac
 Infrastructure ~ Master planning for small townships
 Economic Development Leadership ~ Collaboration between business, community and governments

'Council is committed to facilitating a healthy and resilient economy through effective leadership, advocacy and partnership'
Council Plan 2009 -2013

Colac Otway Careers Expo Report 2012
The Colac Otway Shire Careers Expo is an annual event to assist Year 9 and 10 local secondary school students with their subject selections, and to provide information to help them decide what career path to choose.

Students from secondary schools within the shire were invited, with approximately 500 students attending. Over 30 exhibitor stalls were set up in the Civic Hall of Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (COPACC).

A guest speaker program was hosted in the auditorium of COPACC, where students listened to individuals currently working in Colac and also individuals who were raised and educated in Colac, and have gone on to work outside the Shire.
  2012 Careers Expo Report

Economic Development Strategies

The  Economic Development Unit had produced several strategies which cover affordable housing, tertiary education opportunities, skills shortages and the Apollo Bay Harbour.
Economic Development Strategies


The Shire uses statistical information from the Census to assist in funding applications which result in reducing the cost of infrastructure to the community.

For further information please contact:

Tony White, Manager,Economic Development
Colac Otway Shire
PO Box 283, Colac VIC 3250
03 52329450


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