Colac Otway Shire Council - Economic Development Unit
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   Page Last Updated:
 Thursday, 12 February 2015
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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
'Council will work with our community and partners to provide:
- Innovative leadership, good governance and financial accountability
- Value for money, accessible and appropriately targeted services
- A strong advocacy and engagement approach to achieve a truly liveable community.
Council Plan 2013 -2017

Colac Otway Careers Expo Report 2014
The Colac Otway Shire Careers Expo is an biennial 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 they may decide to choose.

Students from secondary schools within the shire were invited, with approximately 500 students attending. Over 20 exhibitor stalls were set up in the Civic Hall of Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (COPACC).

A guest speaker panel program was hosted in the auditorium of COPACC, where students listened to speakers from a university, TAFE, a recruitment agency and a major employer. The student were informed of key requirements and advice when preparing for further education or employment.
The colac Herald and MIXX FM have been long standing partners in promoting and assisting with the event. the Careers Expo has strengthened links between the Colac Otway Shire and regional schools. The Expo also allows Colac Otway Shire to continue its engagement and relationships with local industry and businesses, recruitment agencies and educators.
  2014 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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PO Box 283, Colac, Victoria   3250   Tel: (03) 5232 9400   Fax: (03) 5232 9586 
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