Opportunities for business and regional development in the Fleurieu, Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island were the focus for the latest Victor Harbor lunch for the Women in Business Regional Network. A capacity crowd was on hand to welcome the network’s first male guest and presenter, Steve Shotton, the regional manager of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island.
Mr Shotton explained that the RDA’s role was to identify and foster economic opportunities such as international markets and job creation. "Public and private sector decentralisation was a priority along with the attraction of funding – both private and public sector – for projects that would boost the economy of the region," he said.
Projects the RDA were involved, included cultural development such as live music events, the attraction of overseas trade and investment opportunities with China and the Middle East, tapping into the ageing population, improving public transport, developing workforce skills and advocating for regional renewable energy opportunities.
Mr Shotton spoke about an autonomous vehicle trial that was about to start at Elliot Gardens in Port Elliot.
"Like the electric car network we may not personally see this as a priority at present, but we needed to put infrastructure and research in place now so our region was ready to deal with the changing technology," Mr Shotton said.
The women at the lunch were encouraged to contact the RDA for assistance, particularly if they were considering projects that would create job and economic opportunities. They were also urged to join the RDA’s mailing list to receive information about funding and training opportunities, as well as government policy changes.
"The three biggest employment sectors in the region were health care and social assistance, retail trade, accommodation and food services and education and training," he said.
Transport has been identified as a key issue facing the region and this came as no surprise to those in the room. An invitation has been extended to Mr Shotton to attend functions in McLaren Vale and Strathalbyn in the future.
Further functions include a dinner on Monday, March 25, at the Hotel Crown and a luncheon on Monday, April 29, at the Hotel Crown when Rommie Corso of Hardshell Publishing will be speaking about what’s involved in getting published. Bookings through Eventbrite.com.au.
For more information about the Women in Business Regional Network visit www.wibnetwork.com.au or phone Carolyn on 0435 432 203.