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Economic Development and Tourism in the Spotlight

Economic Development and Tourism in the Spotlight

Publish date: 5 March 2019

Amber Ricks

Buloke Shire Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee has met for the first time. The committee, a recommendation of Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Strategy, contains members who were selected from a strong number of applications received last year after an Expression of Interest process. 

The members represent different townships and sectors to provide a broad skills and knowledge base including engineering, science, tourism, farming, teaching and finance. They join Mayor Cr Carolyn Stewart, Cr Graeme Milne, Cr Ellen White on the committee which is being led by CEO Anthony Judd, Director Community Development Jerri Nelson and Economic Development and Tourism Lead Amber Ricks. 

The agenda for the inaugural meeting included a presentation from consultant Wayne Street, from Street Ryan and Associates, who prepared Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2018-2021. Through his work with the community in constructing the strategy, including consultation with over 60 business owners and Community Forums and Development Groups across the Shire, Wayne was able to identify and share some of the key trends in the Buloke economy. 

As part of these quarterly meetings for the advisory committee a subject matter expert will be invited to present. Wayne Street was the first and brought with him his extensive knowledge of intensive livestock and poultry to discuss the opportunities for Buloke in these industries. 

The meeting was also the perfect setting for the committee to meet Council’s new Economic Development and Tourism Lead, Amber Ricks. 

Amber arrives at Buloke with six years’ experience in local government working in revenue, finance and economic development departments. The latter portfolio included business engagement and support services, strategic economic growth projects, tourism, marketing, major events as well as arts and culture. 

She is currently undertaking post-graduate qualifications study in business and has extensive experience in project management, policy development, program development, business development, leadership, strategic partnerships, event management and destination marketing.

“The group were enthusiastic in discussing their views on emerging opportunities in Buloke for both tourism and economic development. These discussions form the basis of some key projects for the group to continue to work on. It is a genuinely exciting time for Buloke in both the economic development and tourism spaces. It was also great to see the work Amber Ricks is doing early in her tenure with Buloke. We have had a recent influx of energetic young professionals into the organisation, all doing great things”, said Mayor Cr Carolyn Stewart. 

Whilst the date is yet to be set for the next meeting, the key agenda item will be for the committee to identify their focus for the group and plan its implementation.

End release 
For further information contact Manager Customer Engagement, Travis Fitzgibbon on 03 5478 0181 or tfitzgibbon@buloke.vic.gov.au