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Economic Development

Council's economic development function has a strong focus on the growing service industries such as health, culture and recreation, accommodation and food services, while exploiting the Shire's location, resource and investment advantages in traditional product oriented industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and mining.

What's new in business?

Tim Preston, designer and rock climber, has invented the LittleHammer and won the Bendigo Inventor of the Year 2015. Read an interview with Tim about his invention and business endeavours. Congratulations Tim!

Doing business in Mount Alexander Shire

The history of Mount Alexander Shire's business profile lies in heavy manufactuing including rail, pumps, carpet and smallgoods. Retail has also had a long and successful profile in our towns and villages. While these businesses remain, new and emerging industries including healthcare, vehicle modification, tourism, microbusiness and food and wine are rapidly building a diverse industry base which is attracting a broad range of complimentary businesses. These factors all contribute to the Mount Alexander Shire being an ideal place in which to live, work and invest.

Conveniently located, lower overheads

The Shire is located in Central Victoria, within easy access of Melbourne and conveniently located between the major rural cities of Bendigo and Ballarat. The business centre in Castlemaine is just 10 minutes drive from the Calder Freeway, and within one hour of Melbourne Airport.

The major retail and commercial centre in Castlemaine offers an excellent range of retail, service, cultural and social facilities to meet all needs and lifestyles.

Raw materials for manufacturing are readily available. The rail link between Melbourne and Bendigo, together with the upgraded Calder Freeway, facilitates the export of goods and services from the region to the wider State, country and overseas markets.

Lifestyle options to support industry

Industry is diverse and provides employment to a large percentage of residents. Council’s Economic Development Strategy supports the growth and development of locally grown businesses. The unique rural environment accommodates nearly any lifestyle you could choose. Modern townhouses, grand and modest heritage homes, village settings, historic farming homesteads or mud brick houses in the bush – there is a property to suit everyone. See more about our Shire and Making the Move to Mount Alexander.

Economic profile

The Mount Alexander Shire economic profile provides a guide to the factors driving our local economy to help inform business decision making and development. The interactive website draws on a variety of economic data sources to profile the characteristics of the local economy, how it compares to other areas and how it is changing.

Combined with the community profile it provides the most up to date snapshot of the region including our people, our workers and key industries.

Our industries

Industry in the shire is healthy and diverse. Key industries include manufacturing, building and construction, automotive, arts, agriculture and health services.

Larger firms undertake food processing (KR Castlemaine); design engineering and steel fabrication (Flowserve, Vossloh Cogifer and a range of other companies); vehicle modification (Castlemaine Rod Shop, Waddingtons, Billman’s Foundry and other businesses).

There is growth in service industries such as healthcare provision, culture and recreation, accommodation and food services, and vehicle modification.

Food, wine and cideries, the arts and tourism are growing, while diverse agriculture and horticulture, and mining remain important.

More than one fifth of the Shire is devoted to agricultural activity which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of employment.

Read more about our key industries in our Economic Development Strategy.

Economic Development Strategy 2013 – 2017

In 2013 Council adopted a five year Economic Development Strategy to guide the activities in promoting the Shire as a place to live, work and invest.

Read the full strategy, or download the snapshot and our prospectus for investors.

•           Economic Development Strategy 2013 - 2017

•           Shire Demographics and Economic Data

•           Economic Development Strategy Snapshot

•           Prospectus for Investors

Council’s Local Economy Unit is responsible for undertaking many of the actions and facilitating progress through coordination with other Council units, external stakeholders and the community. For more information contact us.

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