Regional development Australia - Orana Region Economic Profile

Earlier this year, RDA Orana commissioned the Western Research Institute (WRI) to develop a comprehensive and current economic profile for the entire Orana region. Funded by the Australian Government, the profile presents key statistics and analysis around employment, education, income, population, industry performance and social and economic trends and provides an important benchmark for the region and for each of the 13 LGAs that comprise the Orana. The profile also provides further analysis on some of the region’s key industries such as agriculture, mining and public administration across clustered LGAs and identifies opportunities for diversification into new markets and supports the reskilling of workers to meet new and increasing industry demands. The Economic Profile will be updated annually to provide a regular ‘State of the Region’ report.

RDA Orana Chair, John Walkom said that “The Economic Profile provides an all-inclusive source of information that will assist the region in many ways. It will improve the current understanding of the regional economy; provide a comprehensive range of statistical information at the regional and LGA levels; identify current local, regional, national and global trends that will impact the region’s growth into the future; identify priority economic growth areas and opportunities for the region and provide evidence on which to build strategies to improve economic sustainability and growth for the future.”

The profile was launched today by Chair John Walkom at RDA Orana's AGM.

Download the profile here.

Download RDA Orana's Media Release here.

News Articles:

Agriculture a vital industry in the Orana region: Western Magazine, 21.10.13.

Where we get the cash to spend in the Orana region: Daily Liberal, 17.10.13.


Farewell Andrew Johnson!

WRI farewelled CEO Andrew Johnson last week, Andrew has accepted a position with the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance in Townsville. The Board and staff wish Andrew and his family well in their new Tropical location!

Long serving staff member and current Research Manager, Danielle Ranshaw has been appointed by the Board of Directors as CEO.

Read more.


Orange council seeking submissions on Electrolux funding

In light of the Electrolux plants recent announcement that it faces closure, Orange City Council commissioned an economic impact study from WRI, looking at the plants contribution to the Orange, Central West and NSW Economies. Orange council  have since made WRI's report available to the public, to inform public submissions on the decision.

Read WRI's report here

More about Council's decision.

Australian Financial Review article about Electrolux in Orange.


Simplot closure could be an opportunity for Bathurst.

WRI’s CEO Andrew Johnson was recently in Bathurst’s Western Advocate speaking about the potential impact of the shutdown of a local manufacturing plant, Simplot. According to Dr. Johnson the shutdown could present an opportunity for Bathurst to leverage the loss in the same way Geelong in Victoria has leveraged the closure of the Ford Plant to attract millions of dollars of government funding for retraining.

Read the article here.



Federal Budget Insights

WRI CEO Dr. Andrew Johnson gives a regional perspective to the 2013 Federal Budget.

Read The Western Advocate's article here.

Listen to his interview with ABC Central West here.


Economic impact of V8 Race shows event grows from strength to strength

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Picture: CEO Andrew Johnson with Bathurst Mayor, Monica Morse at the launch of the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Economic Impact report at Rydges Mt Panorama

The economy of NSW is $55 million better off thanks to the impact generated by the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and that figure continues to grow according to a recent study from the Western Research Institute (WRI).

The 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Economic Impact  Report was commissioned by Bathurst Regional Council to provide an accurate and current picture of the value the event brings into the NSW, Central West region and Bathurst economies.
The study found the popular V8 motorsport event at Mount Panorama generated 17% of the net inflow of money to NSW derived from 56 major events and festivals held between July 2011 and April 2012.
“We know crowd figures in recent years have been growing and this has been great for the event and for Bathurst but it is great to be able to show in dollar terms just what a significant impact this event has on the local and State economy," said Bathurst Mayor Councillor Monica Morse


Powerpoint presentation by Andrew Johnson

Economic Impact of the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - Report (611KB)


WRI backs push for Doctors for the Bush

WRI strongly supports CSU's bid to build a medical school with campuses in Orange and Wagga Wagga and study centres in Bathurst and Albury-Wodonga. WRI research shows that there are many benefits associated with educating medical professionals in regional areas, along with the economic benefits this kind of precinct would bring regional communities.



New team ready for the next phase of WRI

The appointment of new CEO Andrew Johnson, followed two new staff members joining the highly experienced team at WRI. They bring new skills and expertise in economic modelling.

Before Tom Murphy left he appointed new staff at WRI, bringing skills from the finance and economics sectors.

Dr Ivan Trofimov has come from Macquarie University with a PhD in agricultural economics, and research experience in professional services and industry.

Ms Rebecca Hood is a Bathurst local, with a finance background and a graduate of CSU.

Rebecca and Ivan join the highly experienced, committed and long term team members Danielle Ranshaw, Research Manager, and Dale Curran, Executive Officer.

The skills that they bring to WRI have been enhanced by recent training in state of the art software in economic modelling by the highly respected regional economic modeller – Dr Guy West. WRI continues its long association with Guy West and plans more training courses during the year.WRI CEO, Andrew Johnson, said that the staff and skills of WRI make a contribution to the region that far outweighs their small number. ‘The skills of the WRI team add significant local capability that can inform our clients and the region with evidence of its strengths.

The staff of WRI adds a critical and strategic edge that many other regions lack’.WRI is committed to regional development as part of its objects and the new team ensures that region will have an ongoing capability to inform and provide evidence to promote our region.

See the Western Advocate (Thursday 28.02.13 p.5) article

Read our staff profiles here.



Farewell Tom Murphy

WRI hosted a function in honour of retiring CEO, Tom Murphy on Friday the 22nd of February.

Guests included Mayor Monica Morse, CSU Chancellor Lawrie Willett and long time supporters and colleagues of WRI as well as past and present staff and Directors.

The function was hosted by WRI's current President Michael Milston and was held at the Flannery Centre.

See photos here.


WRI CEO Announcement

The Western Research Institute (WRI) announces the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the organisation through its next phase of strategic development.

Following a thorough search, the WRI Board has approved the appointment of Dr Andrew Johnson from early January 2013.

‘We are delighted that Dr Johnson, who brings substantial skills in research leadership, collaboration and business development, will bring a new approach to WRI as its new CEO’ said WRI Chair, Mr Michael Milston.

Dr Johnson’s appointment comes at a point of renewal for WRI. ‘WRI has a strong, respected history of independent research and evaluation and I look forward to sharpening the strategic focus of the organisation in 2013 and beyond’, said Dr Johnson.

The WRI Chair also complimented the outgoing CEO, Tom Murphy for the leadership and expertise he provided over the past 14 years. ‘Tom was the founding CEO of WRI and built the organisation from a research unit within Charles Sturt University to an independent organisation with continued strong links to the University’ said Mr Milston.

Dr Johnson was previously the Director of Research Development at the University of Newcastle, NSW.  He has led and developed complex research collaborations such as CRC bids and Industry, Government and University collaborative research centres.