Bulgana project a major victory
We can talk forever about and promote idealistic notions of industry and value-adding project potential.
It is a subject that can dominate the discussion and thinking of civic, regional and development leaders and commentators, often resulting in a series of big, fat nothings.
But when an idea comes together and everything appears to click into gear, the effort and left-of-centre thinking is well and truly justified.
The announcement of a world-first multi million-dollar project near Great Western that combines renewable-energy generation and storage with agribusiness rates as one of the best examples of creative value-adding in our region. The news was both exciting and uplifting and provided another snapshot of the potential bubbling away under the surface in our part of the world.
With this project Northern Grampians Shire Council has kicked a goal, scored a try, hit the winning runs or whatever other analogy or cliché that comes to mind.
Having an international organisation such as Neoen setting up a renewable power station in your patch is a good socio-economic win in itself.
So, too, is having Nectar Farms setting up a major greenhouse crop-production project in one of your main centres.
But getting the pair together with State Government support to help establish the first battery of its kind in Victoria as part of a new Bulgana Green Power Hub while at the same time allowing the agribusiness to expand takes it to a new level.
And Northern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll was dead right when he said the project was as much a win for the region as it was his shire.
Northern Grampians Shire has copped its share of economic hits to the chin in the recent past and needed support to stabilise, especially after the closure of Stawell Gold Mine.
But if yesterday’s announcement is any gauge, then its future appears well and truly bright.
When it comes to regional development it might be that applying the approach of legendary football coach John Kennedy, who fittingly spent time in Stawell many years ago, is the best way to go.
For people unfamiliar with his famous quote used to inspire his down-and-out team during the 1975 grand final, albeit abbreviated, goes: ‘Don’t think, don’t hope. Do!’