A land of spas, wineries and spectacular views – top contender for workforce growth

Share This Post

The stunning Daylesford and Yarra Glen, located in Victoria are home to some of the best wineries in the world, natural mineral springs, and rolling hills. But can they learn a thing or two about leveraging their natural assets from one of the most popular spa spots in the country – Palm Cove?

Daylesford, Victoria

Daylesford is located at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, 115km north-west of Melbourne. Accounting for 80% of Australia’s known natural mineral water springs, it’s no wonder the region’s accommodation, healthcare, food and retail industries are thriving.

Opportunities outlined in the Shire of Hepburn’s Vision & Strategic Framework (2013) include the following:

  • Development of sustainable strategies that support Daylesford’s natural resource assets
  • Avoiding fragmentation of agricultural areas that would limit production outputs.
  • Developing new high quality agricultural corridors in the region

The Daylesford Abattoir is a significant contributor to the economy through employment, production and export.


The Hepburn Shire holds the highest concentration of same-sex families in rural Australia where the ChillOut Festival is hosted – a gay pride festival that sees over 25,000 attendees each year, including interstate visitors to the area.

The area has integrated a rural revitalisation strategy which looks at social challenges, as well as economic distribution – a problem the area has due to its highly concentrated population, and vast land mass (otherwise known as ‘the patchwork economy’).

Yarra Glen, Victoria

Yarra Glen, situated in the heart of the Yarra Valley is 40km north-east of Melbourne’s central business district.

Close proximity to the CBD, means many city workers reside in the area and travel to and from Melbourne each day.

The area is known as the “young shire”, due to its high population of young families with children between the ages of 5 and 17.

According to the Yarra Ranges Council, manufacturing is the key industry in the area, yielding $2.8 billion in regional output. Other crucial industries include agriculture (including wine making), tourism, construction, property, business services and retail trade.

More than 2 million tourists visit the Yarra Valley annually, leaving opportunities open to develop maximising economic strategies around this.

Some of the economic strategies outlined by the Yarra Ranges Council for 2015 include:

  • Offering business mentoring and advice to start-up businesses in the district
  • Targeted development of land aimed at ensuring business growth and improvements to soft and hard infrastructure
  • Providing training, support and events for local businesses to increase their skill level and leadership
  • Developing partnerships through constructive working relationships with government, community and businesses
  • Making ongoing improvements to simplify the local Planning Scheme and the process of gaining permits
  • Enhancement of the region’s civic space through a comprehensive capital works program

Regional comparison to Palm Cove

Daylesford and Yarra Glen have thriving tourism industries, with economic development council strategy, planning and collaboration supporting them. There seems to be a big opportunity to develop a robust tourism strategic plan to leverage off the large amount of visitors to the regions.

Palm Cove is recognised for its globally competitive tourism industry. The region has over $20 billion worth of projects in the pipeline to further develop the area, as well as overcoming challenges in regards to the preservation of natural assets.

The Cairns Council have recently funded a $10,000 grant titled “Continuing the Momentum” to assist in marketing activities for Palm Cove.

The area has adopted social marketing channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, and features heavily in tourism magazines and blogs.

Opportunities exist for Daylesford and Yarra Glen to model similar marketing strategies building upon further conversation with local council and government to support more tourism campaigns to maximise a visitor’s average gross expenditure while visiting the region.

Workforce BluePrint takes a multi-faceted approach to workforce development. They run critical holistic analyses on a region and tailor a plan to suit. This incorporates diversity, regional objectives, tourism strategies, and workforce development.  From this they develop high quality, innovative programs, and workforce action plans that get results.

If you would like Workforce BluePrint to help your area to maximise economic output, underpinned by workforce development, contact Wendy at wendy@wb.switchstartscale.com.au.

May 2015



Subscribe To Our newsletter

behind the scenes

More To Explore


Pitch Night

An old school pitch night was held at Stone and Chalk Adelaide at Lot 14 on a chilly night with 100+ people where The Hon