Wimmera Development Association welcomes economic and community development contributions for our monthly newsletter –

July 2015

Attention Regional Plumbers

Training for apprentice plumbers will be provided at Horsham in 2016, following negotiations between Wimmera Development Association (WDA) and Federation University.  Business surveys in late 2014 identified a preference by regional businesses to access training in the region, where possible.  Travel and accommodation costs to businesses and apprentices training remotely was identified as a key issue, and potentially a barrier to businesses employing apprentices. 
"Federation University will deliver apprenticeship plumbing training for Years One and Two apprentices at their Horsham campus next year, if there is enough interest.  We are seeking expressions of interest from local businesses, so that we can proceed with planning" explained WDA Project Officer Tammy McDonald.
"Federation University have reviewed their training facilities for plumbing which will require some equipment upgrades to comply with training standards.  Discussions have also included the staffing and possible scheduling of training".
Plumbing businesses can contact WDA to register their interest on 5381 6503 or
"I urge plumbing businesses to consider this opportunity and register.  We are keen to support our young people with training and jobs in the region.  Working with businesses to access local training and lower costs provides benefits to those businesses and the broader community".


Federal Government Blackspot Programme

The Federal Government announced the locations for the mobile phone blackspot investment recently. The level of funding for the region was much greater than expected. To have the number of sites across the region funded is fantastic, particularly in rural areas. There seems to be recognition of the value of agriculture to the economy, and the impact of improved access to mobile services to increased productivity, recognition of the volumes of data used in broadacre agriculture in particular. Absolutely a win for the sector and our region, particularly as the support for agriculture in the criteria for funding was not obvious. 
Disappointing for the region is the lack of funding for Wartook Valley and Yaapeet – the impact of the fires and has not been recognised and the ongoing need for improved services in these areas to support emergency planning, management and response will need to be highlighted again. 
It is time to evaluate the impact of the new funding, to identify any blackspot sites that are critical, review the funding criteria for round two, and to build the case for funding. Targets for advocacy include the Federal Government, Victorian Government, industry groups, telecommunications providers and the regional community, to ensure a consistent message for our regional priorities.
Mallee Electorate sites funded under the Blackspot programme
Gannawarra Lalbert Telstra
Hindmarsh Netherby Telstra
Horsham Kalkee Telstra
Horsham Kewell Telstra
Mildura Werrimull Telstra
Northern Grampians Marnoo A Telstra
Northern Grampians Marnoo B Telstra
Northern Grampians Wallaloo East Telstra
Northern Grampians York Plains Telstra
Swan Hill Chinkapook Telstra
West Wimmera Chetwynd A Telstra
West Wimmera Chetwynd B Telstra
West Wimmera Connewirricoo Telstra
West Wimmera Harrow Telstra
West Wimmera Kadnook Telstra
West Wimmera Wombelano Telstra
Yarriambiack Boolite Telstra
Yarriambiack Minyip Telstra
Yarriambiack Patchewollock Telstra
Yarriambiack Sheep Hills Telstra
Yarriambiack Wallup Telstra
Yarriambiack Youngvale Telstra

Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper

The Federal Government has released the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, following an extensive consultation process. The full details are available at
The Paper includes a range of initiatives including
  • Tax and red tape initiatives
  • Water and transport infrastructure
  • Drought and risk management
  • Research and development support
  • Biosecurity and market support

Online Training Opportunities


'Get On Board' and make a difference to Victoria while developing your career

Find an appointment to a Victorian public sector board through a transparent and simple process.
The Get on Board website is designed to connect you to Victorian public sector board opportunities.
By creating a personalised profile on this website, you will be able to easily apply online for board positions that best match your skills and experience.  Register here.


Settlement Program Event Invitation


Futsal Clinic


Nhill Air Show

Save the date. Saturday 10th October 2015 for the 75TH ANNIVERSARY NHILL AIR SHOW 2015
Celebrating Hospitality and Innovation. More details:email: OR  View video here

Building Resilience in Farming

For more information contact Mark Fletcher at Wimmera Development Association (03) 5381 6505 or email

Jo Bourke
Executive Director

Wimmera Development Association
62 Darlot Street, Horsham VIC 3400
Phone: (03) 5381 6500