LGA performance in the Natural Resources theme falls into three categories. Firstly, a majority of areas are highly competitive in only one resource, such as minerals or agriculture. Many Heartland Regions fall into this category.
Secondly, there are regions that are competitive on several of the indicators within the Natural Resources theme. Tasmanian areas such as the Central Highlands produce timber, seafood, agricultural products and are also close to the coast and nature conversation areas.
For many areas, however, natural resources are not the primary source of competitive advantage for their local economy.
OUR GREATEST COMPETITIVE CHALLENGE – MAXIMISING VALUE OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES
Regional Australia’s natural resource advantage is not straightforward. A majority of regional areas rely on a single natural resource as a core source of economic opportunity, leaving these local economies vulnerable to changes in the environment and individual resource markets.
The value of natural resources can vary dramatically, but in ways that can be mitigated by LGAs. It is vital that our resource rich areas engage with markets using complementary sources of competitiveness such as business sophistication and innovation to differentiate natural resource products and ensure ongoing market share.
Maintaining the value of natural resource products over time is key in order to remain competitive and avoid having local economic success tied too closely to forces of the market or public policy.
A theme analysis is available here.
The full report is available here.