12 December 2023

An ambitious 30-year vision for the Central Highlands economy has entered another action-packed stage.

The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and other key stakeholders have finalised their plan of attack for the next six years, as part of the broader 2047 Central Highlands Economic Master Plan (CHEMP).

The new action plan lists more than 40 initiatives centred on growing local businesses and industries, developing the workforce, attracting investment, and promoting the region.

The measures range from investigating local agriculture’s supply potential for the 2032 Olympics to implementing a workforce development program.

Others include supporting mining’s transition towards a low-carbon economy, plugging potential gaps in accessible and inclusive tourism infrastructure, and encouraging Indigenous business development.

CHDC CEO Peter Dowling says the list is aimed at addressing challenges and seizing opportunities for the region.

“All of these are strategic steps towards realising that larger ambition, as set out in the CHEMP, for the Central Highlands to be a dynamic inland region of choice by 2047,” Mr Dowling says.

“That year is a long way down the track, so we break that time period into segments to ensure the work we do stays contemporary in a changing national and international landscape.”

The plan builds upon the economic development activities carried out under the previous action plan.

“Many of them are continuations of work CHDC began in the CHEMP’s first phase, such as the annual business survey and our industry collaboration to help local businesses be links in the mining supply chain.”

CHDC is the custodian but there’s a wide range of government and private sector bodies involved in implementing the CHEMP and its action plans.

“Collaboration and partnerships have been absolutely critical to the progress of the project from the outset, and it’s gratifying that everyone is still committed six years after this journey began,” Mr Dowling says.

The CHEMP and its 2023-2028 Action Plan can be viewed and downloaded at

A new economic action plan for the Central Highlands lists more than 40 initiatives to seize opportunities and address challenges for the region.