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09 October 2019
Sun, wind, space, water, crops, plains, mountains, wilderness, towns, people, lakes, rivers, dirt, air!
It is a list of seemingly far-from-exciting base assets we have in the Wimmera, southern Mallee and Grampians fringe.
But when we add a touch of human belief, imagination, creativity and education, sprinkle in some desire laced with courage, planning and hard work, we suddenly have a rich recipe for potential.
Australian Plant Proteins plans to expand a pulse-powder manufacturing project in Horsham by millions of dollars even before it starts operation, reflects how a value-adding approach can generate incredible growth. The protein-powder concept was born from an observation of pulse-crop waste: waste that, at the time, had limited value.
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The observation now appears to have provided the foundation for a fresh multi-million-dollar industrial way of taking the Wimmera and Horsham to the world.
At the same time it appears to have helped provide a new stimulating piece to a regional growth and development puzzle.
It is important to remember that this all came from an observation, belief in an idea and an awareness that there are, to use an old saying, many ways to use ‘a piece of string’.
The concept of value-adding is something of which we all should be more aware, especially if we want our region to live up to its potential.
It is already happening in some sectors.
Recognition of the value-adding potential of our wind and sun is well and truly on its way in a renewable-energy surge.
At the same time our dirt, which we’ve known for a long time as being good for growing crops, is also unveiling regional value in the shape of minerals.
It has also been documented that water, which we again have always known is a must to grow crops and animals as well as communities, has extra socio-economic value through recreational lakes and rivers.
A similar formula surrounds our mountains and wilderness areas.
And, of course, the value-adding potential of our agricultural ventures have long been subject to discussion.
Our wide-open spaces mean much of the region is like a canvas – a canvas that has been well used but retains boundless value-adding opportunities, especially with the added benefit of a palate of colours available in the shape of resilient towns and people.
How well we exploit new value-adding prospects depends on a state of mind and, again using a well-worn expression, being prepared to ‘think outside the square’.
We and our leaders at regional, state and federal levels know we have significant assets at our disposal, so how creative and clever are we all at finding and exploiting ways of improving their value?
We can continue to rest on the laurels from our successes of the past, accept the ‘that’s how it is’ perceptions of today or continue exploring ways to improve our lot. It is in our hands.
The entire October 9, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!