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Overseas venture has potential

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Moorabool CEO Derek Madden, Mayor Paul Tatchell and Andy Waugh (Eco. Development) at the wool scouring factory plant with owner Mr Wen. Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Kate Taylor

Moorabool’s CEO and Mayor have returned from a trip to China that explored investment opportunities to benefit the shire.

On his return from the self-funded trip, Derek Madden (CEO) told the Moorabool News that it was an overall success.

“The trip was a success in that we were given the opportunity to present that Moorabool Shire is a very favourable light to large numbers of Chinese and international investors.

“Our Mayor Mr Paul Tatchell was provided with the opportunity to speak to 700 guests about where Moorabool Shire is located and what potential exists within the shire. In addition our Mayor and guests were invited into the home of a significant investor not only in Moorabool but in Australia and globally, and as a result was able to discuss in person opportunities for different industries to locate within Moorabool to provide jobs to help reverse over 60 per cent of the shire having to leave the shire boundaries for work each day,” he said.

While positive, Mr Madden noted that it is still early days.

“The discussions are at very early stages and revolved around different industries potentially locating within the shire. At this stage I would say the discussions were more informal and we were just explaining the potential of Moorabool as a location for future investment,” Mr Madden said.

Mayor Tatchell said the potential investment could include things like increasing beef, wool and lamb exports from Moorabool – as well as the important secondary industries that come with that, such as wool scouring plants and factories.

“They can accommodate a lot more than we are currently exporting,” Mayor Tatchell said.

“And it’s not just foreign ownership, because there are ways to work around that, such as leasing, because when they’re investing long-term they don’t need to own the land or the factories, they just want to deal with people who can give a commitment and do business.”

And what future planning is being considered?

“At this stage we will be working with some of the contacts made to help build a relationship that should further investment in Australia be considered, that Moorabool is presented as a viable location,” Mr Madden said.