Swan Hill has a strong manufacturing sector, with a number of large engineering companies in the region that could assist with the construction of a large-scale solar power plant.
The Swan Hill region has an abundant supply of biomass that could be used as fuel for the production of energy including;
Preliminary investigations indicate the Murray basin and the Swan Hill region has the potential to offer exploration and development opportunities in geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is produced by using the internal heat of the earth to extract usable heat to create electricity, generate hot water or heat buildings.
There has been significant local interest in developing geothermal heating in the Swan Hill town area, with private investment as a possible option for progressing this project.
An emerging regional development opportunity exists for the Swan Hill region in relation to the 'open-water' farming of Murray cod, a high value inland aquaculture product of increasing domestic and export market significance.
The recent Victorian Open Water Murray Cod Aquaculture Industry Development Plan provides a guide for the strategic development and commercialisation of this industry sector in north-western Victoria.
The Plan provides guidelines for requisite investment, infrastructure, capability, networking, production targets, research and development, risk mitigation, seasonality, processing, product development, marketing, promotion, logistics and distribution.
Aquaculture is a newly emerging regional development opportunity for open water farming of Murray Cod and potentially other freshwater species. The aim is to produce a high value inland product of increasing domestic and export market significance that will in time flow to allied industry activity in areas such as eco tourism, training and skills development, processing and the production of a range of associated goods and services.
Tourism in the Swan Hill region has always been strong because of its location on the Murray River and warm climate. Visitor numbers have increased over the last few years due to a stronger marketing presence thanks to the use of marketing funds raised through a Special Marketing Rate introduced in 2002. Administered by Swan Hill Incorporated the Special Rate is in place until 2014 ensuring the Swan Hill region remains a competitive destination well into the future.
Swan Hill boasts a fantastic visitor information service in the Swan Hill Region Information Centre, located prominently on the main bypass route, one block from the city’s CBD. An average of 800 patrons visit the Centre each week.
Swan Hill Region’s Visitor Profile
Approximately 42% of visitors to the region are aged between 15-44 years of age, 36% are aged between 45-64 years and 22% of visitors are 65 years and over.
The types of groups visiting the region include young midlife singles and couple (26%), parents with children (27%), older working (20%) and older non-working (26%).
Opportunities exist in the Swan Hill region for the development of tourism products including:
Simulated and virtual learning are a growth industry for the Swan Hill region, with many advantages for training and education to be delivered locally and at the point of need. Developments in information technology and the roll out of fibre optic broadband will lead to an increased demand for this technology.
Applications can be foreseen in a wide range of industries that build on existing infrastructure and/or services such as:
The Swan Hill region has one of the most productive and diverse agriculture sectors in Australia. A major attribute of the region is the ability to grow a variety of agricultural products - both dryland and irrigation. The diversity of agricultural production is assisted by skilled farmers, a favourable climate, good soil types, a plentiful supply of large tracts of cheap land and quality rail and road infrastructure.
There are major opportunities to value-add to commodities before they leave the region, including
There is a significant opportunity to invest in intensive animal farming and feedlots that take advantage of the bio waste from broad scale grain farming, extensive horticulture activity in the region and the existence of quality processing facilities such as abattoirs and stock handling infrastructure.