Economic Development


Ranging from aviation to oil and gas, and from agriculture to professional services, there are employment and investment possibilities for a wide variety of interests and specialties.

Wellington Shire Council's Economic Development Unit works in partnership with neighbouring Councils, State and Federal Government agencies, industry and community to support new initiatives and projects for the region.

A key function is to link business with government, facilitate supporting infrastructure and relationship management. Our focus is on enhancing competitiveness, increasing sustainable growth and improving outcomes for the community as a whole.

For a thorough understanding of Wellington Shire Council's direction regarding economic development and tourism development, see our Economic Development Strategy on the Publications page.

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Why Invest in Wellington?

The region offers very real opportunities to experience a healthy and prosperous lifestyle with quality health and education facilities, coupled with high quality business and recreational opportunities. With a very stable workforce and natural wonders all nearby in every direction, Wellington Shire provides a great place to live, work and enjoy.

  • High order infrastructure and utilities, including water, electricity and telecommunications
  • Availability of industrial land
  • Climate and the availability of water
  • Affordable land choices and real estate
  • Diverse business opportunities
  • Excellent vocational, education and professional development opportunities
  • Established road, rail and air network

To find out more about investing in Wellington view our Investment Prospectus.

One Gippsland Partnership

Wellington Shire Council is a member of One Gippsland, which is the peak regional advocacy body representing the Gippsland region. One Gippsland aims to connect the dots between government, business and community, while collectively working together to champion the interests of our region and our people.

View more information at

Business Support

What We Do For You

The services Wellington Shire Council's Economic Development Unit provides include:

  • Support local business retention, expansion and help to maximise their potential
  • Assist business and industry identify appropriate land for development
  • Provide links to business support networks
  • Support business and industry to develop opportunities that increase skills, sustainability, employment creation and investment
  • Identify initiatives and work with the business community to attract new industry to the region
  • Promote our Shire as a place to live, work and invest
  • Provide the first point of contact for information, referral and support in relation to government grant opportunities or assistance with the application process
  • Network with relevant authorities to assist local business and industry
  • Lobby government for resources to improve infrastructure and service provision

Business Associations/Chambers of Commerce

Business and Tourism Associations, Chambers of Commerce and Traders and Tourism Associations do a great job in addressing local opportunities and issues and providing a unified voice to Council and other levels of Government. Associations also provide valuable networking and professional development opportunities to members. To join your local association please see the contact details below.

Dargo Business and Tourism Association

Contact: Emile Theodore (President)
Telephone: 0418 563 601

Heyfield Traders and Tourism Inc.

Contact: Jamie Riley (President)
Telephone: (03) 5148 3447
Email: Cafe.3858@hotmail.comWeb:

Loch Sport Business and Tourism Association

Contact: Matt Edey (President) or Tony Patchell (Secretary)
Telephone: 0417 122 694 or 0402 909 005

Maffra Business and Tourism Association

Contact: Linda Hunt (Secretary)
Telephone: 0488 411 021

Port Albert Progress Association

Contact: Jenny Smith
Telephone: 0439 681 187

Rosedale Chamber of Commerce

Contact: Matt Vaux (President)
Telephone: 0437 689 648

Sale Business and Tourism Association

Contact: Julian McIvor (President) or Joy Churchill (Administrative Officer)
Telephone: 0428 084 622 or 0448 742 273

Stratford Community Association

Contact: Shayne Hyman (President)
Telephone: 0417 330 081

Yarram Progress Association

Contact: Emily Spalding (President)
Telephone: 0427 502 446

Economic Profile

For insight into our economy visit the links below:

Australian Bureau of Statistics QuickStats on our larger towns are detailed below:

Native Timber Taskforce

Following the announcement in November 2019 that the Labor government would phase out native timber harvesting by 2030, Wellington Shire Council and East Gippsland Shire Council both wrote to the Premier requesting further information about the decision-making process.

Both Councils sought to obtain the scientific data that was used in order to better understand the government’s decision. After a lengthy delay, a response was received on 10 March 2022 and is available below.


About the Native Timber Taskforce

Wellington Shire Council formed the Native Timber Taskforce (NTT) in response to the state government’s lack of provision of information for the phase out decision.

Membership includes Wellington Shire Council (chair), East Gippsland Shire Council, Timber Towns Victoria, National Timber Council, Australia Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), Radial Timber and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

The first meeting of the NTT was held in July 2020, with the development of a strategy to continue in the pursuit of information from the state government. The NTT engaged lawyers to act on its behalf and lodge Freedom of Information requests to the government seeking the data.

Wellington Shire Council and East Gippsland Shire Council engaged a specialist economic impact consultant to investigate the likely impact the timber phase-out would have on the economies in both shires.

In April 2021, the consultant provided data that indicate around 1,110 jobs would be lost if native timber harvesting cased immediately in both municipalities. That figure includes direct and indirect jobs, ranging from forestry contractors to transport company workers, through to employees at shops where timber workers spend their money.

For Wellington Shire specifically where forestry is a major employer, this would have a devastating impact on the local economy. In particular, the towns of Heyfield and Yarram would bear the brunt of this impact and presents a significant challenge for local government to make the best of the difficult situation.

Please see below for more information about Timber Towns Victoria.


Timber Towns Victoria

Wellington Shire Council is a member of Timber Towns Victoria (TTV), an incorporated Local Government Association that represents the interests of municipal councils in relation to forestry on both public and private land.  

The association is a strong advocate for the community and the forestry industry and sits on the newly formed Native Timber Taskforce (NTT), which is addressing the State Government's decision to cease native timber harvesting. 

TTV provides a forum for local governments across the state to address the management of forests and forest industries and their impact on local communities. 

Key objectives: 

  • To provide leadership and advocacy for the interests of local government on the impact of timber-related issues. 
  • To provide a forum for local government to share information and to address timber-related issues. 
  • To be a credible and respected stakeholder on timber issues, representing local government in working with the community, all levels of governments and the timber industry.  
  • To support and assist councils managing the impact of timber-related issues.  
  • To support sustainable communities and local government infrastructure. 

For more information, visit the Timber Towns Victoria website.

Startup Gippsland 2020 (Gippsland Entrepreneurs)

Startup Gippsland is a regional program that supports entrepreneurs with big ideas to develop, launch and scale their business. They help both early and later stage Gippsland founders through incubator and accelerator programs, community meetups and masterclasses with industry professionals.

For further information, check out the Startup Gippsland website.

Finding Grants Information

The External Grant Finder provides a comprehensive list of business grants and funding opportunities provided by federal and state government bodies. This free service makes it easy to search for available grants and funding across a wide range of activities and industries, as well as providing information about upcoming grant programs that you can plan for. You can register to receive emailed alerts for new grants, save your favourites and access tips to help you apply for grants, as well as a list of professional grant writers who can assist with your applications. Starting searching for grants now by visiting the External Grant Finder website.

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