Looking beyond traditional metrics

Surf Coast Shire will look beyond traditional metrics to track economic success to help grow a more diverse and sustainable economy.

Council adopted the new Measures of Economic Success, featuring 15 metrics grouped into the people, place and business themes, during its March 26 meeting.

Councillor Gary Allen said economic success was usually measured through gross domestic product and jobs growth, with council “now focused on a more holistic view”.

“We know our community cherishes the natural environment, so numerous metrics have a sustainability theme,” he said.

“From the number of workers who live locally… to corporate sustainability, we know environmentally accredited businesses deliver better outcomes.

“We’ll look at factors that relate to the natural environment and lifestyle because we know this is what inspires people to live and work in the Surf Coast, and to visit.”

Metrics featured topics like recreation operations, public transport, environmentally accredited businesses, night-time dining, and entertainment spending.

It also included highly skilled workers, average tourism and local expenditure, business creation, and employment growth in arts, agriculture, health and tourism.

Data will be sourced from well-established and trusted sources, scoring each metric out of ten. Weighted scores will then be added to each theme to produce an overall score out of ten.

Mr Allen said the new measures aligned with council’s economic development strategy vision of a prosperous Surf Coast that has shaped its identity by 2031.

“The scores will tell us if we need to do more work to improve prosperity,” he said.

“This new approach will enable us to direct resources and advocacy efforts where they’re required, to ultimately make the Surf Coast a better place for businesses and residents.”