HOW can Cooma retain young workers, what education and job opportunities are there for young people and how can this be developed and what strategies are in place for fostering growth in the service industry?
These are some of the questions being tackled by the 11- man task force established by Cooma-Monaro Shire Council to develop a strategy that will see the shire economically thrive into the future.
The Task Force will produce a report with recommendations for a series of practical actions to address eight key priority areas.
These include education and job opportunities for young people, retaining young workers, fostering growth in service industries, identifying the strongest business clusters, packaging the lifestyle.
Filling gaps in the attractiveness of town, filling gaps in business mix and ensuring the town is attractive to new businesses and supporting local business to grow from within will also be addressed in the report.
It has already found the three key issues for the Shire's economy based on a quantitative data on the Cooma-Monaro.
Firstly, it found there is a high number of people who come to the shire for a short time and then leave. The decline in the number of working age people in the future would make it difficult for businesses to prosper.
Secondly, the shire is in a transition for employment growth and business formation from its former strengths in agriculture and manufacturing to the service industries like public administration and health.
Lastly, household incomes are rising and the service industries are contributing the bulk of the Shire's household incomes. It found the high number of qualified professionals in Cooma was an asset that needed to be considered in the future economic development initiatives.
Established in June, the Task Force has had four meetings and is advanced with its fact finding, review and prioritization phase.
It is made up of eminent business men and key thinkers in the local community.
Members are Daryl Anderson, Kerry Blencowe, Simon Buckley, Sid Downey, David Hogan, Dugald Mitchell, Ken Prendergast, David Shelley, Peter Sheppard, Chris Wall and Ian Ware.
The report will be put to council for consideration in November.