Industrial Land Opportunity for Orbost and District


A meeting was held on Wednesday 9th November in Orbost hosted by the Future of Orbost and District project in partnership with the East Gippsland Shire Council and the Australian Governments Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

As part of the review of the region’s assets and its opportunities for growth and innovation for the Future of Orbost and District project four issues have been identified:

1. Shortage of childcare

2. Shortage of housing availability, zero rental vacancies in the district, minimal land zoned for housing growth and building and trades companies not scaling up to meet demand

3. Shortage of labour, over 30% of the population are non-working aged retirees

4. Limited available industrial and commercial land to establish new business enterprises and no plans to increase the available land

Several businesses have expressed a desire to invest in new business operations and expand current operations. This includes businesses as diverse as:

  • Wood manufacturing / cabinet makers
  • Boat building
  • Steel frame manufacturing
  • Portable house manufacturing
  • Electrical products manufacturing
  • Food manufacturing

In addition to current enquiry on business opportunities there is an expectation that investment proposals and business cases will flow from the work of the Future of Orbost and District project:

  1. National Seeds Institute – location for facility
  2. Innovation in Agriculture – value add to beef, dairy, vegetables and niche products e.g. vegetable processing, dairy products manufacturing, cool rooms, transport and distribution
  3. Forest Management – forest ecosystem services businesses
  4. Education - facility catering for post-secondary schooling with strong industry links
  5. Visitor Economy – development of nature-based tourism enterprises in the district

Other proposals currently in the investigation phase in Orbost include waste recycling and the feasibility for an anaerobic digester to process feedstock from the districts dairy’s, brewery, abattoir, food waste and various industries.

As a part the Future of Orbost and District project it has become apparent that suitable sites will be required to:

  1. enable businesses locally to grow and prosper
  2. act as an attractor for new businesses to establish in the district, and
  3. to enable transition opportunities for current timber industry employees.

The meeting held at the East Gippsland Shire Council, Orbost Service Centre brought together a range of local stakeholders to investigate opportunities for the development of industrial and commercial land. The current site being explored which could provide shared value for a range of stakeholders including business, government and community is a former timber mill site adjacent to the Princes Highway at Newmerella. This site is zoned industrial and is 14 acres.

Local business Built QA has recently established a presence at the site making components for steel frames, with a view to a larger development using steel framing as part of the current material shortage being experienced in the building and construction industry. The recently commissioned state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment will provide for a variety of new work opportunities in the Orbost district.

This site and others with potential in the district will need to be supported through planning, approvals and investment by local business proponents, willing developers and local, state and federal Government.

For those interested in being involved in discussions regarding industrial and commercial land opportunities or to register your interest in the proposal use the contact form below. The next meeting is planned for Friday 9th December.

Pictured: Nicola Watts, Entrepreneurs’ Programme; Craig Malcolm, Entrepreneurs’ Programme; Lachlan Heather, Built QA, Ian Short; Luke Priestley, Built QA; Daryl Brooke, Regional Development Victoria; Richard Pelz, Stan Weatherall, Orbost and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Tim Cotter, Future of Orbost and District project and Ruth Fitzclarence, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Expression of Interest - Industrial Land Opportunity