The Griffith region has 1500 job vacancies it needs to fill in the next few years just to meet the demand created by its existing, diverse industries.
The challenge, however, is not just to fill these vacancies, but to capture the opportunities presented by the many industries and ideal climate for fresh food production of this corner of the Riverina.
This is the focus for Thursday night’s The Next Crop forum in Griffith, where The Land and fellow Fairfax publication, Good Fruit and Vegetables, will host a Q&A style discussion panel with an eye to good ideas on how Griffith and its surrounding communities can grow and develop.
This is one of eight of such forums The Land and Good Fruit and Vegetables is holding through this year.
The idea is to create a platform where good ideas and options to these challenges can be put forward and discussed, or even identify a point for action.
While the night will kick off with a focus on how Griffith might fill the 1500-odd job vacancies estimated now and for the next few years, the discussion will also look at where the community needs to start in getting people to town, and to stay in the town.
It will also look at the opportunities across food, manufacturing and other industries in the area, plus options to overcome logistics challenges that come with getting product out of Griffith, including to new export markets.
When: 5.30pm start, Thursday, June 7.
Where: Burley Griffin Room, Griffith Regional Theatre.
It is free entry and finger food will also be available. The event is open to the whole community, from farmers through to businesses in town.
Ideas and comments are also welcome from the floor.
The Griffith panel will include:
- Jon Cobden, ICI Industries
- Marg Couch Regional Development Australia Riverina
- Jo Palmer, Pointer Remote, The Rock
- Sue Molyneaux, Casella Wines HR
- Bob Wheeldon, Rest of NSW chairman
The evening's facilitator will be The Land senior journalist, Alex Druce. His colleagues, deputy editor, Daniel Pedersen and senior journalist, John Ellicott, and Good Fruit and Vegetable’s Mike Lamond, will also be in attendance to cover the event.