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Regional Victoria's Gippsland celebrates innovation.



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Media Release The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP

2 May 2007

REGIONAL VICTORIA'S GIPPSLAND CELEBRATES INNOVATION Bob Baldwin, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources today launched the sixth annual Innovation Gippsland Festival which will feature about 34 events in the region and is based on the theme, Making Good Ideas Happen.

Addressing 100 guests at a function at Monash University, Mr Baldwin said the festival will showcase and encourage economic, social and environmental innovation in business and the community.

Mr Baldwin officially launched the 2007 festival on behalf of the Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane.

“The Gippsland area is one of the State’s largest regions, taking in the six shires of Baw Baw, East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Wellington, Bass Coast and Latrobe City,” Mr Baldwin said.

“The region, with a population of more than 210,000, has provided Australia with some remarkable innovations,” Mr Baldwin said and "This year’s festival will again proudly demonstrate that not all the best ideas and products come from the big cities.

“The Australian Government, through its business program delivery division, AusIndustry, is always willing to support events which promote innovation in the business community.

“The importance of innovation, commercialisation and competitive practice cannot be overstated. They help to generate jobs, exports and higher living standards.

“The Australian Government has shown it is committed to supporting our innovative companies with the Commercial Ready program which provides greater access to innovation grants and is expected to help about 1,700 small and medium businesses develop new products and processes by 2011.”

The festival will run until 30 May and runs concurrently with the national Australian Innovation Festival.

For more information on Innovation Programs visit www.ausindustry.gov.au.

Media contact: Jaimie Abbott, 0417 490 821.

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