top of page


We provide a range of services and skills that through collaboration, enable our clients to be progressive, informed and competitive. Whether for local government, state agencies, or business and enterprise, our approach builds on competitive strengths, based on logic and innovative but practical thinking.


Effective strategy requires an informed understanding of the environment. SED understands the priorities of our clients and the role of regions. We deliver strategy that understands and responds to the opportunities that come from changes in investment priorities through a sometimes uncertain outlook.  

Future Opportunities After Gold 2015

Primary Partners

  • Northern Grampians Shire Council

  • Crocodile Gold (now Kirkland Lake Gold)

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP)

  • Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN)

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

  • University of Melbourne

  • Nectar Farms


The Stawell Gold Mine Future Opportunities Study was a multi-stage process to identify, assess and instigate potential future economic uses for the Stawell Gold Mine site and assets.


Potential mine closure had been a known possibility for the community of Stawell for many years, creating economic and employment uncertainty for Council, residents, workers and businesses. Strategic foresight was needed to prepare for possible future closure and to safeguard the economic well-being of workers and the economic and social fabric of the community and the broader the region. SED were appointed to undertake a pragmatic and innovative review of opportunities. This had to lay the foundation for new investment and employment that leveraged the unique attributes of the mine, its assets and land holdings.


SED Approach

Looking to traditional industries to fill the gap would be unlikely to deliver the significant investment and employment outcomes that were clearly needed. Understanding the connection between opportunity and economic outcome was at the centre of the approach and looking externally at the growth and innovative sectors that would deliver the employment outcomes that were needed. This included thinking around the unique asset that the mine facility presented and the partnership that mine owners were keen to support.   

Following extensive research, stakeholder engagement and comprehensive business cases, unique development plans were created to support a complete transformation of the mine site to new industries.  



Two major investments were secured for Stawell following the completion of the SED study and business cases.


The first opportunity realised was the establishment of the Southern Hemisphere’s first underground particle physics laboratory for research into dark matter. This is a partnership between leading institutions in Italy and Australia and is of international and scientific significance. Underground drilling and excavation works commenced in February 2017 to build the underground laboratory space that will house the detection and analysis equipment that is being specifically designed for this project.  


Early construction works are also underway on the development of a proposed 40 hectare hydroponic greenhouse facility on undeveloped farm land previously owned by Crocodile Gold. The facility will grow high-margin fruit and vegetables for Australian and overseas’ markets. The $100 million investment will create 70 new jobs as part of stage one development.  


SED completed both the initial study identifying these investment opportunities, project realisation requirements and the subsequent supporting business cases that helped secure these investments.


The reports and project went onto to win four awards in Australia:

  • Economic Development Strategic Planning Award 2014 National Awards for Excellence in Economic Development.

  • Contributing to Regional Growth Award 2015,  Australian Government’s National Awards for Local Government - Northern Grampians Shire Council, Vic, for From Italy to Stawell—the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory

  • Innovative Management Initiative Award 2015, LGPro Awards - Northern Grampians Shire Council, Strategic Projects Team: New discoveries - golden opportunities for Stawell’s future

  • Economic Development Initiatives Award, 2016, National Economic Development Australia Awards

bottom of page