In 1999 Ian Pinge, Senior Economics Lecturer, La Trobe University, was undertaking research into implications of electronic gambling machines on the City of Greater Bendigo regional economy.
For this task Ian required a model of the Bendigo regional economy to identify supply chain linkages between sectors. All available models at the time were either out of date, or applied an inappropriate methodology for the task at hand.
After investigating available methodological approaches, Ian identified input – output (I/O) as the most appropriate approach given the defined region of interest and the available datasets. In the absence of any suitable 'off the shelf' economic modelling products, Ian set about building his own I/O model.
Into this economic model, Ian incorporated a gambling sector and benchmarked its performance from a regional economic perspective against other industry sectors such as retail. The findings of this research are detailed in the following papers:
These papers were presented at Australian and international conferences and gained wide media coverage. Understandably the Economic Development Unit at the City of Greater Bendigo had particular interest in the findings of Ian's research. During subsequent meetings with Ian and local government economic development officers from the surrounding region, a recurring sentiment was voiced, "I wish we had access to regional economic data as detailed as this".
At this point the proverbial light bulb went on and Ian set about systematising the process of building economic models for regions defined by local government area boundaries, and building a user interface so that both those with, and those without a formal background in economics could access and utilise this resource.
Over the past thirteen years Ian Pinge and the Economic Research Unit at La Trobe University and later, the REMPLAN team, have developed and refined this regional economic modelling and analysis tool. The outcome of this development is the software product, "REMPLAN Economy", which stands for Regional Economic Modelling and Planning System.
The past nine years have seen the evolution of REMPLAN from a MS Excel based program with a dynamic economic modelling capability at up to 17 different industry sectors.
In January 2008, REMPLAN Economy was released. This version of REMPLAN was a standalone software application which encompasses a powerful engine enabling a dynamic economic modelling capability for 109 different industry sectors together with impressive chart and graphing capabilities.
In March 2011 REMPLAN Economy as an online application was launched. This latest version is a sophisticated example of ‘cloud computing’ which enables the staff of subscribing organisations to access REMPLAN’s detailed economic data and impact modelling for 111 industry sectors from any computer anywhere in the world.
Despite these vastly expanded analytical capabilities, REMPLAN Economy is even easier to use through the provision of compelling graphs, charts and tables together with automatically generated reports in plain English for a general audience. With on-site training provided by the REMPLAN team, the online software user can conduct complex economic impact analysis tasks from their desktop, laptop or tablet computer at the touch of a button. If unsure, the REMPLAN subscriber has access to ongoing support via telephone and email.
In 2013 REMPLAN Economy will be joined by the REMPLAN Community suite of products. More info...
At REMPLAN we are a team of economists, demographers and software developers. We develop online analytical tools and information resources for economic development and planning practitioners in local, state and federal government agencies, consulting firms, university researchers and students. We are specialists in providing area-specific data.