Increasingly governments are seeking to organise economic development strategies in partnership with business and community actors at a local level. These place-based approaches devolve greater responsibility to local and regional institutions emphasising bottom-up, locally designed strategies aimed at maximising the growth potential of local economies. The State of Victoria has implemented an approach to regional development organised around regional plans that are developed locally and endorsed by government, business and community leaders. One problem associated with implementing these approaches is the lack of shared ideas and understandings about the role of governments in promoting local and regional economic development. In this paper, I reflect on the development of an information base in the State of Victoria that has been designed to address this problem. This may present lessons for other practitioners approaching similar challenges. The paper also contributes to an understanding of how to address problems associated with the implementation of place-based approaches to economic development.