South Burnett Directions committee members Linchon Hawks, Brett Heading and John Carey at the official launch of the new economic development body in June this year

October 11, 2013

The South Burnett will have regional Business Excellence Awards – and a business mentoring program – running as part of Stage 2 of South Burnett Directions.

Also on the drawing board in a new tourism strategy for the South Burnett developed after a forum of local stakeholders.

South Burnett Directions is the region’s peak economic development body and was launched in Kingaroy earlier this year.

It is finalising working groups for a number of projects.

“South Burnett Directions is out of the starting block and working on projects,” South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said today.

“We are assembling the working groups which will drill down on each of the projects and get some runs on the board.

“One of the projects close to my Council portfolio is the Tourism project.

“A tourism stakeholder forum will be scheduled for late November to develop a tourism strategy solely for the South Burnett.

“The region needs a unified approach to tourism and majority agreement from all sectors for this initiative.”

SBRC Economic Development Manager Phil Harding said another project was Education which would involve building relationships with universities and TAFEs and digital delivery of education and pathways for employment.

“At our last meeting we had a presentation from Deputy Vice-Chancellor of QUT, Prof Peter Little, who spoke to the steering committee about universities in a fast-changing world and the opportunities for regions like the South Burnett,” Mr Harding said.

“The steering committee has chosen two projects related to business growth with the development of Business Excellence Awards and a Mentoring for Growth Program.

“The Mentoring for Growth project team has been launched but will commence with an intake of 10-12 businesses who are interested in mentoring.

“This will be one of the first projects to be up and running.”

Mayor Kratzmann said South Burnett Directions was moving forward and working out its funding model and structure.

“Some time has been taken to ensure we choose the right projects for the region and have the right people on board,” he said.

“Not all of the working groups are full at this stage, so I would recommend if someone is interested in making a positive difference to the economic and tourism growth of the region to get in touch with Council’s Economic Development Officer, Kimberley Dove on (07) 4189-9174.”

* * *

The selected projects and project leaders:


  • Public Private Partnerships Hospital/Medical: – Improve South Burnett’s medical services through public/private partnerships (Richard Fahy and Phil Harding)
  • Infrastructure Projects: – Work with existing South Burnett Information Technology and Communication Companies to improve South Burnett’s connectivity (Barb Madden and Phil Harding)
  • Education: – Assist local students by identifying education pathways to employment within the region – (Georgie Somerset)
  • Education: – Improve relationship with Universities and TAFE (Brett Heading and Richard Fahy)
  • Employment/Jobs Programs: – Assist economic development and international exposure by attracting foreign workers to the region (Barb Madden)
  • Employment/Jobs Programs: – Obstacles to Opportunities – Identify and improve the current skills and productivity of South Burnett’s demographic (Maryanne Pidcock and Linchon Hawks)
  • Business Growth: – Business Excellence Awards (Ken Mills and Wayne Kratzmann)
  • Business Growth: – Mentoring For Growth (Graham Archdall)
  • Tourism: – South Burnett Tourism Strategy (Maryanne Pidcock, John Carey and Phil Harding)
  • FIFO/DIDO: – Facilitate Transport Service for FIFO and DIDO (John Carey, Phil Harding)

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