SBRC Regional Development chair Cr Kirstie Schumacher

April 6, 2021

South Burnett Regional Council will set up a new Regional Development Advisory Committee to take over many of the functions of former peak economic advisory body, South Burnett Directions.

However, who will sit on the committee and what organisations or industry groups will be invited to take part has yet to be determined.

At Council’s most recent Corporate standing committee meeting, Councillors unanimously adopted a draft Terms Of Reference for the new group.

It will be charged with helping develop a “pipeline of project concepts” the Council can consider for future development, feasibility studies or grant submissions.

The new group will also be asked to explore ideas which will help expand and diversify the region’s agricultural economy, as well as examine options to improve the region’s tourism infrastructure.

Other tasks will include investigating options for a post-coal future; increasing the region’s workforce attraction capabilities; and identifying key regional issues Council can lobby the State and Federal Government about.

The Terms of Reference specify the committee will appoint up to seven community members.

It will be headed by Regional Development portfolio chair Cr Kirstie Schumacher with another Councillor – yet to be determined – as Deputy Chair.

Council CEO Mark Pitt and Communities General Manager Peter O’May will be appointed as ex-officio members, with Council officers attending on an as-needed basis.

The new committee is expected to begin sitting in July.

All committee members will be appointed for two years, but cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

The new committee will fill a void formerly occupied by South Burnett Directions, which was launched by then-South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann in June 2013 to drive economic development in the region.

During the next three years South Burnett Directions created a “Shop Local” campaign, led a business mentoring program, developed the South Burnett Business Awards and played a role in the implementation of the region’s 2014-19 Economic Development Strategy.

However, early into former Mayor Keith Campbell’s term it ceased to meet and most of its functions were taken over by Council’s now-defunct Economic Development Unit.

Speaking after the meeting that adopted the Terms of Reference, Cr Schumacher told southburnett.com.au she was unsure at present who would be invited to sit on the new committee.

She said the committee’s role would largely be to advise and consult with Council rather than take the more “hands-on” approach adopted by South Burnett Directions.

Committee members would be required to adhere to a code of ethical conduct.

The new committee would also be required to self-assess annually to evaluate its performance.

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One Response to "New Group To Replace SB Directions"

  1. Rosemary Pratt  April 7, 2021

    Good news! Don’t forget to investigate possibly growing and processing Industrial Hemp in the South Burnett! Ready for post coal.

    Reply

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