May 4, 2021
South Burnett Regional Council is calling for public feedback on its new Regional Economic Development Strategy.
The draft strategy was adopted at Council’s General Meeting last week and will guide Council’s efforts over the next five years to help grow the region’s economy.
The strategy acknowledges three big barriers to the region’s future growth: lack of adequate water infrastructure; the closure of the Tarong Power Stations and Meandu Mine (currently projected to occur from the mid-2030s); and zero population growth since 2016.
Against this, the strategy says strengths include increased investment in the region’s food processing industries, a large available workforce and plenty of industrial and commercial land.
Mayor Brett Otto said the strategy would help to shape Council’s long-term strategic direction.
“Council is focused on providing the infrastructure needed to continue its participation in the global economy, support emerging industries including local manufacturing and processing, as well as deliver liveability and lifestyle outcomes for residents and businesses alike,” Cr Otto said.
“The strategy will guide private and government investment and support Council’s decision-making and service delivery which reflect the priorities of our region.”
Mayor Otto said a regional work plan would also be developed to attract people to live in the South Burnett, create business and investment growth and offer “meaningful employment opportunities” to residents.
He said the strategy would be “a living document” and the regional work plan would continue to evolve over time, particularly once the members of a new Regional Development Advisory Committee were appointed.
“We value feedback and urge all residents, local industry bodies, business owners and the greater community to be involved in the development of this strategy,” Mayor Otto said.
A draft version of the strategy can be downloaded from Council’s website (5.3Mb PDF), and hard-copy versions can be obtained from Council’s Customer Service Centres.
Feedback will be accepted until Monday, May 17.
Footnote: Council’s last economic development plan was launched in August 2017 and aimed to achieve 3000 new jobs and a 300 per cent increase in tourism revenues by August 2020.
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