As Adani puts a very public face on its proposal for the Carmichael Mine in Central Queensland with media campaigns and regional leaders vie for a slice of the action, the Central Highlands is steadily progressing its comprehensive economic development readiness strategy.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said the key to being in the optimal position to take advantage of any opportunity is partnerships.
‘The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and the council are continuing to work together to deliver economic growth to this region.
‘In terms of the Adani project, we’re concentrating on supporting business owners to be supply chain ready through our business development program,’ he said.
The mayor was keen to point out that the region has been building its capacity to attract and retain investment long before Adani came on the scene.
‘We already have a business directory with more than 800 regional businesses listed that are ready, willing and able to meet the demand—not only from the Adani project, but from any commercial, industrial or resource-based development,’ the mayor explained.
‘Each week CHDC distributes a free newsletter listing all the tender opportunities in the Fitzroy region, which is a great time-saving service for local operators.
‘On the horizon is a one-stop-shop for regional job opportunities that will be hosted online and available free for job seekers and employers.
‘As well as the practical, there’s also some strategic alliances being reinforced as we work with the executives of all the resource companies—coal, electricity, solar and gas—to profile business capability in the region that will enable a seamless and immediate local procurement response.
‘We’re also fine-tuning our incentive policy to attract new business and industry and actively advocating in the political arena for infrastructure, like the inland port development, to meet the demand we expect will come in the near future.
‘The council and CHDC are backing this region’s business, industry and workforce with significant investment so we remain on the front foot and ready for all-comers,’ the mayor ended.