Regional Indaba Highlights Strong Appetite for Collaborative Action

The recent regional Indaba held at CQUniversity was attended by over 70 business, industry, and community leaders from across the region.

Hosted by Greater Whitsunday Alliance; CQUniversity; BHP; Department of State Development and Regional Development Australia Mackay Isaac and Whitsunday, the Indaba was facilitated by internationally recognised consulting firm FSG, and used innovative mobile phone technology to measure support and interest in a number of key focus areas.

The Indaba process was about engaging with our community at a regional level and creating an appetite and understanding around the importance of working together for the good of the Greater Whitsunday Region and establishing a direction which has broad appeal. 

One of the overwhelming outcomes from stakeholders was the appetite for the region to work collaboratively.

Collaboration was a strong theme and indicates real enthusiasm for the Greater Whitsunday region to work together to achieve positive economic development outcomes for all to benefit from.

In addition to collaboration, polling of stakeholders also revealed the values of innovative and liveable were also important for the region to be recognised for.

Participants in the Indaba provided vital input into potential projects and initiatives across Greater Whitsunday Alliance’s six key priority areas:  Agriculture, Aquaculture and BioFutures; Development, Infrastructure and Trade; Knowledge Industries; Liveability; Resources; and Tourism.

Participants debated each priority area and developed a short list of projects and initiatives which were then rated according to regional impact.

The top ten initiatives identified are:

  1. An International Airport for the region and improved capacity and connectivity

  2. Pursue establishment of mine site rehabilitation / reuse as a viable sub-industry of the resources sector

  3. Consider regional branding to better represent the region’s joint offering

  4. Guaranteed career pathways where tertiary providers and industry work together to accommodate future workforce trends and opportunities

  5. Enhanced focus on leisure and cultural offerings to ensure liveability and population attraction and retention

  6. Water security for the region through new infrastructure projects and sustainable use of the resource.

  7. Establish the region as a fishing centre of excellence to highlight the region’s outstanding fishing credentials for tourism

  8. Continued focus on education, skills and training to ensure depth within our region’s skilled workforce

  9. Establish bio-futures and bio-commodities facilities to maximise the opportunities within the bio-products sector

  10. Improved focus on social innovation for the region to accommodate future trends in social infrastructure.

The Indaba was an invaluable exercise to provide some direction to help determine lobbying and advocacy action in the future.

Greater Whitsunday Alliance highlighted the key regional initiatives with the appropriate Federal Ministers in a recent visit to Canberra.

The outputs from the Indaba process provides Greater Whitsunday Alliance and other key organisations within the Indaba process a direction to work towards and the next steps to provide evidence