Gladstone Regional Council and Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) have launched a jointly funded Gladstone Economic Futures Group to boost the region’s future growth prospects.
The partnership replaces the now defunct Gladstone Industry Economic Development Board (GEIDB) which played a major role in attracting and facilitating major projects and job creation with the region between 1998 and mid-2012.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the group was viewed as a vital component in attracting new industry to the region following the recent decline in local construction activity.
“Council is entering the partnership with GPC in order to promote manufacturing, agricultural and industrial development within the Gladstone region,” Cr Burnett said.
“I am determined to promote the Gladstone Region as the preferred location for future Queensland industrial and agricultural projects and the Gladstone Economic Futures Group will help to achieve this.
“We have the infrastructure available to support future development and this new partnership will help secure our region’s financial future.
“We are the port city to the world and what’s good for the port is good for the community.”
Gladstone Ports Corporation chairman Leo Zussino said a new board focused on attracting and facilitating new economic activity for the Gladstone Region was urgently needed.
“During its existence the GEIDB helped attract and facilitate more than $40 billion of economic development within the Gladstone region,” Mr Zussino said.
“Unfortunately, because of the demise of that board in mid-2012, the Gladstone region has emerged from the LNG construction phase with little prospect for major job creating projects in the near future. This is situation we have not witnessed in Gladstone for decades.
“Yet the Gladstone Region has a wealth of economic opportunity that can be realised with a concentrated effort on attraction and facilitation.
“We are the only region in Australia that has a massive State Development Area connected to a major deep water port, a mineral and agricultural resource rich hinterland and a world class southern reef precinct based on the townships of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water.”
The Department of State Development will work with the group to promote major economic development initiatives and projects on a case by case basis, focusing on enhancing the local, regional and state economies.
An advisory board will be created to manage the Gladstone Economic Futures Group constitution and recruit an experienced team to the project.