A major project aimed at helping businesses in the Hinchinbrook region has commenced.
The Hinchinbrook Shire Council said this week the Hinchinbrook Business Resilience Project would assist local businesses in their efforts to recover from major flooding earlier this year.
Mayor Ramon Jayo said the project was a direct response to the March floods.
“Our community took a hit earlier this year with the two flood events in March,” Cr Jayo said.
“The council, through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, sought funding to appoint a person who could work closely with the community in implementing the necessary steps to become resilient in the face of future events.”
“The council recognises the importance of small business within the Hinchinbrook district and acknowledges the impact that natural disaster events can have on business owners and their operations.”
Project manager Andrew Cripps, who is also a councillor, said he was looking forward to engaging with local businesses across the Hinchinbrook Shire to develop and promote the adoption of business resilience plans.
“As a local resident based in Ingham with my own independent consultancy business, I’m pleased to be involved in this business resilience project in the Hinchinbrook Shire,” Cr Cripps said.
The project has been granted $88,000 by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, with the council contributing an additional $28,000.
The council said that Cr Cripps’ company, Front Row Advisory Services, had met the criteria to manage the project as set out under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
Cr Jayo said the council was confident the program would have a positive impact on local business.
“Cr Cripps’ company lodged an impressive submission for the project,” Cr Jayo said.
Chief executive officer Alan Rayment confirmed that the council had endorsed Front Row Advisory Services as the successful contractor on September 25, before Cr Cripps became a councillor in October.
“Subsequent to becoming elected, it was important for the council to be proactive in assessing and obtaining advice to ensure it was appropriate for Cr Cripps to carry out his role as councillor while undertaking the contract obligations for the project,” Mr Rayment said.
“Hinchinbrook Shire Council is an open and transparent council, which is why we are more than happy to declare this matter publicly.”
Cr Cripps said Front Row Advisory Services would be collaborating with industry groups, local businesses, relevant government agencies and the council to develop and deliver the project.