Details needed to attract investors
NORTH Burnett locals are often baffled by the number of good economic ideas that never seem to gain traction.
But at theWide Bay Burnett Organisation of Councils Regional Economic Development Growth Forum in Maryborough on Thursday, insiders finally shone the light on what it will take to get these ideas off the ground.
“It’s all about being investor ready,” WBBROC priority projects officer Peta Jamieson said.
“Good ideas and wish lists are not enough to attract investors. People are going to have to go a step further.”
This will mean putting together documents with detailed information about how and why projects should get up and going before receiving government grants and reaching out to investors.
With one State Government grant, the Royalties for Regions grant, available to develop infrastructure, securing funding is competitive.
But despite the hard work that must go into creating investor profiles, Adam Stevenson from Trade and Investment Queensland said the affordable land and little-used assets in our part of the state gave us an edge.
“Regional projects are even Queensland’s point of difference on a global scale,” he said.
“We have the port of Bundaberg, which is under-utilised, and affordable land. There is a lot of opportunity in this region.”
As president of the Monto Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association and Monto Grains Co-op, Lex Dow knows the trials of attracting any sort of investment to regional areas.
“Both organisations have come up with ideas that have never worked out,” he said. “We looked at producing bio-diesel and bio-char with the co-op and one of the best ideas to come out of the ratepayers was to have a flight training school in Monto.
“But the problem is always lack of funding.I think people are really going to need a strong prospect of success to put the kind of effort that is required into getting these projects going.”
Developing an economic development organisation would be the best way to target projects, as well as encouraging community leaders, Mr Dow said.