De­tails needed to at­tract in­vestors

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith

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.

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