Promis­ing signs to re­vi­talise the re­gion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

THE pro­fes­sors be­hind the Mel­bourne Busi­ness School project Re­vi­talise Port Dou­glas have met with stake­hold­ers and the Cham­ber of Com­merce to start the ball rolling.

The meet­ing was aimed at de­vel­op­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the prob­lems fac­ing the Port Dou­glas busi­ness com­mu­nity and learn about the his­tory of the re­gion to help de­velop a brief for the 30 MBA stu­dents, who will spend a week in the re­gion in Fe­bru­ary to help re­vi­talise the econ­omy.

Pro­fes­sor Sel­wyn D’souza, who is run­ning the pro­gram, said the re­sponse from the ini­tial meet­ing is pos­i­tive.

“Over­all it was a very pos­i­tive, very pas­sion­ate and very en­gag­ing meet­ing with all the peo­ple,” he said.

“What we need to do is to agree first with the town where do you want to be in five years - the vi­sion.

“Once we un­der­stand that prop­erly, we can struc­ture the stu­dents to take on dif­fer­ent projects rel­e­vant to Port, pos­si­bly fo­cus on tourism, on sys­tems, com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional strate­gies and brand­ing for the town.”

The three MBS as­so­ci­ates have gath­ered in­for­ma­tion from the meet­ing to de­velop the busi­ness brief and project for the 30-40 stu­dents.

“We spent some time broadly look­ing at the his­tory of Port Dou­glas, what hap­pened, what made it boom and what made it turn since then,” Pro­fes­sor D’souza said.

“There is no co­he­sive plan to go for­ward, there are mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests with ev­ery­one try­ing to op­ti­mise what they do best and the over­all pie is miss­ing.”

It was sug­gested the project be ex­panded to in­clude Moss­man and the Dain­tree but with the lim­ited time frame and num­ber of stu­dents, a de­ci­sion was made to fo­cus just on Port Dou­glas.

“What I found most no­table there was quite a va­ri­ety of key mes­sages but the con­cept com­pre­hen­sive plan shows a lot of align­ment across the board,” Pro­fes­sor D’souza said.

“Port has a very good plan to go for­ward man­aged co­he­sively across all sec­tors.

“We don’t have a sil­ver bul­let but a good plan can be done de­pend­ing on how well and how can­did peo­ple are and how much peo­ple en­gage with us.

“I’m very op­ti­mistic given the en­thu­si­asm.”

The ded­i­cated stu­dents are pay­ing their own air­fares to come to Port Dou­glas for their busi­ness project and if any re­sort man­agers have space to put stu­dents up - even if it is just one room - dur­ing the first week of Fe­bru­ary, con­tact the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce on 4084 0285 or email sec­re­tary@ port­dou­glascham­ber.

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