Revitalise Port time arrives
PROJECT Revitalise Port Douglas will begin next Thursday when 35 students from the Melbourne Business School arrive in town to meet with local businesses.
Professor Selwyn D’souza who is managing the project said for the students, Revitalise Port Douglas will start on Monday when the students attend a workshop at the school to be briefed on the project.
“They’ll then travel up to Port on Wednesday and they will put in their groups - six groups of six students each handling different aspects of the project and we’ll spend four days in Port Douglas,” he said.
“The ultimate objective
is to produce a five-year strategic plan for Revitalise Port Douglas and the overall report will be a combination for five strands of work.
“There is ’tourism’, which is a very big part of Port Douglas, ’economic development’, which covers other industries like retail and will include investment and ’social and community development’, with a focus on a sustainable community.
“Next is ’technology and innovation’, which will try to understand how things like the NBN (national broadband network) might work and change the way technology or the internet is used to attract professionals from other industries to live in Port Douglas because they can access the internet.
“’Marketing strategies’ is the fifth stream and the last group will put the plan together and also look at stakeholders, leadership and what public relations, external affairs and government connections need to be in place to make these strategies work.”
The students will speak with around 100 business owners/ operators relevant to their key issues and will be looking to having a “candid conversation” about their perspectives on industry, issues, problems and challenges.
“Any ideas for the plan should be expressed, they might have a great idea but it might cost $2 million, so try thinking through the process,” Professor D’souza said.
“There will also be a seminar on the first day with a number of key business leaders talking to students to introduce issues and challenges, which is happening on the second morning.”
The Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce and members have organised the key business leaders and business owners ready to speak with the students.
“It’s a big thing, for something brief it’s going to be a very interesting exercise for us to undertake and will bring together experienced business students to talk to the business community and then provide an independent assessment of the issues and strategies,” Chamber of Commerce president Ken Dobbs said.
“We’re quite hopeful some good stuff will come out of this but it’s not a master plan to fix all of Port Douglas’s problems, but it will be positive.
“With the community participating and the students looking at that and appraising independently we should be able to get some very good information and hopefully strategies we can adopt.”
The Chamber of Commerce will be holding a dinner at Salsa next Thursday after the student’s first day of researching and will open it up for 50 people to attend.
It costs $45 a head and keep an eye on the chamber’s website - www.pdcc.com.au - when booking information will be posted by the end of this week.
If you would like to get involved, email a submission to secretary@ chamber.com.au and they will pass it onto the group leader of the relevant group.