Re­vi­talise Port time ar­rives

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.

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