Group effort to help economy
TOURISM Port Douglas Daintree and the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce have joined forces with Division 10 councillor Julia Leu to outline plans for a greater role in the region’s economic development.
The organisations met on Tuesday to discuss the way forward in response to the recent Melbourne Business School report to “Revitalise Port Douglas” and reached a consensus to push for the evolution of TPDD to encompass an economic development role or division.
In a joint statement released yesterday, the organisations said this demonstrated a shared vision and united voice which the MBS report demanded.
“A starting point in response to the MBS report is the recognition there is a deficiency in economic development in Port Douglas and the greater Douglas region,” the statement said.
“There is a need to improve interconnectivity of businesses from different sectors, including the retail, service and other industry and trade groups and to facilitate promotion and marketing platforms between those groups which translate into revenue.
“The participation by as many Port Douglas and greater Douglas region businesses in an economic development group is a vital step in bolstering the business health of the region, maximising co-operation and flow of ideas and support for future economic initiatives.”
The economic development arm would concentrate on the interaction of businesses and marketing strategies without duplication of resources and sourcing government revenue streams.
An expert facilitator will be engaged to advise on the proposed structure and Cairns Regional Council will also be sought for input and support.
The consensus between the two groups was the fundamental precondition to the new group’s creation that there was no depletion to TPDD funds spent on destination marketing.
Division 10 councillor Julia Leu, who chaired the meeting, said the region’s economic future is at a critical point.
“We need to have a different approach and cannot do the ’same old’, as we did in boom times,” she said.
Chamber president Ken Dobbs said focusing on economic development issues is the key to addressing issues raised in the MBS report.
“It is also essential not to take away from the current marketing activities and funding of TPDD - the initiative is to enhance what is currently being undertaken,” he said.
TPDD chairman Gordon Wellham said the initiative driven by the MBS report is an exciting step forward.
“It is a major first step in achieving the one vision, one voice the MBS report so heavily emphasised,” he said.
Both groups called for constructive participation “not destructive division or the apathy of the past”.