Group ef­fort to help econ­omy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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”.

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