Economic Development Strategy – Help us create a road map for the future!

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Consultation has concluded

The Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Strategy has been prepared, following extensive community consultation in February 2017.

The Strategy was adopted by Council on 27 September 2017, and the final version can be viewed on the Whitsunday Regional Council website here.

Thank you to all who participated in this consultation process. Your input has been invaluable in the preparation of the Strategy.

The Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Strategy has been prepared, following extensive community consultation in February 2017.

The Strategy was adopted by Council on 27 September 2017, and the final version can be viewed on the Whitsunday Regional Council website here.

Thank you to all who participated in this consultation process. Your input has been invaluable in the preparation of the Strategy.

Guest Book

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Economic Development of the Whitsunday region would be well guided by considering the impact to the climate (carbon emmissions) and environmental implications of each decision. There are many benefits of being a "green region" and the Whitsundays could certainly benefit in many ways (health, environment, lifestyle and economically) from focusing on this as a priority across all sectors. Local food and products for local markets has multiple benefits including reduced mileage, better quality products reaching consumers (health) and employment. Securing future new industries in the area and facilitation of value adding in existing industries would see long term employment for the region. Utilisation of waste resources is a fantastic opportunity for the region. Aligned with the advancement of recycling services the time is prime for retention and use of these resources in the region. Other specific ideas for the region include;

- Timber - increase forestry to supply timber industry
- Tap into carbon offset funding to support land use change to conservation for environmental values,
- With fashion waste high and mileage considerations with supply of clothing there is opportunity to foster a local fashion industry
- A substantial amount of alcohol is brought into the region. Is this a production opportunity? Manufacturing local beers/spirits (tequila/mezcal may be an opportunity as agave grow well here).
- Use recycled glass for silica fertilisers, beach nourishment and to manufacture more glass products needed in the area (windows etc).
-Use recycled plastics locally - source people bringing bottles in (water bottlers) and meet their needs locally.
-Food - consider local markets for everything so that food is fresher and avoids the trip to Brisbane or other central place and back again. This includes sugar etc and fresh produce.
- Consider new produce that we can grow here - pulses, more tropical fruits (passionfruits). Link into funding to build high-tech glass houses for growing.
- Consider vermiculture and new technologies as a way to break down waste quicker and tap into the fertiliser benefits.
- Value add to existing products - tropical fruits to ice creams etc. provide funding to growers to facilitate expansion into these markets.
- Green power - mills, wind, solar - we shouldn't need any to come in from outside our region!
- Aquaculture - flood cane lands / ponded pastures, grow things that improve water quality in-situ (sponges?). Look at new opportunities for future climates in this space.
- Value add to cane industry - mulch, power co-gen, feed stocks from waste etc

- Reef World with Arts centre for the rainy days/cruise ships/elderly or those not wanting to go to the islands and school educational experiences. The Arts centre should showcase local artists and also exhibitions touring the country. Reef World would provide an hands on experience and reef information. It would become a must see when in Airlie.
- Improve information on indigenous heritage and provide experiences for tourists (entertainment/shows).
- Work on area behind magnums to make accessible and improve environmental values.
- Have a beach bar (licensed) with loungers, music, island atmosphere in town
- Provide more bike hire facilities to encourage green transportation and exploring further along the bicentennial walk
- Extend the Bicentennial Walk around scrubby hill, through mangroves and up creek to Centro. Add in a trail to the top of Scrubby Hill as a lookout point. Enhance Indigenous values.
- Eco adventure park in the rainforest behind Cannonvale - zip lines, high ropes courses, big flying foxes, rock climbing, little huts for school camps and day visitors to enjoy.
- viewing tower in Airlie to see the islands (tourist attraction? climb the tower? zip-line down??
- bounce park, roller skating ring, inflatable water park etc to provide active outdoor entertainment for kids especially teenagers.
- limit touristy shops and change to more high end hand made trendy shops (like in byron bay and port Douglas). Fill the empty shops/supplement rents.
- Have a backpacker van hub - maybe in old nomads/behind woolworths in airlie where they can park, have showers and go to the toilet, cook, recharge batteries, do their dishes etc to try to get them out of the lagoon toilets and other facilities.
- Encourage a Target and Kmart to ensure basic shopping options for families.
- more beach front eateries
- Improve area behind toilet block at lagoon to make landscaped, path etc up to Mr Bones. This would reduce the amount of dirt that flows into the lagoon.

- Work with Qld rail to get trains more affordable and quicker/more often so that they become a more viable mode of transport for families. Public transport generally should be promoted to help get more cars off of the road to mitigate carbon emissions.

- Improve iconic areas / vistas with veg management
- Improve botanic gardens as a real tourist attraction - showcase the amazing tropical plants we can grow here, have a butterfly house, and a water plant display etc
- Make the area feel lush and green with plenty of shady trees everywhere, street trees in front of each house so that there is a cooling effect and more of a tropical feel like you get when on Hamilton Island or in Cairns.
- Improve tree shade around the lagoon, along beaches and in car parks. This will also provide localised cooling effect.
- Assess stormwater runoff to identify areas requiring remediation for sediment control.
- Improve use of planting of drainage lines to manage weeds and improve water filtration.
- Preserve wetlands and land behind to secure and improve fish stocks into the future.
- Increase ecological opportunities for visitors
- better signage for walks and significant area/trees etc
- bird hide for dam and other key bird watching locations
- create more walkways and footpaths
- No plastic bags, 100% commercial and residential recycling.

- Cannonvale State High School is needed desperately - it is not safe or convenient to have a school 20km away. A high school would attract more people to the region/to stay in the region.
- Consider a university campus to attract students and researchers.

- a retirement village for Cannonvale to ensure elderly can stay in the region and are attracted here as a retirement location.
- Walking groups for the older generation (walk - for - heart)
- Consider health and community services around population centres for the future to provide for locals and tourists and reduce mileage to reach facilities (ie. A hospital for Cannonvale).


Olivia about 4 years ago

Bowen massively needs a commercial injection. New shops, shopping centre, homemakers centre. Its a disgrace that in a town with Bowen's population, people have to drive either an hour to Cannonvale or 2 hours to Townsville or Mackay just to find a decent array of shops. Its great to shop locally but when those shops offer you a very limited selection of goods it makes it hard. And try shopping locally on a Sunday, No chance when everything is closed.
Building a decent shopping centre will create jobs, not just during construction but also after. How many people would a K-mart or Big W employ?
The people of Bowen need some optimism, They need to see the town moving forward. There is so much prime land that is sitting idle around town. What is the hold up?
If everyone is just waiting for Adani to kick off then you better think twice. There will be about 3 years worth of construction where the towns population could grow by as many as 2500 - 3000 then what?
Once construction phase is over all the contractors and sub contractors will move on and we will be left with an extra 100-150 people that have gained employment either at Abbot Point or the mine itself.
If you want an example of what happens to a town after a construction boom look no further than Gladstone. The Council needs to have a clear plan of where they want Bowen to be in 10-20 years and they need to start implementing it now, not waiting for the Adani goose to lay the golden egg.
Look at Cannonvale and Airlie Beach, the place is taking off. Plenty of commercial investment leading to more jobs and more people going to live in the area. This leads to more jobs for tradies building houses and so on. It has a massive snow ball effect.
Bowen has a similar population to that area yet there is nothing happening. The Council needs to start the ball rolling.

Red about 4 years ago

The Gloucester districts future depends on boating, fishing and tourism. Not farming, mining or manufacturing.
The problem is the door to this future is only slightly open with a part tide boat ramp at dingo beach.
The stimulus to the regions economy would come by opening up the Northern Whitsundays to boating and tourism. Presently this area is too far from existing boat ramps at Bowen and Airlie and the tide dependent boat ramp at dingo restricts access and use.
Two major areas of the Great Barrier Reef are only 65k from the “Black Currant Island” all tide boat ramp being proposed. As well all the Northern Whitsunday Islands would for the first time, if this proposal is adopted be easily accessible.
An all tide boat ramp will make the Gloucester district more attractive and so stimulate housing development that has been slow for many years. The is already a completed development in Hydeaway Bay that has sat idle for a couple of years.
The proposal would provide critical community infrastructure to the townships of Dingo Beach and Hydeaway Bay. It will secure the ongoing prosperity and well-being of the district and meet the needs of current and future generations.
A Whitsunday Shire Councils Study published in 2005 says about the Gloucester Community on page 88 reads “It is noted that possible future road construction between Dingo Beach and Hydeaway Bay will help strengthen the district catchment of this facility” In relation to the sports park. The boat ramp development would also contribute to a shorter access road between the communities.
This particular boat ramp proposal would open up more activity, larger boats, and more money pouring in as the Gloucester District becomes a more desirable place to live.
In the case of government agencies, Water police, Marine Rescue etc safety would be increased for the current level of launches required for policing and rescue activity.

Wazza about 4 years ago