This Community Engagement will provide an opportunity for the Gladstone Region community to shape the Economic Development Strategy, outlining Regional economic development strengths, challenges and opportunities. The results of this engagement will help us improve our Economic Development Strategy 2021-2025 and guide Council's role as a facilitator and enabler of economic development. The draft strategy will be presented for feedback in June 2021.
Community members were able to participate by completing the Economic Development Strategy community survey and/ or attend a workshop in their area.
The draft strategy and supporting report - Growing the Gladstone Region: Report and Recommendations to Inform the Gladstone Region Economic Development Strategy 2021-2025, A Framework for Promoting Prosperity - were available for public comment in June/ July 2021, and have since been endorsed by Council.
Engagement - Phase 1
- 75% considered the natural environment a strength or great strength
- 66% considered the port infrastructure a strength or great strength
- 65% considered our major industry a great strength
- 48% perceived the availability of industrial land as a strength or great strength
- 47% perceived tourism offer as a strength or great strength
- 42% considered our location in CQ as a strength or great strength
- 41% rated our workforce as a strength or great strength.
- 75% identified health and community services and facilities as a challenge or great challenge. This topic received the lowest score of all topics.
- 67% identified the retail sector as a challenge or great challenge.
- 50% consider local job availability a challenge or great challenge.
- 49% perceived the capability of small and medium businesses as a challenge or great challenge
Council’s role as a facilitator and enabler of Economic Development
- 62% consider Council’s main role to be sourcing State and Federal Government funding for major projects.
- 55% believe Council’s role to be providing local social services and facilities.
- 52% believe Council has a role in supporting small businesses.
- 52% believe Council should play a role as an advocate to State and Federal Governments on key issues.
Engagement - Phase 2
- Most respondents were positive about Gladstone Regional Council’s community engagement as part of preparing the Economic Development Strategy (EDS).
- They indicated the draft strategy was clear, it defined priorities and was informative.
- There was some concern the strategy did not address environmental protection or quality of life as much as it should.
- While environmental protection is not the primary focus of an EDS, it is implicitly woven through the narrative. The definition of economic development highlights the importance of the natural environment to prosperity and wellbeing.
- The underlying theme of the EDS is about facilitating the Gladstone Region’s transition away from an over reliance on carbon-driven economic activity. This involves pro-actively embracing the region’s role in the hydrogen industry.
- By its very nature, this theme addresses environmental protection. Theme 2 – supporting the capacity of business and industry in the Gladstone Region to prosper in a post-carbon economy – also implies consideration of environmental protection.
- Theme 4 – ‘Support the Gladstone Region’s Appeal as a Place in which to Work, Live, Play and Stay’ is dedicated to quality of life.
What you said about the draft:
Council developed a previous strategy Economic Development Strategy in 2015. Since then, particularly in there have been significant changes in the local, state, national and global economic context.Gladstone Regional Council has commissioned consultants SC Lennon & Associates to prepare the Gladstone Region Economic Development Strategy 2021-2025. The strategy, which will establish a new vision and framework for promoting and facilitating economic development, will focus on the things that can help stimulate, attract and maintain business activity, investment and employment. Regional in focus, the strategy will determine priority programs, projects and initiatives to support and facilitate opportunities for the economic benefit of all local communities.