News

Challenge issued to regional communities

GROWING regional Queensland will be about challenging notions it is "a little bit backward", leveraging off strengths and taking the focus off farming and mining.

This is what two researchers will tell the state's mayors today as they begin to manage the 50% growth Queenslanders want to see in regional areas by 2044.

Professor John Cole, from the University of Southern Queensland, said there were no magic bullet solutions from governments in Brisbane and Canberra to double regional Queensland's population.

The Institute for Resilient Regions director said local communities each needed to develop their own long-term strategies taking account of strengths and weaknesses, particularly focusing on the human capital side of things.

He will tell the Local Government Association of Queensland's Regional and Economic Development Conference that communities must find new ways to use mining industry skills - such as fitters and turners and electricians - and focus more on the services industries.

"I challenge regional communities to think differently of themselves. There is an almost green acre view of life in the country, of people a little bit backward and different to folk in the city, who can't develop sophisticated economies, I think we should challenge that," he said.

"There's so much innovation and capacity out there.

"Often we tend to think of the future of regional Australia as being a farm and a mine but that is always curious to me because 85% of jobs are services.

"The nub of the issue is how do we make regional Australia an attractive place to live and work?"

Regional Australia Institute chief Su McCluskey said councils would need to drive the innovation and capitalise on strengths they share with neighbouring regions to be most effective.

She said it was about luring the regional returnists - those in the 25 to 44 year age group who had moved away for studies and were now moving back to the Gold and Sunshine coasts, west Moreton, Wide Bay, Darling Downs, Fitzroy and the Mackay regions.

Ms McCluskey said it was also about attracting the baby boomers in the 50 to 69 year age group who contribute their experience to regions as regional leaders, volunteers or through community groups.

She said Townsville was probably Queensland's strongest and most diverse regional centre but cities like Mackay and Gladstone needed to work on their competitiveness when it came to infrastructure, business sophistication and human capital.

Ms McCluskey said there were real opportunities to be competitive along the Queensland coastline but there would be challenges further inland.

Toowoomba was the inland exception, she said, noting it had great regional potential for growth with a new airport and major road infrastructure on the way.

Mr Cole said there was a need to look at the role of universities and educational facilities, health services, aged care facilities and other essential services. He said focusing on these industries would not only help Australians thinking about living in regional communities but provide a basis for industry development and even exports.  

South Burnett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Burnett residents can expect more snakes

Gunter Glasser shared this photo to Facebook of a baby brown snake.

"When they prey is out, the predator is out.”

Poets gather under the stars to recite some Banjo

Banjo's Birthday: Harry Pickering recited some of his favorite bush poetry.

About 80 Banjo Paterson fans met for a night of poetry.

Severe thunderstorms likely in parts of Queensland

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Queensland

The next warning is due to be issued by 5.35pm.

Local Partners

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

New suburb in the crosshairs of Coast vandals

UNDER WRAPS: Graffiti on art installations at the entrance to the newly opened Bells Creek Arterial Road has been covered up.

Vandal rechristens Stockland as something less than complimentary

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!