Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

New Body wona[euro][TM]t Deliver Miracles

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

New Body wona[euro][TM]t Deliver Miracles

Article excerpt

WE ARE shortly to get a new economic development body on the Fraser Coast.

The new body will combine previously separate tourism and economic development functions and be located outside the council.

No one has asked me, so far, what I think this new body should do, but I will give my thoughts on it anyway.

An interim board has been appointed and the search is on for a CEO.

What should that person do?

The first thing to realise is that the new CEO will not asavea the local economy.

He or she will not be a agame changera.

I hope the good folks here realise that local councils, alas, can do relatively little to change the economic fortunes of regions.

So, for a start, let us deflate the expectations.

Donat expect miracles and we wonat be disappointed when they donat materialise.

Secondly, it is important to know what economic development is and is not.

For me, economic development is about identifying regional assets a especially those that are under used a and mobilising local and regional resources to turn those assets into new growth opportunities.

The essential atricka of economic development is to understand which are the things we can influence locally and which are the things we cannot, and to resource activities to achieve the former accordingly.

Thirdly, while confidence and the business cycle are important a very important a we donat just want to increase dollars circulating in the economy in order to get out of the current trough, but rather generate new income streams the outside world will pay us so that the next trough, when it comes, wonat be such a problem.

Fourthly, understand that both engines and drivers are important for the local economy.

Industry sectors a retail, tourism, construction, heath, education, manufacturing a are not drivers of economic development, they are the engines of the local economy.

What we need to drive them are the things that will power economic growth and development a ideas, capital and skilled management and labour. Supporting these drivers are entrepreneurship, innovation, human capital and networks of collaboration. …

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