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Council

Future focused Economic Development Strategy adopted

22 April 2022

Southern Downs can look forward to strong economic growth following the adoption of the Southern Downs Economic Development Strategy 2022-2026 at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 13 April 2022.

Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Unit partnered with professional consultants AEC Group and key stakeholders across a diverse range of industries to develop a strategy that prioritises economic development activities across the region which will stimulate economic growth over the next five years.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi strongly supports the move, saying the purpose of an economic strategy is to build capacity in the local community.

“This strategy is future focused and includes levers and drivers that will build the capacity of Southern Downs and aims to improve current and future economic conditions to the benefit of all our residents,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“There is significant opportunity for growth on the Southern Downs and Council officers have done an excellent job in consulting with regional stakeholders to identify industries that are primed and ready for growth.”

The Southern Downs Economic Development Strategy 2022 – 2026 recommends that Council pursues the four key pillars of Agriculture and Processing, Tourism and Events, Industry and Innovation and Population Attraction and Retention and provides the framework for how Council seeks to achieve the outcome of building the capacity and capability of the regional economy so as to protect and enhance the quality of life of residents now and into the future.

Economic development is a core Council deliverable through which Council advocates for and supports initiatives to create local economic conditions conducive to the attraction and development of an educated, skilled and well remunerated local workforce, a productive and sustainable rural sector and profitable commercial and industrial enterprises.

A supporting action plan offers implementation enablers that provide Council with levers to directly influence economic development outcomes under each of the pillars, such as support existing businesses, pro-actively attract new investment, embrace innovation and change, address infrastructure enablers and facilitate regional cohesion and collaboration.

“Southern Downs is a great place to live, work, play and stay and together with my fellow Councillors, we look forward to working alongside Council officers and our community to deliver on this strategy for Southern Downs,” Mayor Pennisi said.

Read the full strategy on Council’s website at https://bit.ly/3xHLmFd.

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