Overarching Strategic Approach to Business & Resource Sector Growth

Cairns, QLD, Australia – ( October 22, 2012

Overarching Strategic Approach to Business & Resource Sector Growth

Overarching Strategic Approach to Business & Resource Sector Growth

Under the banner, Business and Resource Sector Growth, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait (RDA FNQ&TS) will launch the third of its 11 Strategic Priority Packages to business leaders attending today’s Cairns Chamber of Commerce lunch at Shangri-la Marina Hotel.

RDA FNQ&TS CEO, Sonja Johnson will provide a 10 minute presentation to guests focusing on the package’s six key initiatives that aim to address areas of weakness within the region’s small business economy that is currently built around the pillars of tourism, mining and agriculture.

“Our leadership group, that includes the expertise of Jeremy Blockey from Skills DMC, Stewart Christie from Advance Cairns, Sharon Dawson from Dawson Group as well as Joann Pyne from TAFE, Judy Lloyd from Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Bill Cummings from Cummings Economics as well as representatives from key government departments, has worked hard to match key initiatives with issues currently impacting on linking business and the resource sector.

According to Ms Johnson it has been an interesting and at times, quite complex process in producing the strategy document which has had to consider the way in which the success of one economic pillar can affect another and often the catalysts are not within the region itself.

“What findings have shown is that we have a significant underemployed pool of residents without the experience and/or ideal skills mix for the resource sector. And while Australia’s resource boom is presenting many great opportunities, most of this activity is occurring beyond this region.  Our concern is that the impact it is having on a stronger Australian dollar is posing serious consequences on our region’s other economic pillar of tourism.

“Our initiatives include a major refocus on building and brokering local skills to better engage both established and emerging industries and to attract high quality workforces to this region.  In terms of the region’s SME base, the aim is to better service the resource sector by building capacity, capability and productivity through procurement agreements and clusters. Finally, the strategy also aims to foster crucial relationships with our northern neighbours and in so doing has looked to Papua New Guinea to ensure streamlined access to both Australians and PNG Nationals,” she said.

The Business and Resource Sector Growth Package initiatives are as follows:

  1. Nurture and grow capacity in the local workforce
  2. Build a versatile local small to medium enterprise (SME) base
  3. Increase sub-regional data and social impact assessment knowledge
  4. Enhance Cairns’ FIFO appeal
  5. Attract key resource sector corporates
  6. Maximise benefits from PNG’s current economic boom through streamlined relationships

The Business and Resource Sector Growth priority package and 2012-13 Road Map and Executive Summary can be downloaded at


About Regional Development Australia

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a partnership between Australian, State, Territory and local governments to strengthen regional communities. The national network of 55 committees which delivers RDA are made up of local leaders who volunteer their time to work with government, business and community groups to deliver better services to their regions.

The committees work with their communities to find ways to deal with the economic, social and environmental issues affecting them. The regional Road Maps, produced by the local RDAs, will guide the committees in supporting improvements for their communities. The Australian Government funds these committees and so do State, Territory and local governments in some jurisdictions.


About Regional Development FNQ & TS

From Cardwell to the Cape, Torres Strait and inland to the Tablelands and taking in Croydon and Etheridge shires, the Far North Queensland and Torres Strait branch of Regional Development Australia (RDA FNQ&TS) takes in a vast and diverse area of the regional Queensland.

It works to provide one voice in terms of regional issues and priorities and as such provides guidance and support to the many agencies, organisations and individuals working towards long term, sustainable growth, prosperity and wellbeing of this region.

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