As we draw closer to the end of 2018, many of us will pause to reflect on the year that was. This is also an opportune time to set our sights on what is ahead in 2019 and beyond.
In 2018, the Scenic Rim has continued to grow as a brand that local business, investors, residents and visitors alike want to be part of.
The Scenic Rim is a region and a brand that people want to be part of, and we’re continuing to see new businesses and new jobs right across the region.
SCT Logistics continues to grow its employment footprint and has plans for further expansion. Our quarries are experiencing great success, and it’s pretty exciting that two of them – Nielsen’s Quarry and Bromelton Quarry – are providing materials for Brisbane Airport’s new runway. It’s big projects like that which boost jobs in our region and clearly illustrate our capability.
We have Summer Land Camels creating a bold new enterprise in the west, encompassing dairy products, skincare and cosmetics as well as tourism, and we can see new small businesses opening in our diverse towns, like Kalbar. Small businesses are continuing to show their worth as the engine room of our economy.
We’ve continued to push forward with the restoration of our roads and bridges, with a $49 million program of works through the support of the state and federal governments to help us recover from the 2017 floods.
We are doing this in a way which makes us more resilient and helps us open up our economic corridors to improve efficiency for all our commercial operations whether agricultural, industrial or tourism-related.
We’re getting the infrastructure in place that means people can move around safely, and we want to continue on this trajectory of new jobs to get people off the commuter wagon and boost opportunities locally.
In 2018 we saw the continued expansion, growth and success of the Eat Local movement, which included not only the release of the new book, Eat Local Volume 2, but also the launch of the year-round Eat Local Scenic Rim accreditation program. We saw the brand gaining greater recognition both domestically and internationally.
Our Eat Local movement has continued to bring strong economic advantages to our region, with Eat Local Week 2018 cracking a total economic contribution of $2 million. Initiatives like this are boosting our brand throughout the year and making us a go-to place for people to escape from urbanisation.
Achieving a unified planning scheme, which is out for consultation until 14 December, is a really important step for us in maturing as an integrated Scenic Rim, to move from three disconnected schemes to one. It will enable us to create a platform that properly provides the balance for development certainty whilst maintaining the character of the region.
In 2019, the Asia Pacific Cities Summit will be hosted in Brisbane. This will bring community leaders from right across Asia Pacific to our doorstep. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with a new audience for our exports as well as for our tourism industry.
A challenge facing us in the year ahead is the waste management levy being progressed by the State Government, and the impact this will have on the commercial sector. I welcome the State Government’s decision to delay the introduction of this levy to 1 July, 2019. This means a welcome deferral of some costs for some commercial operators, and it also demonstrates a desire to achieve a well-structured implementation of the waste management strategy.
We have taken a leadership role in developing a solution for integrated south-east Queensland, working with nine other councils to create an efficient and effective solution for waste management. That approach has been supported by both Queensland Treasury Corporation and the Department of Environment and Science, who are both partnering with us on this process.
Time to reset
I hold the view that what created success yesterday won’t necessarily create success tomorrow. We need to be thinking about where our next markets are going to be and what our next opportunities are going to be to give us the market edge.
In the same way we’re encouraging businesses to reassess, we as a Council have reassessed ourselves and introduced a refreshed organisational structure to be more nimble, sharpen our customer focus and be better able to cope with the challenges which face us.
If you’re going to be in business, you’ve got to be constantly rethinking the business you’re in, and now is the time to reset the goals.