Professor Allan Dale has led the Clean Growth Choices project which partnered with USQ, CSIRO and the Eco-Efficiency Group (the Clean Growth Choices Consortium) with funding from Queensland Government Communities in Transition Program.
The Queensland Government-funded Communities in Transition (CiT) Program was established as a pilot to help facilitate economic change at the local government level in response to major economic and social challenges and opportunities shaping the future of Queensland’s regional communities. The pilot program has identified opportunities to support communities to identify and strengthen their economic development pathways and resilience, while charting locally-driven future development opportunities. The project brought together the Mayors from Goondiwindi, Barcaldine, Central Highlands, Rockhampton, Charters Towers and the Cook Shire, who have elected to work together to actively achieve sustainable economic transition for our communities in the face of significant change.
The Clean Growth Choices Consortium has facilitated the CiT program, delivered in close partnership with the councils of each regions. Phase 1 of the CiT program ran between June 2018 and December 2019. The Consortium worked with each of the six Councils and communities to develop economic development and resilience building roadmap with priority business cases to kick start investment in our economic future.
Phase 2 of the CiT program, running to August 2020, was focused on securing co-investment and partnerships from government and non-government sources to implement some 18 priority business cases. The business cases have been packaged into two strategic investment packages across the six communities to attract targeted investment from the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments and other investors, including potential industry and philanthropic, partners.
The Mayors and the project now seek to build strong ongoing partnerships to help implement two programs of work, focused on: (i) next generation agriculture and; (ii) cross-sector business and industry development. These two programs will deliver a significant post-COVID-19 economic recovery response in our regions. They are also essential to drive high quality private and public sector investment that will drive economic growth and job creation.
In a joint statement the Mayors stated that “The issues we face are so similar across our communities and crucial to other communities across Queensland that we want to work closely with our CGC Consortia partners and the Queensland Government in ensuring cohesive investment, facilitated implementation and impact monitoring of these programs. This can create a meaningful and cost-effective model for future sustainable economic development and transition efforts across the whole State.”