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Values, Principles & Approach

30 Year Vision for Central Highlands Economy:
Emerald is a self-sustaining regional inland hub supporting successful and thriving communities.
A diversified economy with a number of mature and thriving local industries.
A highly skilled, local workforce that supports our industries to adapt and grow in a changing environment.
An established international reputation as a reliable source of clean, safe and quality agricultural production.
A sustainable key food source supplying global markets.
High quality connectivity, both physically and digitally, to domestic and international markets, services and information.
Celebration, protection and promotion of the region’s natural assets.
Partnering with public and private sectors to implement governance structures that will promote the region being open for business and investment.

Values, Principles & Approach

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Strategy Aim

1.Strengthen existing activity: Deepening and broadening existing industry sectors and establishing the foundations of enabling infrastructure. Fostering enhanced collaboration across industry, community and government to identify and pursue emerging opportunities.
2. Attract investment to realise existing and emerging opportunities Attracting investment and activity to the region to grow the productive performance of newly established and existing industry activities.
3. Harness emerging opportunities Supporting the conversion of opportunities presented through emerging technologies and industrial change.
4. Realise aspirations and reset for the future: A region that reflects the economic and local community aspirations identified previously. The economy is strong and has leveraged opportunities presented through global change. Refocus aspirations for a new phase into the future.

Strategy Objectives

Industry and Export Drivers:
1 Promoting comparative advantage – building on the existing strengths and long-term comparative advantages of the region to maximise the current economic profile of the region.
2 Expansion and diversification of existing sectors – diversify existing sectors using a strategic direction compatible with structural advantages in the region (geography, land, location, etc.) to grow and stabilise the region.
3 Energy independence and renewables – expansion and diversification of the energy exports and domestic capacity of the region, including a focus on renewables (biofuels, solar, etc.) and a constant, off-the-grid energy supply.
4 Expansion of research and development activities – specialising in research and development capabilities and infrastructure in fields with comparative advantages such as rural health, agricultural sciences, resources engineering, and environmental sciences.
5 Improved connectivity – comprehensive development of data connectivity and digital capabilities to address the inconsistent and low volume access to the internet and data systems in the region.
6 Increasing the ease of doing business – encourage the development of simple and flexible systems to support the planning, approval and execution of economic activity in the region.
7 Stability and rehabilitation of the resources sector – strategic focus on the stabilisation of the resources sector through diversification, project smoothing, industry coordination for legacy investment, promotion of resident workforces and a specific focus on the optimal rehabilitation strategy for terminated projects.
8 Optimising water trade, security and capacity – continuing the development and optimisation of the water network in the region, including building capacity, reducing issues like evaporation loss, and investigating the potential for water export to neighbouring regions and projects.
9 Increasing tourism activity – expand the offerings of the tourism sector to leverage natural assets and advantages such as eco-tourism, agri-tourism, and business tourism for non-resident workers and trade delegations; encourage the engagement of the trade tourism industry and the development of end-to-end packaged experiences; and encourage regional coordination and marketing.

Population Services:
10 Supporting a local workforce – promote the development of a stable, appropriately skilled local workforce, including a focus on future skills like STEM and professional services.
11 Improved community investment – better coordinate and encourage investment in community infrastructure, especially regarding the private investment of funds from major companies.
12 Access to and use of open data – formulate a deliberate set of systems and capabilities to provide a local, centralised source of open data and analytics as an enabler for local organisations, start-ups and larger businesses.
13 Improved education and associated services – develop and better coordinate existing strengths in education such as agricultural sciences and trades to become a regional centre of excellence for these fields and adequately supply the local economy’s workforce requirements.

Workforce:
14 Skill development and advancement – develop skills that are compatible to related sectors and transferable between occupations, including a focus on retraining, joint public/private business and skills education initiatives, and advancement of specialised skills for niche, future industries.

Governance:
15 Improved collaboration and partnerships – development of significant industry and regional collaborative initiatives, to promote new funding models, investment attraction, and the collective weight of the broader Central Queensland region’s advocacy to various private bodies and governments.
16 Frameworks that support economic activity – develop agile and flexible approval and development frameworks to reduce the impact of regulation on the ability of business to adapt to economic shocks and market forces.

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