Mayor Glen Hartwig proudly sports a beanie as he addresses a chilly and sold out Gympie Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning at The Pavilion. August 17, 2020.
Mayor Glen Hartwig proudly sports a beanie as he addresses a chilly and sold out Gympie Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning at The Pavilion. August 17, 2020.

‘Anchor tenant’ for Mary Street key to rejuvenation, jobs

THE Pavilion was to (COVID-19) capacity this morning as 120 business men and women from throught the region attended the first full Gympie Chamber of Commerce meeting since the lockdown and heard why Gympie is Qld's next growth region.

Guest speakers and Sunshine Coast business heavy hitters Aaron Flanagan and Peppe Bueti revealed some of the projects and strategies that had been game changers on the coast, which has a population of about 340,000 but markets itself based on the population within an hour's drive, which is about 1.1 million.

Monkland business ransacked and robbed

120 people fill The Pavilion for the Chamber of Commerce meeting in Gympie on August 17, 2020
120 people fill The Pavilion for the Chamber of Commerce meeting in Gympie on August 17, 2020

Mr Flanagan said the Gympie region brand centred on being welcoming, resourceful and real. It was the gateway to the north and south of the state, was less than two hours to Bribane, had its own university campus, a low cost of living, a quality lifestyle, reasonably sized economy and plenty of natural assets, he said.

Gympie Chamber of COmmerce president Tony Goodman addresses the meeting on August 17, 2020.
Gympie Chamber of COmmerce president Tony Goodman addresses the meeting on August 17, 2020.

Fireys rush to Imbil truck fire

There are about 400,000 people living within an hour of Gympie, and to fully leverage off the massive growth in the southeast and the natural spillover from the Sunshine Coast, which was fast running out of residential land, he said the region needed to ensure a few things, including:

  • dynamic, stable leadership;
  • a clear vision;
  • proactive engagement with industry;
  • enlist strong regional ambassadors (for example, Australia Zoo is a strong regional ambassador for the Sunshine Coast);
  • maintain a respectful working relationship with other levels of governments.
    Guest speaker Peppi Bueti address the Gympie Chamber of COmmerce
    Guest speaker Peppi Bueti address the Gympie Chamber of COmmerce

With the money being made available to help local economies and businesses recover from coronavirus, a state election looming, recent election of a new council and appointment of a new CEO, the timing for growth was perfect for the Gympie region, Mr Flanagan said.

Building a close relationship with the University of the Sunshine Coast was also going to be important as was attracting the perfect "anchor tenant" for the commercial heart of the city, Mary Street and the CBD.

On the somewhat fragmented Sunshine Coast, the 53ha greenfield site transformed intothe Maroochydore CBD had secured customer service centres as anchor tenants, creating salaried jobs, part time jobs, and opportunities to help retain young peope.

Mayor Glen Hartwig in a beanie addresses the Chamber of COmmerce meeting August 17, 2020.
Mayor Glen Hartwig in a beanie addresses the Chamber of COmmerce meeting August 17, 2020.

One of the big issues that could hold the region's growth back was inconsistent internet connectivity, and the audience heard the Gympie Regional Council was exploring ways to access $53 million in government funding to improve connectivity.

A third guest speaker, Caloundra Chamber of Commerce Olivia Sainsbury, had to cancel at the last minute due to feeling unwell and in keeping with COVID-19 advice.

MORE GYMPIE NEWS:

NAMED: 62 men and women face the Magistrates Court today

Man accused of killing GYmpie father of five faces the court

Gympie Times


ROLLING COVERAGE: Election Day 2020 in Gympie

Premium Content ROLLING COVERAGE: Election Day 2020 in Gympie

Gympie has its say on who will represent it in State parliament for the next four...

Woman in hospital after nasty overnight crash at Tansey

Premium Content Woman in hospital after nasty overnight crash at Tansey

Paramedics responded to a serious crash after 10pm.

Democracy sausage: Here's where to get yours

Democracy sausage: Here's where to get yours

Map shows where you can get your election democracy sausage