GYMPIE BYPASS: City needs to transform and ‘grow the pie’
Opinion piece by Gympie Region councillor Dan Stewart
(MONDAY) morning there was a sell-out Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Highlights for me included:
A Forest Wind representative gave a brief presentation on the proposed windfarm in Toolara Forest. They expect construction to begin near the end of 2021 or early 2022.
If you wish to provide supplies or services to the construction of the wind farm (they had a long list, such as quarry products, security, catering....) expressions of interest can be lodge at the website forestwind.icm.org.au or google forest wind.
There was information about Well HQ, a small business online wellbeing space “Helping you and your small business become happier and more resilient”. One can access coaching sessions, information on small business wellbeing, online programs and more confidentially. Do an internet search for WELLHQGYMPIE
The main speaker was Neil Glentworth, a business advisor. His first question was are you ready? He showed a clip from a children’s movie about a town that had been bypassed.
My view is that while Gympie will miss passing traffic, much of that traffic found Gympie to be a nuisance. Gympie is a business centre that will be advantaged by having a more pleasant environment when the bypass opens.
But, we still need to get people off the bypass. It is also one reason why I pushed for the proposed industrial area at Victory Heights to remain industrial, there will be opportunity for tourist orientated businesses to set up near the bypass interchange on Gympie Connection Rd.
Neil stated that he gets out of bed to help other people change and develop.
He said we need to be about growing the pie, not just making our own slice bigger. If we grow the pie, then we will end up with more.
He was very much a business operator with a strong sense of community. How can we work together to build a more prosperous community?
He stated that business strategies should be no more than a page long. Draft council economic development strategies have been 60 or more pages long. I always thought that was far too long.
A page only might be a big ask for a region-wide strategy, but we could get close to it.
Neil talked about the need to being open to new ideas and opportunities, being willing to transform, and to promote our region. That is a challenge to all of us.
Thank you to the Chamber for hosting the breakfast, and to Neil Glentworth for making the time to discuss his ideas with the community.