The new-look Gympie Chamber of Commerce board.
The new-look Gympie Chamber of Commerce board. Contributed

Leading Gympie business group's powerful plan for change

AN IMPRESSIVE line-up of speakers will address the inaugural meeting of the new-look Gympie Chamber of Commerce next month.

New Chamber president Tony Goodman said representatives from all three levels of government will discuss the current position on economic development in the Gympie region at the group's breakfast meeting to be held at the RSL on Wednesday, February 13.

Scott Rowe, David Sparks and Lynne Banford will be those guest speakers, and they will focus on:

  • The reasons industry should come to the Gympie region and what industries that should include;
  • The availability of industrial land with infrastructure firmly in place to accommodate potential industries;
  • What obstacles and challenges are hindering attracting those industries to the Gympie region, and
  • What solutions can be put in place to overcome those obstacles

Mr Goodman said the Chamber intended to then develop an action plan to address the obstacles and open the way for economic development/

Scott Rowe is Director of Regional Development of Wide Bay, David Sparkes is the State Government. Director of Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Innovation and Lynne Banford is Gympie Regional Council Economic Development head.


Scott Rowe
Scott Rowe contributed

"The Gympie Chamber of Commerce has a renewed focus in working with all three levels of government to attract large wealth type industries to our region, which will boost the local economy, fill empty shops, create jobs and will generally be good for everyone," Mr Goodman said.

Non-members are welcome at all meetings but anyone wanting to join the Chamber of COmmerce can do so via its website.

Lynne Banford

With almost 25 years tourism, major event and economic development experience at senior levels in local, state and federal government, Lynne leads the development and implementation of council's tourism and economic development strategies - strategies that will deliver economic prosperity for the region in to the future.


Lynne Banford
Lynne Banford Troy Jegers

Having worked for two world leading economic development agencies in the United Kingdom and New Zealand and, having been a director with Tourism Queensland for 11 years, Lynne brings an extensive background in strategic planning, industry development, marketing and promotion and major event management and sponsorship.

This is complemented by significant sector knowledge and established networks across Australia, New Zealand and within the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.

David Sparks is the acting regional director for the Department of State Development's new Fraser Coast and Gympie regional office.

The department made a decision to provide more support to the Fraser Coast and Gympie and asked David to temporarily move from his job in Ipswich to establish a new office in this region.

David has more than 20 years of experience in economic development starting with the Queensland DPI before moving to state development. His priority for the new regional office is to support business growth and job creation.

Scott Rowe is the current director of regional development for Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett.

RDAs are a network of 55 committees across Australia tasked with working across all levels of government, industry and community to enhance economic development opportunities.

Scott has a small business background having held senior managerial positions with regional media companies across Queensland over the past 25 years.

An award-winning journalist and former newspaper editor and owner, Scott has lived and worked in the Wide Bay Burnett for more than 15 years and boasts large community networks and connections.

Based in Hervey Bay, Scott was Enterprise and Investment Manager of Fraser Coast Opportunities before joining Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett in 2014.

With a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Business, he has a strong understanding of the region's economic opportunities and business challenges and volunteers his time on boards, sporting clubs and community and economic development organisations.

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