RDA Wide Bay Burnett Newsletter - September 2016
RDA Wide Bay Burnett is one of 55 non-for-profit organisations across the country funded by the Australian Government to help strengthen our regions. RDA's work with business, the community and all levels of government to promote economic development.
Decision pending on the ex-HMAS Tobruk Qld Tender
Fraser Coast Council submitted the Expression of Interest to secure the ex-HMAS Tobruk to the Queensland Government on the 20th September. A decision is expected to be made in the coming days on which Queensland council is
 successful in their bid.
Both the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils have committed $1 million each to secure the ship to create a world class dive wreck between the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg. 
In a show of true bipartisan support, a seabed survey to find a preferred site for ex-HMAS Tobruk was personally funded by local politicians and businesses.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt approached fellow state and local government members and local businesses to contribute to the cost of a multilevel survey of the ocean floor at previously identified locations of the proposed dive location. 
Getting on board to help Mr Pitt fund the survey was patron Senator James McGrath, State Member for Bundaberg The Hon Leanne Donaldson, State Member for Burnett Steve Bennett MP, State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen MP, Fraser Coast Regional Councillors Rolf Light and Darren Everard, Hervey Bay Boat Club’s Ed Gibson and Nick Schulz.
“With the monetary support from Fraser Coast Regional Council and Bundaberg Regional 
Council, and the existing work done by the advisory group, we already knew we had a strong bid for ex-HMAS Tobruk’ said Mr Pitt.

“They also realise the economic potential of this project for the region, which will bring long term, sustainable jobs.”
This has shown that all levels of government and local businesses can work together to make the project a reality.
A press release will be distributed on the outcome of the expression of interest in the coming days.

Regional Economic Growth Forum –  Registrations still open

Registrations are still open for the Regional Economic Growth Forum being held on Thursday 6th October at the Brolga Theatre, Walker Street, Maryborough.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Local Government and Territories Senator Fiona Nash, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

Regional businesses will hear the latest information about priority initiatives including contract and supply opportunities associated with the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development at the annual Wide Bay Burnett Regional Economic Development Growth Forum. 
The forum is jointly hosted by the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) in partnership with Regional Development Australia (Wide Bay Burnett) and the Department of State Development as part of their 2016 Major Project Series.

Book your free ticket now
RDA Wide Bay-Burnett 2016 - 2019 Regional Roadmap
Regional Development Australia Wide Bay-Burnett’s 2016 -2019 Roadmap sets out a strategic vision defined by a set of aspirational goals taking into account the economic priorities of all levels of government and issues of significance to the community.
Key regional priorities are:
  • Economic development: Nurturing high potential economic development sectors towards global competitiveness and optimise major projects that have far reaching benefits
  • Infrastructure: Provide evidence based support for key private and public infrstrucutr projects that will result in investor confidence and timely action.
  • Innovation: Help businesses, institutions and communities improve their resilience, competitiveness, connectivity and self-sufficiency by embracing innovation and entrepreneurship and digital technologies. 
  • Human Capital: Improving the skills, qualifications and participation outcomes of the workforce while ensuring they embrace the unique regional opportunities of the changing economy.
  • Strengthening our regional profile: Through collaboration and research we can maximise the comparative advantages of the region to maximise the successful outcomes between the public and private sector.
The Roadmap is a ‘living’ document and will continue to evolve as we work together with key stakeholders within our community. RDA Wide Bay Burnett partners directly with all three levels of government (Commonwealth, State and Local) and brings them together on local challenges and priorities. We aim to enhance partnerships between governments, industry and the community to address the issues and opportunities that matter most when it comes to advancing this region‘ s development.
To view the full document please see visit our site:
Update on $20 million regional jobs and investment package

The Australian Government will be conducting community led consultations with regional stakeholders over the next few months to listen to and better understand what is happening within each region. 

This process will help the government build their understanding of how the package can be best designed to support regional communities to invest in and diversify their economies, create new business and innovation opportunities, and help boost the number of jobs available in regional areas.

The coalition government committed to deliver a $20 million jobs package that will be available exclusively to the Wide Bay Burnett region, enabling local businesses to expand to create local jobs, grow skills in the local workforce, pursue export opportunities and strengthen the economy.

The Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package will attract matching funding from participating businesses to deliver $40 million in new investment in the region. This specific, targeted and tailored investment pool will assist existing local businesses to grow and create new, sustainable jobs.

Grants from the package will enable businesses to diversify their operations, support infrastructure projects, and invest in skills development and training programs.

Local communities will be involved in developing local investment plans, assessing our region’s economic opportunities and competitive advantages to create a community-driven investment partnership between the coalition government, business and local communities.
For preliminary information on the package please see the following link:


Employers post jobs at no cost

Regional Development Australia Wide Bay-Burnett has been engaging with local councils, employment service providers, training organisations and local business from across the region and creating more awareness about the RDA Jobs initiative.

Employers are encouraged to post vacancies to this free job matching and profiling service that connects jobseekers with employers across the Wide Bay Burnett at the click of a button.

The website is a partnership with 123 Jobs where candidates upload their skills, qualifications and experience across the region’s major employment industries and when an employer posts a job it is automatically matched with the most suitable candidates.

The best matched candidates then receive a SMS or email informing them of the position.

For more information or to register visit or contact Nicole Puli on 4124 2526 or via email  

Llew O’Brien newly elected Member for Wide Bay

Llew O’Brien is the Federal Member for Wide Bay. He was elected to the Australian Parliament at the 2016 Federal Election. He is married to Sharon and they chose to raise their three children in Wide Bay because they love the region.  He and his family have lived in the region for over 20 years and has been identified as being a strong and powerful advocate for the Wide Bay region.

In his maiden parliamentary speech Mr O’Brien spoke very honestly about his political journey, the hardships he and his family have endured and the invaluable lessons he’d learnt along the way.  He also openly shared his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder from his years as a traffic accident investigator with Queensland Police.

Mr O’Brien highlighted the coalition government’s commitment to deliver the $20 million jobs package that will enable local businesses to expand to create local jobs, grow skills in the local workforce, pursue export opportunities and strengthen the economy.”

He touched on the Wide Bay’s history in transforming from being known as a port and goldmining towns into the agricultural centre for producing grain, beef, sugar, dairy and other crops and it’s proud history of sustainably drawing on its natural assets, with its timber and seafood industries being strong contributors to the economy.

Mr O’Brien said that “Whilst the Wide Bay is already a great place to live, it has the potential to be so much more. Being located close to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane makes it perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing south-east corner. But we need all levels of government to work cooperatively to leverage the opportunities of the future.”

To read his maiden speech please click the link below:
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Level1,Suite 8 107 Boat Harbour Drive, Pialba QLD 4566
PO Box 1142, Maryborough QLD 4650
Ph: 07 4124 2526

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Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett · Suite 3 · 319 - 325 Kent Street · Maryborough, Qld 4650 · Australia

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