Community conversations kick off in Port Hedland
The Regional Australia Institute is pleased to announce beginning of ‘Community Conversations’, a series of free, open forums on unlocking regional prosperity to be held across the country in late 2013 and early 2014.
The forums will be kicked off next week in Port Hedland on Wednesday 11 September and will be examining new data on the area revealed through [In]Sight, the nation’s first online index and interactive map of regional competitiveness, unveiled by the RAI in late June this year.
Chief Executive Officer of the RAI, Su McCluskey, will be presenting information on Port Hedland’s competitiveness profile, and hopes the forum will provide a platform for this data to merge with local knowledge, identifying where the region wants to go, and what actions might be taken to get there.
“The creation of [In]Sight was just one step forward to ensuring sustainable growth in our regions”, she said. “The next step is working with regional areas to turn this information into positive action. We’re so excited to be kicking off these conversations in Port Hedland, which has some very interesting competitiveness traits”.
For example, while [In]Sight reveals that Port Hedland has clear strengths in market size, economic fundamentals and natural resources, it performs poorly in labour market efficiency, infrastructure and essential services and innovation.
According to Ms McCluskey, this could highlight the need to better leverage Port Hedland’s competitive advantage, utilising port access to better connect with emerging International markets and increasing exports, while ensuring the benefit flow-back is captured by the broader community.
“We can, for the first time, clearly see the challenges facing Australia’s economy and where they exist,” she said. “If we can bring together business, community, researchers and governments in these forums to focus on these challenges, then we have a real opportunity to secure a vibrant future.”
Also attending the Port Hedland forum will be Business Council of Australia (BCA) Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott. The BCA has recently released a detailed Action Plan for Australia’s future with the vision of achieving enduring prosperity for all Australians.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to hear what the key needs are in Port Hedland; what the community can share about their town’s achievements and challenges to date, and where they really want to be in the future,” Ms Westacott said.
If you’re interested in attending, register via our website at www.regionalaustralia.org.au/events. We look forward to hearing from the people of Port Hedland about their vision for the vibrant future our their region.If you live in another area of regional Australia and are interested in the RAI hosting a Community Conversation in your area, please get in touch via [email protected]