Get Up In My Regions


As the Premier said “we are #goodtogo”… and so on the road we went! What we saw: so many of our regions giving it a go creating adaptive, long-term solutions and building and expanding innovation ecosystems.

Many of us, including Government policymakers can try to help rejuvenate growth by encouraging public- and private-sector innovation via a supportive ecosystem.

Local government leaders who are harnessing the power of open innovation efforts – such as increased investment in education, R&D and corporate partnerships, are leading with challenge grants, competitions, and open networks. Leaping ahead of the race are those who readily embrace publicly available data and code – to attract talent to their area and promote resilient, innovation ecosystems.

Cherbourg, for example, was able to build an impressive community-led waste handling facility alongside the application of innovation logic. There is no doubt this region is poised to advance with state-of-the-art technology and further higher paid jobs.

Recovery from a deep crisis can be uneven, and history suggests that leaders may want to pace their policies over several years. During the Great Depression, employment grew consistently between 1933 and 1937, but then dipped five percentage points in 1938. International tourism to New York City took five years to fully recover after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Most recently, unemployment rates doubled during the 2008 financial crisis and only recovered to pre-recession levels in 2015.

Queensland has an outstanding and vibrant startup ecosystem with a focused plan to attract tech companies and develop local talent. The tech sector in Queensland now accounts for over 30,000 jobs, and in 2019 Queensland was ranked second nationally for startup output.

In another example, Townsville and the wider regional area has been able to leverage its advantages of being home to a new defence centre, large research university and the headquarters of several large corporations, which together has attracted entrepreneurs and venture capital.

Queensland’s first direct international data and telecommunications connection to global markets is now connected, with the Sunshine Coast to provide the fastest international connection point from Queensland and Eastern Australia to Asia, a significant step-change to attract investment to the region.

The project will help stimulate local business, generate new investment and improve telecommunications diversity to Australia’s east coast. The cable will help to future proof the Sunshine Coast telecommunications capacity and increase our smart city capability, ensuring access to important data networks and further increasing start-up activity to support the city’s digitally enabled transformation.

Queensland businesses will, for the first time, be able to bypass Sydney and connect direct internationally. This will provide business with a range of new opportunities that come with increased speed and diversity. This connectivity will give major data-intensive companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft the opportunity to revisit the benefits of where they locate their Australian investments. Other new innovation hubs as well as applied knowledge centres and digital trade channels could likewise emerge out of this crisis.

Watch this space!