EXCITING times lie ahead as the region’s leaders join together to create a vision for the Whitsundays.
The Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the recently merged Proserpine Chamber of Commerce, is gearing up to elevate its advocacy efforts, with the launch of the ground-breaking ‘Vision for the Whitsundays’ initiative.
The recent launch event – on Tuesday, May 16, in Cannonvale – garnered an overwhelming response.
More than 60 registrations were received from local businesses eager to hear the visionary perspectives of representatives across all three levels of government, all centred around driving economic growth and prosperity in the region.
A highlight of the event was the presence of the Hon. David Littleproud MP, the federal leader of the National Party, who passionately advocated for an improved skilled migration policy that specifically targets regional areas such as the Whitsundays, thereby addressing labour shortages.
Mr Littleproud also shed light on the pressing need for affordable housing in the region and emphasised the importance of better access to primary health services.
Andrew Willcox MP, the Federal Member for Dawson, shared a vibrant and sustainable economic plan focused on leveraging tourism opportunities, including the potential of attracting super yachts to Whitsunday shores.
He also stressed the necessity of enhancing the road network and securing fairer insurance options for the region.
Amanda Camm MP, Queensland Member for Whitsunday, echoed the call for sustainable development and highlighted the tremendous potential within the agricultural industry.
Ms Camm joined Mr Willcox in underscoring the crucial role of a well-maintained road network in driving the economy, highlighting that the A1 Highway should meet the same standards it delivers in other states.
Mayor Julie Hall, speaking with great enthusiasm, emphasised the enormous economic potential the region possesses, citing the new freight distribution hub, at the airport, as a testament to this.
Mayor Hall identified infrastructure as a key driver of economic development and expressed a strong belief in the opportunities presented by education and housing.
Furthermore, she called for greater collaboration among key stakeholders to harness these possibilities.
During the launch, chamber president Allan Milostic unveiled the ‘Vision for the Whitsundays’ initiative, underscoring the urgent need for the business community in the region to actively engage with the chamber during this critical period of economic review.
Mr Milostic urged both members and the broader business community to submit their ideas and concerns for consideration.
“Coordinated advocacy is highly valued by all levels of government, and the chamber will ensure that Proserpine and the coastal business centres have a strong voice in the development of this pivotal project,” Mr Milostic said.
The chamber is currently in the process of developing an ambitious new strategy that places a firm focus on advocacy, membership services, business education, and improved communication channels.