The Moreton Bay Region is the land of opportunity, according to State Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.
Mr Crisafulli and his Shadow Cabinet spent yesterday meeting with business, industry, tourism and local government leaders to learn more about the region before attending a networking event at the Eatons Hill Hotel funded by Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT).
MBRIT chairman Shane Newcombe said delivering the event was part of the organisation’s commitment to its ongoing investment in bringing such opportunities to the region’s business community.
Mr Crisafulli urged tourism and business leaders to capitalise on the region’s assets and leverage its proximity to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
“You’re not lacking in natural beauty or product diversity, it’s really about identity,” he said.
“You need to find a way to make sure you become not just a place near Brisbane – you’re effectively Townsville, Cairns and Mackay put together (in terms of population).
“The proximity of Brisbane is a great opportunity, particularly in a post-COVID era.”
Asked by master of ceremonies Ian Skippen to sell the region in 30 seconds based on what they had learnt during their visit, Mr Crisafulli and Mr Janetzki were full of praise for its vibrancy.
“It’s the land of opportunity, with a diversity of work, life and play opportunities,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“It’s a growing region, but a region where people still matter.
“It’s proud of who it is and it’s proud of its past and able to embrace the future.”
Mr Janetzki said he was impressed by the passion of the people he met during the visit.
“(The Moreton Bay Region) is driven by innovation, determination and the excellence of its people,” he said.
Mr Crisafulli congratulated Moreton Bay Regional Council on its vision to create a bigger, bolder, brighter future through its Regional Economic Development Strategy, with the population to increase to 700,000 within two decades, and a $40 billion economy, 16,000 new businesses and 100,000 new jobs by 2041, and said it was critical infrastructure kept pace to avoid growing pains.
“I can’t believe the number of growth fronts you have – there’s opportunities, but there’s challenges as well.
“If you don’t have infrastructure ahead of the game, people become resentful.
“We need to deliver infrastructure to protect your very unique lifestyle - if we’re not building infrastructure ahead of time then the lifestyle will disappear.”
Mr Janetzki said the region’s focus on innovation was a key strength.
“I think one of the outstanding things we have seen today is the focus on innovation hubs – there are more patent applications in Brendale (per square metre) than anywhere else in Australia.
“Creating an atmosphere where innovation can thrive is the ingredient for a strong future.”