2020 Filled with Potential
After a hugely successful 2019, I am excited to say that 2020 is bringing immense opportunity for our region, and the team at Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise are ready to ensure our region receives every benefit possible.
Starting the year with around 450 members, we are very focused on linking local businesses to opportunities.
Throughout the year, we will be hosting more than 50 events across our departments of Energy and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Health, providing vital networking opportunities for local businesses and updating industries on local developments.
It was a major milestone to see the Inland Rail Intergovernmental Agreement signed in December 2019, which will provide major opportunities across the coming years and is expected to employ approximately 2,000 locals. The construction phase will be worth around $5 billion over 5 years and will create a national asset that will provide transport and logistics benefits for generations to come. TSBE has commenced work on a mapping document to highlight the local business capability to work on this project. It’s designed to maximise the amount of opportunities that are given to local companies thereby stimulating local job opportunities.
The state-of-the-art $500 million Asterion Medicinal Cannabis Facility hopes to begin earthworks on-site in the first quarter of this year. The massive project is expected to take up more than 45 hectares and generate more than 1000 jobs, all while injecting up to $1 billion into the Toowoomba and Australian economies.
Toowoomba’s newest rural learning facility, TAFE Queensland’s Rural Centre of Excellence, will deliver high-quality training to ensure the rural industry’s workforce is equipped with a broad set of up-to-date skills. TSBE is proud to have entered into a partnership with TAFE Queensland to employ an industry engagement officer who will work with all of TSBE members and other businesses around the region and support them with the use of the Rural Centre of Excellence, to provide learning and up-skilling opportunities.
With Queensland jumping in the race for the 2032 Olympic Games, our region will potentially benefit from an increase in jobs, tourism and added infrastructure. TSBE will be working hard alongside the Toowoomba Regional Council and the Department of State Development to ensure the region receives the maximum benefits from these incredible opportunities. Another enormous opportunity is the SEQ City Deal worth $56b over the next 25 years. Our region is set to benefit from infrastructure through the City Deal and TSBE is advocating to the State and Federal Governments for our fair share.
Our Energy and Infrastructure team are proud to be delivering the Surat Basin Energy Awards for the first time in 2020 to celebrate the enormous contribution the energy sector has made to our region. We’re very proud that Toowoomba and the Surat Basin is an energy-production powerhouse with natural gas, solar, wind, ethanol and coal production all occurring within our region. The Surat Basin Energy Awards will recognise the leaders in a range of categories within the energy sector and showcase the key players who have made the energy sector such a significant part of our regional economy.
TSBE’s Agriculture team have a huge year ahead of them, with the SQ Export Hub hosting a series of events and workshops, supporting many local businesses to become export ready. Food Leaders Australia continues to assist members by bringing investment and export opportunities into the Agri sector, as well as working with existing food producers, processors and exporters to capitalise on local and export markets. The popular 400M Agrifood Innovation Forum will help drive the innovation needed to solve identified issues in the sector, and the major Protein 2020 Conference will bring together the beef, pork, poultry and dairy sectors, with the view to share best practice and allow collaboration across these industries.
Our Health team will host the inaugural Downs Health Conference in May 2020, connecting Allied Healthcare workers to provide a collaborative approach to regional healthcare. The Westfund Let’s Shape Up Darling Downs is a new initiative designed to promote wellness in the workplace and provide sustainable outcomes for businesses. Healthy employees record fewer sick days, are more productive and engage better with colleagues and customers and this initiative promotes positive lifestyle changes to improve the health of workers.
TSBE is mapping the current state of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the Toowoomba region, and will be creating an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem map that will be utilized to attract investment and new entrepreneurs to Toowoomba.
Ali Davenport, TSBE CEO