Strength of the Region
From TSBE CEO, Ali Davenport: After months of uncertainty brought about by COVID, it’s wonderful to see restrictions easing and confidence returning to businesses in the Surat Basin. Whilst 2020 has certainly been an enormous challenge, we’re so fortunate to live in this region that has an incredibly diverse economy.
COVID-19 has brought about changes in the way that businesses operate. In particular, the pandemic has highlighted the risks of relying on offshore manufacturing. The Surat Basin has a strong manufacturing sector which could be a real beneficiary from international supply chain disruptions and TSBE will be conducting an in-depth analysis of our region’s manufacturers to ensure that future opportunities are maximised.
The energy sector is another incredibly important pillar in the Surat Basin’s economy that has faced challenges due to COVID as well as a decrease in oil price. Despite these difficulties, it’s wonderful to see Senex complete their $400 million Surat Basin gas development. We are also thrilled that Arrow Energy will commence construction of the first phase of their $10 billion Surat Gas Project.
The recent rain has assisted local farmers with their winter crops and many of the region’s food and agriculture businesses have adapted to take hold of opportunities in the domestic market. We look forward to celebrating a number of producers with TSBE’s upcoming produce magazine called TASTE Western Downs which will released later this year. The magazine will be a showcase of the variety and quality of the produce that is grown across the Western Downs and include a food trail to show where people can purchase the best locally grown food.
The tourism sector is ready to start operating now that unlimited Queensland-wide travel is allowed and border restrictions are set to ease. The Queensland Government is working on a marketing strategy to encourage Australians to travel locally which should benefit the region, and there’s hope that we will see tourists and grey nomads travelling regionally again soon.
And finally, after postponing TSBE’s popular networking events during the pandemic, we are excited to be announcing our Enterprise Evenings will commence in July, with the exact date and venue to be confirmed. Our first Enterprise Evening will discuss the current state of the region and feature major economic drivers as we look towards recovery.
So, whilst 2020 has been incredibly tough and we’re by no means over every COVID challenge, I am reminded every day of how our diverse economy is such a huge strength and that we’re so fortunate to live in this region. There is nowhere else I’d rather be!