HomeCouncilStrong economic development for region in 2023

Strong economic development for region in 2023

Business growth Bundaberg
Significant progress was made on a number of Council projects in 2023 making it a strong year for economic development in the region.

Bundaberg Regional Council marked a strong year for economic development in 2023 with significant business growth and progress on initiatives in the environmental, education and community engagement spaces.

Council joined the Queensland Small Business Friendly Program in January, becoming a Small Business Friendly Council and setting up initiatives including a specialised project page for small business, small business breakfasts, surveys, sponsorship of business awards and meetings with industry stakeholders.

In May, new data released by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research showed the Bundaberg Region had the second highest economic growth rate of a major Queensland regional centre for the second year in a row at 7.2%.

An AEC consultancy report was released advocating for the development of a hotel investment prospectus to showcase investor opportunities in Bundaberg and Council’s business breakfast continued throughout the year with consistent support from industry stakeholders.

Progress continued on the regional aquatic centre and electric vehicle infrastructure in the region and a contractor was appointed to begin work on the Moore Park Beach Community Hub.

Pacific Tug completed stage one of their Pacific Marine Base project at the Port of Bundaberg after many years of work by Council in securing funding for this important project.

Environmental milestones included the success of the fourth annual Bundaberg Bioeconomy Conference in October, funds allocated for solar installations at Council facilities as part of the Towards Net Zero project and over 225 000 trees planted in the One Million Trees program.   

Education and innovation

Cliff Fleming and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks were announced as the winner of the Hinkler Innovation Award thanks to a 55 year history of manufacturing in the region and the company’s continued commitment to growth and innovation, including the recent opening of a new $150m facility.

It was another successful year for the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Award where Bundaberg High School team Hard Headz took home first prize and were also invited by the Queensland University of Technology Entrepreneurship Department to pitch their idea at the 2032 Mobility and Transportation Summit in Brisbane.

The Integrated Pathways at Kepnock (IP@K) program continued to go from strength to strength, securing $50 000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and growing from 10 students in the initial pilot to 30 students supported by 25 businesses through 91 sessions over two terms.

Approximately 4000 students participated in positive engagement opportunities as part of the Bundaberg Jobs Commitment including the Bundaberg Careers Expo and the Bundy Jobs Fair and seven Bundaberg Region Youth Scholarships were awarded for candidates to pursue their education with a sponsorship of $2 000 each.

Community engagement

The public were engaged in important planning in the region including an in-depth community survey for the 2024 to 2028 Community Development Strategy, the Bundaberg Public Art Masterplan, the Library Strategic Plan and the Nielson Park Draft Concept Masterplan with findings from all surveys captured and considered.

Rounding off the year, 500 hampers were made and distributed to those in need by local charities as part of the 2023 Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal with over $60 000 raised. 

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