Think tank helps shape our future
WHAT is the future of our region?
Where will the Southern Downs be in five, 10, 15 and 30 years?
All these issues and more will be the topic of discussion at the first Futures Development Board meeting on Wednesday.
Mayor Peter Blundell is the chair of the board and has invited a diverse range of people to join him to research and chart possible business opportunities for the region.
Cr Blundell said now was the time to start planning and taking action.
"There's lots happening all over the place," he said.
"It came about by looking at what other regions had done and we thought it was a good model to follow.
"We are really going to focus on economic development and what this region is going to look like in 30 years time."
Cr Blundell said he had chosen successful and active members of the community to be a part of the board.
"They all come from a range of different backgrounds and are experts in their fields," he said.
The Futures Development Board comprises Peter Lindores, Peta Hawes, Colin Britton, Prue Bondfield, Ross Fraser and chambers of commerce presidents David Littleproud and Nathan McDonald.
The key to success in our region was identifying economic trends, Cr Blundell said.
Britton Produce owner Colin Britton is focused on farming in the region but is also a strong supporter of local sport.
"I'm a member of a lot of different sporting committees," he said.
"From a sporting focus, I'd like to see a lot more carnivals in our region. We need to start focusing largely on women in sport as well."
Mr Britton said the meetings would all be about putting the region's issues on the table.
"From a farming point of view, something I will take to the meeting is the issue of water.
"We've got a few dam projects outstanding in Stanthorpe and town water is very poor. Farmers really need water security."
Mr Britton said he loved doing business on the Southern Downs.
"If I didn't think there was a bright future for the region, I wouldn't be here," he said.
"It's a unique place and we need to determine the correct direction."