Berwin was borne out of a conversation about the future of the region. Extensive research revealed that there is a need to build a centre for business excellence to promote and support creative and innovative local ideas to become startup businesses, to assist existing successful businesses to accelerate their growth and to support education for our youth to prepare them for the jobs of the future.
Research data from Regional Australia Institute confirms that Fraser Coast ranks 390 out of 563 Local Government Areas (LGAs) on the Innovation Index, an overall measure of the region as a business dynamo or its ability to generate economic benefits for the region.
Further, our region’s economy is growing at less than half of the Queensland average and is one of the worst performing in Australia. It also confirmed that there is a constant drain of our brightest students in the 18-24 year age group and that our unemployment rate is consistently higher than the State average with 31 percent of young adults in the 20-24 age group neither working nor studying compared with the State average of 15 percent.
These are compelling reasons why we as citizens of the Fraser Coast need to step up to shape the economic future of the region. Governments have committed funds to help but we must lead.