The Leadership Illawarra Program participants attended a session, titled ‘Illawarra 2030: A region transformed by an investment in knowledge’ which was facilitated by David Laing (Cardno) at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus.
David ‘pulled no punches’ and delivered an open, honest and opinionated session in which the LIP participants were engaged to understand his thoughts and perspectives.
The below topics were discussed;
the need for diversified industry growth
Why growth? Our region is running at 0.7% growth which is under the >1% avg for sustainable regions
increased population to drive a stronger economy and create a swinging seat (govt)
Why?It enhances the region’s ability to trigger government investment, creates a swinging seat, increased capital expenditure (road/rail), higher job prospects and assist in the retention of skill within the region;
combining local area governments so they can work together and leverage off each other’s strengths
create an industry / academic captain structure lead by a key figurehead to execute and complete key strategic regional projects.
Why? To be successful, the region needs to have mitigation plans created, projects developed and preapproval gained and ready to go if and when required (to remove any reactive responses)
attract international investors
remove red tape: zoning of land currently is leading developers to go over the mountain and find alternate areas to invest (due to the difficulty / complexity they face within this region)
international airport to boost employment and the economy
David talked about regions which have been successful in overcoming their challenges. For example, Tom Murphy (Pittsburgh) and Neville Sawyer (Hunter foundation association). What can we learn from their blueprint of success?
The key message that came through the presentation was the need for the region to have a project that touches every silo or industry so that more engagement and buy in is achieved. It seems there is a real need for groups and committees to come together, united, and make decisions which are in the best interest for the region.