Chairman’s Report 2012
“I don’t know what you did yesterday but there is certainly a different attitude here today”
This was a comment from the TAFE college after a BCE coordinated meeting with all stake holders regarding it’s potential closure, which I believe summarises our year and reinforces why BCE has a very important role to play in guiding Bowen’s future economic direction.
What we have achieved as a group with expenses less than $5000.00 for the year is something many organisations in other regions could learn from, with the way members contribute in not only attending meetings and deputations but always on the alert for matters that might benefit or be to the detriment of the Bowen and Collinsville regions.
Because of this culture used to it’s fullest in a year of a state election followed by a downgrade of plans for our port and state development areas, and a local election, we have been able to raise awareness and see results for the following.
- Importance of a multi user port at Abbot Point
- Importance of the State Development Area for the region
- Possible closure of the Collinsville Power Station
- Accommodation Register for all GVK, BHP and QCoal
- Possible closure of TAFE Bowen Campus
- Bruce Highway problems
- Small Business handicaps in regions
- Bowen and Collinsville being left out of the Northern Economic Zone
- Bowen and Collinsville fitting in Northern Economic Triangle / Mitez report
- Bowen Boat Harbour Leaseholders / Marina – future direction with Qld Transport
These were achieved through 4 delegations at Country Cabinet meetings, deputation to Federal Government offices in Canberra, deputations to Queensland Government offices in Brisbane, as well as many local meetings and briefings.
Following is a cross section of some of the personalities we have dealt with at the various deputations and briefings and show the broad range of our organisation.
George Christiansen – Member for Dawson
Tony Burke – Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Lisa Gooding – representing Martin Ferguson Mister for Resources and Energy
Peter Nicholas – representing Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Dan Hunt – Shadow Environ Minister
Bill Bixby – Shadow Minister for Small Business
Rosemary Menkens – Member for Burdekin
Campbell Newman – Premier of Queensland
Geoff Seeney – Deputy Premier
Tin Nicholls – Treasurer
Jennifer Whitney – Mayor
David Kippen – CEO Townsville Enterprise
Geoff Harris Smith – Deputy CEO North Queensland Bulk Ports
Capt Sandeep Metha – Adani Chief Executive Officer Ports
Helen Stehbens – GVK Hancock
Thomas Knhut – Deedi
Mitchell Innes – BHP
QCoal – Catherine Batterby
All these could not have been achieved without the support of the members and especially the Whitsunday Regional Council in organising the out of town deputations.
I see our only failures for the year have been –
- Accommodation Register – information was collected following the Forum in February and compiled by Tourism Bowen and we were asked to hand across to WMD to make it website compatible. It is still has not been finished to a standard it was intended and I recommend we take it back under our control as of now using Tourism Bowen and a local web site designer as the timing for it is now.
- De amalgamation – in hindsight we should have been a stronger link between Council and the Collinsville Mining Community Association to make sure all facts were presented as per government requirements. Even though knowing it wouldn’t happen, the community would have been satisfied it had a proper case presented for the decision for the final result.
- Supporting the Don River Trust – the idea was we help in managing it’s action group to make sure everyone was going down the same path.
Filling board positions – I was to contact Jim Gaston to suggest an indigenous representative, see about an Aged Care representative, and ask Bruce Coles to represent Bowen Coke as a local industry.
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank all board members for not only your support of BCE as an organisation, but that of the region as a whole in the way you contributed with your time, ideas and input. Special thanks to Terry Pilcher as Vice President, David Evans as Secretary and David Nebauer as Treasurer along with Mardi Mathieson whose services have been invaluable, and of course Steve Shuttleworth for always having a room for us no matter what the meeting was.
Today we see David Evans and John Finlay leaving us after many years of service in their various roles and thank them for their guidance and leaving BCE in a with a very impress record of achievement and a name that all walks of politics and industry have the utmost respect for.
With these 2 members places changing I believe in the new year we revisit our board positions and make sure all areas are represented as hopefully 2013 will be the year we see some action start at Abbot Point and we as a group need to be in place to help coordinate making sure everything fits for the benefit of the economy and our beautiful lifestyle.