PEOPLE the region over were celebrating the news yesterday Qantas would be flying direct from Gladstone to Sydney.

This is a good thing.

Not just because it gives us more direct access to a fantastic destination but, more importantly, because our region is now opened up to a whole new level of opportunity.

Gladstone is the kind of region that deserves access to other bigger destinations.

For so many reasons Qantas's decision to open up this route will open up millions of dollars worth of industry, business and tourism opportunities.

Now, as a region, we need to be ready.

GAPDL has always been proactive in advocating for our region, proclaiming our strengths and virtues and stating a solid case for coming to Gladstone to live, work and play.

This organisation has been backed by the council and industry bodies - but making this work is all about co-operation.

We have a great chance to showcase this region and that is something we cannot afford to underestimate.

This is not just about making shopping trips and weekends away to Sydney easier - although, don't get me wrong, that is certainly a fabulous outcome.

This will expose Gladstone to a far broader

interstate and international market.

If a place is easy to get to, more people come - it's that simple. All of a sudden we can avoid the Brisbane stop.

Fewer people will have to drive to Rocky.

It's a win-win.

But in return, we need to put our best foot forward in terms of customer service, facilities and services.

It's a great opportunity for this region - it's up to us to make the most of it.

Now, for their next trick, Qantas needs to keep prices at a reasonable level and manage demand.



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