Region's strengths on show at fruitful GAPDL forum
WHAT would you change about Gladstone?
Gladstone's business and community leaders met at GAPDL headquarters on Thursday to hear about the pending results of the Search for Solutions survey.
Held in August, the survey asked five questions of business and industry leaders about what they thought needed to change to improve liveability in the Gladstone region.
More than 106 people responded.
GAPDL CEO Glenn Churchill and Karen Sweeney said there had been a number of recommendations to improve sustainability in Gladstone, including the need for more cafes near the marina, more entertainment, greater appreciation of the region and the retention of local jobs.
The five-person panel consisted of a mix of business and community leaders across Gladstone, including Boyne Tannum Hook-up founder Darryl Branthwaite, Managerial Resource Training manager Tara Neven, Yaralla Sports Club director Will Schroeder, Gecko Valley Winery's Coleen McCray and Cooper McKenzie marketing director Grant Cooper.
Gladstone Observer editor Meredith Papavasiliou quizzed the panel on five specific questions that aimed to identify the pros and cons of living in the Gladstone region.
The points of conversation explored the need to build on already existent infrastructure or to continue to develop new infrastructure in the region.
Ms Neven said Gladstone wasn't as bad as it was perceived in the state media and encouraged people to assess Gladstone's liveability compared to other mining towns.
"We need to look at what we are doing better than other regional towns. Compared to the Pilbara region (in Western Australia), Gladstone is amazing," Tara said.
Mr Cooper said the region's image needed a revamp, with the community responsible for better public perception.
The five panel members agreed with the audience that a collective needed to formed to act as the sole voice of the region.
Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Gladstone regional councillor Maxine Brushe were in attendance.
Q1) How strongly do you agree with the statement: I would rather be in Gladstone?
- Strongly Agree: 36%
- Agree: 52%
- Disagree/Strongly Disagree: 10.3%
- Comments: "Things haven't changed in the past six months"
Q2) What is the most positive thing about the Gladstone Region?
- Moderate climate
- Close proximity to beaches
- High employment levels.
Q3) How strong is the sense of community in Gladstone?
- Moderate to extreme: 69%
Q4) What do you consider being the main living concerns in Gladstone?
- Lack of affordable housing
- Cost of living
- Social infrastructure
- Lack of public transport
Q4) How do you think other people view our town?
- Polluted town
- People have a genuine lack of respect for Gladstone.