Kim's Blog

Building The Lucky Country – are there any growth prospects for regional Australia?

Building The Lucky Country – are there any growth prospects for regional Australia?Leave a reply Looking over the horizon is crucial for business success. While some business forecasting is little more than fantasy, some people sometimes get it right. Futurist Faith Popcorn’s ‘cocooning’ for instance, pre-dated a revival of homey-ness in most developed countries. The Future Laboratory has in recent years focused on health and wellbeing technologies and applications and urban lifestyle enhancers – things that directly impact on quality of life.Once you start looking, there is wealth of great information out there which can help you as a business owner see ‘over the horizon’. It can be surprising how many structural and consumer preference drivers are well understood, with their impacts on business somewhat predictable (and predicted!). And it is even more surprising how much of this information is freely available to small business owners, even though it is expensive and usually commissioned by very large businesses indeed. We launched into this in the mid 2000s with the Small Business Futures workshops which brought the best of the ‘over the horizon’ forecasting and contextualised it to suit a small and regional business audience.Building the Lucky Country is a series of well-researched reports by Deloitte Access into fut

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Growing Regional Communities, Kim's Blog, Uncategorized

Booms and busts, what does the future hold for Mackay?

Kim Houghton

I’ve been in Mackay again this week, my third visit in about 5 years. And what a great place it is and what an interesting period it has been. Mackay is the regional service centre and port town for the Bowen Basin, an area with large volumes of coking (metallurgical) and thermal (steaming for electricity generation) coal.

Mackay is a standout “muscle town”, a moniker that was coined, I suspect, by well known demographer Bernard Salt, who is very good at finding a catchy name for a demographic phenomenon.

A muscle town is one that has seen rapid growth through a role as regional centre servicing a large mining area. So it is not the mine-site village. It is the ‘big smoke’ a couple of hundred kilometres away which has become the port (often literally) through which a mining region or a mining basin is accessed, and through which a…

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