$1 million boost for Darling Downs and Maranoa

A $1 million community-driven program to fuel economic growth, spark innovation and drive job creation in the Darling Downs and Maranoa region has the support of the State Government.

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Ms Enoch says the government will support the collaborative project led by the Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), with funding of $500,000 over three years through its $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP).

“The Darling Downs and Maranoa ARIP project will target local communities across the region with grassroots activities that will include town hall-style events and hackathons. Businesses in the region are keen to ride the innovation wave and will be able to do that through this program, which supports innovative businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups.”

The five partners working with TSBE are Heritage Bank, Engage and Create Consulting, University of Southern Queensland, Rural Business Collective and Seed+Sprout.

Darling Downs and Maranoa ARIP Project Coordinator Julia Telford says the ARIP funding would empower people in the region to forge new networks and connections.

“What this funding allows us is the chance to be proactive about the future we are wanting to create for ourselves, and learn from the different communities.”

“One size does not fit all when it comes to rural and regional Queensland, and we have valued that from the beginning of this process. This funding allows the opportunity to work within each community so they can develop solutions using some of the skills this project will provide.”

Food Leaders Australia General Manager Bruce McConnel said the ARIP program would take innovative learning to businesses in the region and give them the tools to drive their own destiny through sustainable growth.

“The regions have a strong history of community collaboration and mentorship towards a common purpose.”

University of Southern Queensland Institute for Resilient Regions Executive Director Professor John Cole is delighted to be a collaborating participant in the ARIP program.

“This partnership will enable new innovative capacities and linkages to be embedded in the region better enabling regional Queenslanders to secure their share of growing global markets.”

For more details on ARIP, or contact ARIP Project Coordinator Julia Telford on 0427 408 713 or [email protected]