If elected, one of my key strategies will be to deliver a clean, green Redlands Technology Park to boost sustainable jobs beyond the traditional tourism, retail and construction industries. My focus will be on providing strong leadership and vision for local jobs that is so desperately needed in the Redlands. A new technology centre would be a major boost in finally kick-starting our local economy into a regionally recognised centre for innovation, delivering jobs of the future.
Ideal Local Site for High Tech Sustainable Businesses
There is an ideal site for the Redlands Technology Park at the State Government’s Redlands Research Station in Cleveland. This already has good transport access via Macarthur Street, and has NBN to the site and other necessary infrastructure. With about 14 hectares of cleared land at the state-owned facility, there is currently over two hectares available to start building a technology park.
Based on the success of the Brisbane Technology Park, the two hectare site could generate over 500 jobs alone. If the Redlands Technology Park expanded to other areas at the Research Station as they become available, over 4,000 local jobs could be expected.
Low Cost Incubator Space for Start-ups
Setting up low cost space for innovative start-up tech companies is critical to kick start this plan – and a great investment that other communities with vision have capitalised on. The start-up incubator could be provided in purpose-built buildings until the businesses are ready to move to permanent accommodation elsewhere. There are many real-life examples that show how providing low-cost work space acts as a catalyst for innovation and job creation.
In my view, there needs to be a continuous pipeline of valuable job opportunities so Redlands can be transformed from a dormitory suburb of commuters. We have a responsibility to address both the lack of local opportunities for skilled young people from the region – and the continual rise in the cost of living faced by all residents.
The Redlands Research Station is currently home to an exciting pilot hydrogen project as well as a trial of a concentrated photovoltaic solar array. Future projects to be located at the research facility include a plant to manufacture bio-fuels from waste materials including plastics. Most recently, Lava Blue, a company that has developed a novel process to build high purity alumina for battery manufacture from kaolin is to locate a mini-plant at the Station. QUT are working in partnership with Lava Blue developing the new technology.
New Approach for Local Well-Paid Permanent Jobs
When six out of 10 people have to leave Redlands for work, it’s time we took an urgent, modern approach to providing well-paid, reliable jobs for locals. It would take people off the congested roads, allow for a more balanced lifestyle, power up our economy – and offer our young people exciting job opportunities that are sadly lacking.
The old thinking that development alone creates jobs is false. Construction only creates temporary jobs, and doesn’t provide the diversity and depth a local economy needs to thrive. We need genuine permanent jobs that capitalise on future innovation in a knowledge economy – and we must dispel the Redlands myth that residential development equals economic growth.
At the coming election, I am offering the people of the Oodgeroo electorate my energy, experience and commitment to work towards a sustainable and diverse employment future that will make a genuine difference.
“Powerful initiative long overdue” says Local Business Leader
In the photograph to the left I show Thornlands management consultant, Paul Beavon, a possible two hectare site for a new Redlands Technology Park at the State Department of Agriculture’s Redlands Research Station in Cleveland.
Mr Beavon is the managing director of local company SMS, working across all sectors and industries to transform business management and performance. He has a wide range of experience in leadership positions in major national and international companies including CEO of Mini-Movers and Australian Cranes & Machinery and Managing Director of Chubb.
Mr Beavon stated that a new technology park is just the sort of powerful initiative start-up companies have been wanting for years in the Redlands. He believes business people would jump at the chance to set a new high-tech direction for the Redlands’ community.