The quest to accomplish a bold vision for the Central Highlands has intensified, with the appointment of a senior officer at the region’s key economic development agency.

The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC), in partnership with the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC), has enlisted Peter Dowling to be its Business and Investment Attraction Manager.

The role will advocate for and support investment that advances business opportunities to help transform the Central Highlands into a thriving, self-sustaining regional inland hub.

This 30-year vision and how to get there are set out in the Central Highlands Economic Master Plan (CHEMP).

“At the heart of my work will be bringing people together – through facilitation, communication, leading and networking,” Mr Dowling says.

“Building these relationships to work collectively, in my view, is the most effective way of achieving outcomes to successfully understand and implement the CHEMP.

“I’ll be working towards creating shared value and ownership of the CHEMP. Instilling a sense of wider community ‘ownership’ of the region’s economic future will assist in leveraging the necessary change and thinking required across a range of sectors and activities.”

Mr Dowling, who has an extensive career in senior regional development and community relations roles, cannot wait to sink his teeth into his new position.

“More than $7.1 billion worth of projects have been identified in the Central Highlands Development Register and I’ll be working with the team at CHDC and CHRC to determine the part we can play in helping to bring them to fruition,” he says.

“Strong advocacy and promotion for priority projects and initiatives for the region will be central to the role and something I’m looking forward to.

“There’s a mountain of good work ahead and I’m looking to make a valuable contribution.”

CHDC General Manager Sandra Hobbs says Mr Dowling will be an asset to the team.

“We are very lucky to have someone who holds a solid understanding across industry sectors to promote and grow economic opportunity and investment attraction,” she says.

“We’ve had a long-standing professional relationship with Peter – from his time as General Manager of CHDC and then his work with BHP – so we already know he’s an authentic, well-respected operator who has a collaborative way of doing business.”

Mr Dowling will be available for introductions at CHDC’s Economic Futures Forum this Wednesday, 6 March.

About Peter Dowling
Mr Dowling was previously BHP’s Corporate Affairs representative in the region, a role he held for the past 10 years. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of CHDC until 2008. Through these roles, Mr Dowling has also held a variety of associated positions: Co-Chair of the BHP Local Buying Foundation (QLD), Board Member of the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy, Committee Member of CQUniversity Regional Engagement Committee, Committee Member of Regional Development Australia – Fitzroy and Central West, Founding Deputy Chair of Economic Development Australia, Central Highlands Flood Recovery Coordination Committee and past President/Treasurer and Management Committee member of Yumba Bimbi Support Services to name a few. He has lived with his family in the Central Highlands for the past 18 years.

About the Central Highlands Economic Master Plan (CHEMP)
The Central Highlands Economic Masterplan (CHEMP) outlines a robust 30-year vision of a self-sustaining regional inland hub for successful and thriving communities. It is underpinned by 4 key economic pillars – export drivers, population, workforce and governance. This vision has been developed in consultation with key industry, business, government and community stakeholders based on existing strengths and opportunities to propel the region into a strong and sustainable future that highlights the value of the region’s diversity. The document can be viewed at chdc.com.au.

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