The decision by Qantas to establish a pilot training program at Toowoomba Wellcamp airport is an example of how regions can transform themselves with a clear and direct plan according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).
The second largest inland city in the country has in the last decade benefitted from a capital works program led by the Wagner family that has had a transformative effect on the Darling Downs region.
The Darling Downs, while being a significant agriculture hub, has been able to not only bolster export efforts but is now drawing in major businesses to invest in the region.
The Qantas move brings high-skill jobs to the region in terms of training as well as engineering, which has a flow-on effect to small businesses particularly in service industries.
CCIQ Head of Industry, Dan Petrie, said that the Toowoomba experience should be an example to other parts of the state to capitalise on a history of self-determination.
“Whether by fault or design, many regions around Australia are beholden to government for funding of key projects which invariably contain hurdles propagated by vested interests.
“The Wagner family’s commitment to Wellcamp airport has turned the region into one where a number of industries are working together to boost the local economy,” Mr Petrie said.
Toowoomba’s stellar economic performance has been built upon on a clear strategy of integrating into the wider economy through its airport, and its desire to be an integrated logistics hub.