Grow regional tech sector: think tank

THE head of a regional Australian think tank is calling on community leaders to boost the technology sector outside capital cities.

Speaking at a Local Government Association of Queensland forum in Brisbane, Regional Australia Institute CEO Jack Archer said the regional technology sector could be a major growth area in many areas.

Describing Queensland as "home of the regional city", Mr Archer said the technology, communications and media sector across regional cities was not growing like some traditional areas.

"While we know we're not going to have the next Silicon Valley in Townsville - we're not trying to," he said.

He said developing an emerging technology sector in regional areas could help support existing and future industries.

Mr Archer said it was a "challenge for city leaders" as well as the State and Federal Government.

Speaking at the same forum, Toowoomba mayor Paul Antonio CORRECT said his city had partnered with private enterprise and worked closely with state and federal governments to get projects approved.

He said the construction of the Wellcamp airport; the Toowoomba bypass and proposed Inland Rail line were a "golden trifecta" that could boost the city's economy.

"When the bypass announcement was made we immediately got around the table. Now there were others who live near us who decided it was a good opportunity to roll grenades," Cr Antonio said.

"What we wanted to do as a council was make sure that that project was built."

Cr Antonio said linking communities to national and international trade routes was a key means of growing Toowoomba.

He encouraged other community leaders to take hold of development opportunities that will help the region.

"You must be prepared to capture that opportunity. And it's there if you look, there's no doubt about that," he said. - ARM NEWSDESK

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