Fraser Coast Regional Council could fix the problem of a floundering economy if they listened to local talent.

sirolli_business advisor image www.frasercoastcentral.com.au

*This guy has his head screwed on right. Could not agree more [Henry Sapiecha]

Dr Sirolli said the council needed to start taking the ideas of those in the community seriously and that assets like higher education, a stable government and democracy would do the hard yards in allowing ventures to work. Alistair Brightman

*THE council needs to “shut up and listen” if the Fraser Coast region is to be revived, says a visiting international economics doctor.

Dr Ernesto Sirolli, a world-renowned Californian economist, says Fraser Coast Regional Council could fix the problem of a floundering economy if they listened to local talent.

Findings from the recent State of Regions Report 2014-2015 found the Wide Bay Burnett area to have one of the worst performing economies in Australia with the second fastest rise in unemployment.

>> Your ideas on how to fix the Fraser Coast economy

However, Dr Sirolli said Australia’s wealth was phenomenal and there was no reason for local stagnation.

As residents struggle to hang onto or find work, Dr Sirolli’s fresh approach on a civic economy is needed to revitlise the area.

Finishing a two-and-a-half day conference today with the council and local business leaders, Dr Sirolli hopes his message is heard.

Key to Dr Sorelli’s proposal is for the council to guide the ideas of budding business minds, in a confidential manner.

“Local government needs to be responsive to those who want to do,” he said.

It is ultimately envisioned for the council to become a business consultant to encourage more risk taking in the area, he said.

Success using his approach is possible.

“Look to Coffs Harbour for inspiration, a city similar Hervey Bay, where there is group of IT entrepreneurs now employing 18 people to undertake work across Australia,” he said.

Dr Sirolli said the council needed to start taking the ideas of those in the community seriously and that assets like higher education, a stable government and democracy would do the hard yards in allowing ventures to work.

“FCRC needs to start listening and I want them to fall in love with enterprise,” he said.

“The experts need to have humility and respect for those with direction.”

Dr Sirolli said intelligence was not based on geography and that Australians were as equally smart as others.

“Local government just needs to support people to allow them to become inspired entrepreneurs.”

Hopeful of positive change nearby, Mr Sirolli said: “The FCRC want to understand how to put theory into practise and we are having frank and engaged conversations.”

Mayor Gerard O’Connell said now was the time to listen to Dr Sirolli and for the council to encourage private enterprise.

“We are already accommodating medium to large businesses and now we need to think about helping individuals operating out of their spare bedroom or garage,” he said.

“We need to be open, to hear the language from younger folk prepared to be entrepreneurial and to give them the space to do so.”

Succession planning and mentoring from business leaders was also on FCRC’s agenda.

“Our education city shouldn’t just been confined to bricks and mortar,” he said.

Chronicle readers are keen to see industry get back into swing in Maryborough and to make tourism an all-year-round money maker.

An increase in factory start-ups, more concerts, Maryborough hospital upgrades and a reduction in red tape have all been suggested.

DR ERNESTO SIROLLI

Dr Sirolli is the CEO and founder of Sirolli Institute.

He advocates a civic economy and has over 25 years experience in enterprise facilitation.

Sirolli Institute is engaged by local governments and corporations around the world.

His work has prompted more than 250 communities to take person-centred approaches to local economic development.

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Henry Sapiecha

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