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CQUniversity to boost economic fortunes of regional communities with Centre opening

Published:15 July 2021

L-R: CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Nick Klomp, Member for Capricornia, the Hon. Michelle Landry MP, Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Honourable Bridget McKenzie MP & CRESC Director Professor Delwar Akbar

CQUniversity is set to boost the economic fortunes of regional communities with the official opening today of its new Centre for Regional Economies and Supply Chains (CRESC).

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp was joined by Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Honourable Bridget McKenzie MP to officially open the research facility.

Led by Centre Director, Professor Delwar Akbar, CRESC is undertaking research in issues focused on the development and enhancement of economic systems, the tourism industry and supply and value chains – all of which are vital to regional and rural communities.

Professor Klomp said the Centre would bring about positive results and outcomes for regional economies and the communities that rely on their success, longevity and sustainability.

“Researchers from the Centre will do this by working with a broad range of stakeholders including industry leaders, business owners, state and local governments, and community organisations to generate an understanding of the issues and challenges affecting regional Australia.

“They will work with these stakeholders to develop real-world, innovative solutions to overcome these challenges and improve economic and community outcomes.”

Professor Akbar said the Centre’s vision was to develop a world-class research centre that contributes to economic and business systems research and improves quality of life in regional Australia and beyond.

“We have combined the expertise of our leading researchers in issues focused on the development and enhancement of economic systems, the tourism industry and supply and value chains as these are very vital to regional and rural communities.

“We are conducting research that aims to improve supply chains within and outside regional Australia and driving regional economies and future workforce needs.”

The Centre will also look at ways to develop and manage resources to optimise the potential benefits for industries and communities.

“In particular, the Centre will place a concentrated focus on the continued growth and prosperity of Northern Australia,” Professor Klomp said. 

Some of the specific projects that are currently being undertaken at CRESC include a Situational Analysis of the horticulture sector across northern Australia, consumers’ preferences and willingness-to-pay for improved environmental standards of agricultural produce in the Great Barrier Reef region and a review of voluntary carbon standards for farmers.